With 43 years’ service under her belt, Christine Walker is the longest-serving school crossing patroller in the county - and last week she received royal recognition as she was officially awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her work.

Christine first picked up her lollipop in 1978, taking over the post from her own mother-in-law.

Since then, Christine has helped guide thousands of pupils and their parents and carers safely across the road, to and from West Wycombe Primary School.

In recognition of her efforts, Christine was awarded a BEM for services to road safety in the New Years Honours.

Christine was presented with her medal by Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, The Countess Howe, at a ceremony at Penn House.

The much-loved lollipop lady, who was previously invited to attend a Royal Garden Party in 2018, was thrilled to receive her award.

She said: “I love welcoming the children into school each day and have enjoyed watching them grow up and bring their own children and grandchildren along to the school.”

When Christine first started her role, school crossing patrollers wore a simple, white dust coat.

Now they wear high visibility fluorescent and reflective clothing but still carry their iconic ‘lollipops’ that give them their much-loved identity.

British Empire Medals are awarded for active service to the local community, worthy of recognition by the Crown.

The Countess Howe said: "Christine is one of Buckinghamshire's many unsung heroes doing wonderful things for the good of the community without expectation of reward or recognition.

"The British Empire Medal is a way of thanking these individuals for the fantastic work they are doing.

"I am in awe of Christine's dedication and commitment and indeed all Buckinghamshire Honours recipients and congratulate them most heartily on their awards."