It’s a great job – but maybe I won’t take my lollipop out again

Now I’ve sort of retired, I was thinking of becoming a lollipop man again – Yes, again.

You see, a long time ago, my lovely friend Carolyn Hughes, who has a PR company, asked me to take a course and become one of those amazing people who look after the safety of children at school crossings.

I did just that, the reason Miss Hughes asked me to do it was a wonderful PR exercise when The Living Room was open in Victoria street, Liverpool city centre.

This remarkable place gave us 14 glorious years and I must say, in all the years I’ve been in the business, The Living Room has been in my top five food and drink experiences.

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Sadly, it’s no longer with us.

Dave Hynds and the late great Tim Bacon, who we lost at the age of 52, were both remarkable visionaries in the food and beverage industry.

The Living Room was at the hub of our city’s nightlife.

Many people tried to replicate it, but failed miserably.

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The idea Carolyn came up with, was to have me on the opening day of this special place helping people across the busy Victoria Street (whether they liked it or not) which was hysterical.

Taxi drivers were none too pleased about me stopping them all the time. The best people I helped to cross the road were Mr and Mrs Steven Gerrard.

The worst was Mr Stan Boardman, and his entourage, who had me up the wall.

Mind you, I have history with this comic, as we did panto together once at the pavilion, in Rhyl.

There was the time he handcuffed me to the wishing well, and made me late for the radio show and I had to drag it off the stage.

Then there was the time he locked me in the gypsy caravan, it’s a good job we are good friends.

I digress . . .

So, what made The Living Room so special?

Our city hadn’t seen anything of its kind before.

It was the who’s who, and you never knew what would happen.

For instance, Chris de Burgh (Lady in Red) was having dinner there one night.

He then stood up and gave an impromptu mini-concert.

The bar became a Hollyoaks staff canteen for many years. There are so many stories.

I am delighted to say being a lol-lipop man made the national news.

I went on for a while doing the job, but had to leave it because of work commitments.

Now let me tell you about becoming a “crossing guard” or “super-visor” – or even “a school crossing patrol officer” – which I did find very rewarding.

The name lollipop came from the modified circular stop sign that is carried.

And, just for the record, under UK law, it is an offence for a motorist not to stop if signalled to do so by a patrol officer.

Believe me, in my short time of working on main roads, there were some pretty vile motorists.

I had a hat, jacket and gloves on so nobody would recognise me.

The abuse I got was disgraceful.

One woman will stay with me forever.

She called me Hitler.

I was there for one reason and one reason only, to save children’s lives.

Councils have struggled to find these brave men and women and, going through these terrible times, I think they will probably struggle even more.

The worst time of all is in rush hour, when motorists have no patience at all.

Pete Price as the lollipop man

To all motorists – please remember these people aren’t there for the fun of it.

While I am on the subject of helping children.

Let’s talk about the ridiculous crazy parking outside schools when it’s time to pick the children up.

Especially when people are parked on zigzag lines.

I live near three schools and they are death traps.

I do shake my head in disbelief.

What happened to the old days of walking to school, or at least park your car in another road and walk round?

You’re supposed to love your children, not put them, and others, at risk.

In reading back my column, have I got the patience to be a lollipop man again?

On reflection … probably not . . .