A CROSSING patrolman has retired from North Baddesley Infant School after 14 years of service.

Dave Wilson, from Mortimer Way, North Baddesley, helped children cross Rownhams Lane for the last time on July 19.

Pupils said farewell to the 74-year-old by creating a lollipop sign that read 'thank you Mr Wilson' and members of staff decorated part of the road with a flurry of flags.

Dave, who has lived in North Baddesley since 1981, said: "It was 14 of the most enjoyable and rewarding years of my working life. It is a fantastic school and I can recommend the job to anyone who has some spare time."

Dave first applied for the job after he heard through Gill Street, a nearby lollipop lady, the school were looking for a crossing patrolman.

He said: "Everyone has been very good to me since I moved here and it was a way to support the community with something they needed."

The school governor said he will miss "talking to the children", seeing motorists driving past "with a smile and a wave" and talking to dog walkers.

Dave said: "I only hope and pray that someone will apply for the job. The road is very dangerous and the speed of the traffic does not slow down.

"My last shift ended at four o'clock and my wife, daughter and my youngest granddaughter showed up, which was very emotional. Reading through some of the comments on cards was a tearjerker."

The former crossing patrolman also received chocolates from the school as one of his leaving presents.

During his time at North Baddesley Infant School, Botley Road, Dave raised approximately £600 by running five kilometres on a treadmill and cycling three kilometres.

The former crossing guard also abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth four years ago dressed as Baddesley Bear to raise funds for the school.

Dave's involvement with North Baddesley will not stop with his retirement, as he plans to go up to the school everyday when the autumn term starts on September 4 to help out with their garden.

Dave added: "I would like to thank the many parents, teachers, children and residents of North Baddesley for giving me all those 14 years."