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Tributes paid to town’s much-loved lollipop man

PUBLISHED: 15:54 18 August 2020

Albie Barrett worked as a lollipop man for nearly a decade at Robert Kett Primary School in Wymondham. Picture: Alison Sheffield

Albie Barrett worked as a lollipop man for nearly a decade at Robert Kett Primary School in Wymondham. Picture: Alison Sheffield

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Tributes have been paid to a much-loved lollipop man who used to high-five children on their way to school.

Albie and Rosemary Barrett celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2019. Picture: Alison SheffieldAlbie and Rosemary Barrett celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2019. Picture: Alison Sheffield

Albie Barrett, who lived in Wymondham, worked as lollipop man for nearly a decade, until the age of 78, outside Robert Kett Primary School.

He was renowned for being a friendly face for nervous pupils on their first day of school, while other children would high-five him as they crossed the road.

Albie Barrett was born in Surrey but lived in Norfolk for nearly 50 years. Picture: Alison SheffieldAlbie Barrett was born in Surrey but lived in Norfolk for nearly 50 years. Picture: Alison Sheffield

During the summer fete, Mr Barrett used to parade in the street with his lollipop stick and played an active role in other parts of the school community, including giving assemblies and teaching road safety.

In Wymondham, where he lived in the same house on Ashleigh Gardens for nearly 50 years, Mr Barrett was like a “local celebrity” with people regularly stopping him in the streets to wish him well.

Albie Barrett began his career in the Royal Navy. Picture: Alison SheffieldAlbie Barrett began his career in the Royal Navy. Picture: Alison Sheffield

In 2018, he was invited to garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his contributions to the local community.

Mr Barrett was born in Mitcham in Surrey, one of ten children, in September 1937.

Albie and Rosemary Barrett met while he worked as a bus conductor in Surrey. Picture: Alison SheffieldAlbie and Rosemary Barrett met while he worked as a bus conductor in Surrey. Picture: Alison Sheffield

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At the age of 15, after leaving school, he joined the Royal Navy and sailed to places such as the Far East and Gibraltar for three years.

After leaving the navy due to an ear injury, Mr Barrett became a bus conductor and met Rosemary.

Mr Barrett, then 21, used to hang out of the bus and wave Rosemary, then 18, when they passed.

He eventually slipped a note under the door asking her out on a date and they married a short while afterwards before moving to Norfolk in 1971.

On Boxing Day last year they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

The couple had three children Alison Sheffield, Karen Barrett and Mark Barrett, as well as seven grandchildren.

Mr Barrett’s children said: “He was just the kindest, most thoughtless and selfless dad you could ever want. He always put us first and also his grandchildren. We all just adored him. He was a special man. He would help any of us out and his neighbours and friends as well. He was so kind and modest, it is a shame he can’t see all things people have said about him.”

In August, Mr Barrett died aged 82 after an 18 month-long battle with cancer.


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