A woman who has been helping children cross the road for more than five decades is being celebrated by residents who claim she must be the longest-standing lollipop lady in the country.

Heather Morris has been a lollipop lady patrolling Glebelands Road in Sale for more than 50 years.

The well-known figure took up the position in 1970 when the local police force asked her to temporarily take over for a week.

During her impressive stint, Ms Morris was awarded an MBE while a special mural, which reads: 'Stop, look, listen' and "right sweethearts!" was erected on the road in her honour after 45 years of her service.

Primary school children at Park Road Primary held an assembly in her honour.

But resident Kirsten Jones, whose husband, children and now grandchildren have all been watched over during Ms Morris' patrols, said she has passed an even bigger milestone with 53 years of service.

Ms Jones said: "Heather is out, rain or shine, and despite having lost her husband, always greets everyone with a smile.

Messenger Newspapers: Ms Morris was awarded with a mural eight years agoMs Morris was awarded with a mural eight years ago (Image: Kirsten Jones)

"Her 'right sweethearts' line is iconic, signalling it is safe for people to cross and is indeed immortalised in a specially commissioned mosaic celebrating her 45th year, eight years ago by Anna Chopping and Zoe Taylor."

The resident, who recently became a grandmother, said her friendship with the lollipop lady all started in September 1996 when she met Ms Morris "in the middle of Glebelands Road", reciting her famous line and helping her cross the road with her then-new baby, Kyle.

She continued: "I reminded her of crossing my husband in the 1970s along with her own children and how she better still be here when Kyle started school.

"She laughed and said 'I will be retired by then' and this became a running joke - more so after 13 months later, Rhys, my youngest came along."

But the mum said years "passed fast" and suddenly, "the time had arrived".

Ms Jones continued: "It was on Kyle's fifth birthday in his new Park Road School uniform, joined by Rhys, all in red to start nursery, that they were proudly crossed by Heather.

"All through their time at primary school, she was there in all weathers, always smiling and always with a 'right sweethearts' so much so that on the very few and far occasions she wasn't able to cross them, the stand-in lollipop people would stand bewildered when the school children stayed kerbside, waiting for the beloved command.

"Heather continued to cross my two boys right until they left school, even though by that point we had moved to Urmston, they would still call over that way to say hello."

Messenger Newspapers: The pair shared a special moment when Ms Morris helped Ms Jones and her grandson cross the roadThe pair shared a special moment when Ms Morris helped Ms Jones and her grandson cross the road (Image: Kirsten Jones)

Ms Jones said the "beautiful" and "amazing" lollipop lady, who is now in her 80s, has now helped her grandson across the road.

She continued: "I can't tell you how much it meant to me. Not only did she cross the children, but she would speak to the parents after drop off and leave them at the very least smiling and nearly always laughing.

"School drop off could be very tricky sometimes and to know there was always a friendly face to let you know you weren't alone, that stayed with me all these years.

"Thank you, Heather, we love you."

The grandmother also confirmed Ms Morris has no plans to retire and "will not be hanging up her stick" but said she must be the longest-serving lollipop man or woman in the country.

Residents are now hoping Heather could get recognition such as 'Freedom of the Borough'.

Ms Jones continued: "I would love for Heather to get this in recognition and I would also love her to be a dame as I always call her that after she received her MBE."

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