A TAMWORTH lollipop man who met his long-lost son who was adopted as a baby, was amazed to find out that road safety runs in the family – for his son is also a lollipop man.
Paul Ferris (64) discovered that son Darren Wardle only lived 15 miles away in Cannock and that they both worked for Staffordshire County Council.
And Darren’s adopted mother, wife and mother-in-law are all School Crossing Patrol Officers too.
Paul has been keeping children safe on the roads in Tamworth for just over two years, while Darren has been working as a mobile lollipop man covering Cannock schools for the last three years. Working different patches meant that their paths never crossed.
Darren said: “I had always known I was adopted and although this didn’t bother me, I decided to try and find my real father. I knew his name and managed to trace him fairly easily.
“I had many a long chat with my Dad when we first met and the fact that we were both lollipop men made us laugh. I couldn’t believe this when he told me and at first I thought he must be joking. Of all the different jobs and careers we could have chosen, we ended up doing the same role at Staffordshire County Council.
“It definitely runs in the family, because my wife, mother-in-law and my Dad are all in the job. My
adopted mother was also a lollipop lady for years, so from an early age I knew what was involved and valued the job that they do.”
Paul said: “I was obviously delighted to meet up with Darren, and we found it particularly amusing that after all that time we were both lollipop men. Like father, like son I guess.
“I was an engineer by trade and when I retired I decided to have a go at being a lollipop man to keep myself busy. I love the work. It’s the kind of job where you know you are doing something good and making a real difference.”
Cllr Simon Tagg, who oversees road safety in Staffordshire said: “I heard about Darren and Paul’s story at our special tea party to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the School Crossing Patrol Service and it really stood out. It makes you wonder whether being a lollipop man might be in the blood.
“Paul and Darren are the guardians of our roads and like our other 321 patrol officers do a fantastic job in keeping our school children and parents safe.”