A lollipop lady who has been working on the same street for 40 years says it's been "an absolute pleasure" as she retires from her post.

Helen Barr, 83, has been stopping cars on the busy Kilbowie Road since 1984, safely getting pupils to four local schools.

Today (June 26) is her last day on the street and members of the community turned up to wish her farewell.

Helen was notified in March that her position was going to be cut by West Dunbartonshire Council and she was offered redundancy.

Helen with pupils from nearby schoolsHelen with pupils from nearby schools (Image: Colin Mearns) (Image: Colin Mearns) Having taken up the role to balance working and looking after her four children, Helen says she has fond memories of the job.

She said: "I started this job when my kids started going to school so I could get all the school holidays off with them.

"Once they got older and they went off to high school, I could’ve got another job but I spent 33 years at the youth hub in Kilbowie and I would use the school holidays to run the clubs.

"Every year I just stayed and stayed and stayed and then all of a sudden it's been 40 years."

(Image: Colin Mearns) (Image: Colin Mearns) (Image: Colin Mearns) Helen says she has many happy memories and has felt overwhelmed by lots of well wishes.

She added: "I'm actually crossing children whose parents I have been helping across the road.

"I've really enjoyed it because it's lovely seeing all these children going to primary, then high school, growing up, getting married, and having children.

"Having worked in the hub I still have parents coming up to me, even if I haven't seen them for years, and saying they remember having great fun there.

"My house is full of flowers and presents. Honestly, it's chock-a-block. I'm just so humbled and thankful to hear all the lovely comments."

"I'm always delighted at this time of the year. I say 'Yay, seven weeks off' but this year I'm really sad because I won't be going back."

Helen serves Kilbowie Primary, St Eunan's Primary, Clydebank High School, St Peter the Apostle High School and two nearby nurseries.

Helen pictured with her daughter Sonia Forsyth (Image: Colin Mearns) (Image: Colin Mearns) Despite her joy at the community support, Helen says she is sad to leave through redundancy and is concerned about pupils losing the support at the junction.

She said: "It's not my choice and I'm absolutely gutted. I'm more worried about children with me not being there at that crossing because it's a very bad junction.

"If you’ve ever driven up and down Kilbowie Road and come out from East and West Thomson St, sometimes it's a nightmare."

Staff and children at St Eunan's Primary came together to surprise her last week with a final goodbye. 

Helen says she will miss seeing the children's faces and she wants to thank them all for being so lovely.

She said: "The primary had me into the school last week and they had the pupils in an assembly. I didn't know what I was going in for. When I walked in, they were all sitting waiting for me to come in. 

"One wee girl said: 'Helen. I was crying'. Honestly, it was heart-wrenching. It was so lovely.

"It’s been a pleasure, an absolute pleasure."

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesperson said: “We wish Helen a happy retirement and thank her for her service over the last 40 years.

“The safety of our school pupils remains our priority and we will continue to provide crossing patrollers at 31 locations across the authority, including in specific areas of high traffic.

“This brings the council in line with national best practice guidance which advises that having crossing patrollers and pedestrian crossings at the same location - as has been the case on Kilbowie Road and West Thomson Street - can be confusing for motorists.”