ALLAN Watt is already relishing retirement but admits he gave up the “best job in the world” with a heavy heart.
Having served for eight years as the crossing patroller for schoolchildren at the top of Trinity steps in Weensland Road, Allan has hung up his lollipop stick.
“As far as I was concerned, it was the best job in the world, working with the kids and speaking to them,” he said.
“Trinity school is a super school. Even though I had to work in all sorts of weathers – people used to pass me and say, ‘oh, I couldn’t do your job’ – you just accept the weather.
“Over the years, I had three bosses who were very good to me. People criticise the council, but I was very lucky. I always said I would do it as long as I could, as long as I was able, and as long as they’d have me.”
Allan, now aged 66, had previously run a newsagent shop in Dovemount Place, representing the fourth successive generation of the Watt family to have operated the premises.
But, in November 1994, ill health meant he could not continue working.
A decade later, he was fighting fit and looking for a change in career.
“It was actually my wife who suggested it one day, and I began to think about being a lollipop man,” he said. “I emailed the council to ask if there were any vacancies and heard nothing. Then, I sent a letter, and ended up at an interview at Trinity school – the first interview I ever had in my life.”
Having been a pupil at the old Wilton school, Allan, who lives in Weensland Road, still had an attachment to Trinity having sent his son Christopher and daughter Louise to be educated there.
He thoroughly enjoyed ushering pupils on their way in the morning, and stressed his decision to give up the role last month was not easy.
“It was a very difficult decision to make,” he said. “I just loved the job. We decided that, with my wife being retired, there are things we’d like to do before we’re too old.”
Allan and his wife took immediate advantage of their new-found free time together, jetting off to Sicily last week before visiting their son at his home in Brighton. They intend to indulge their interests in photography and travel during retirement.