That’s Colin. A local legend, a much loved member of the community, and essentially just a down to Earth 83-year-old Lollipop man.
However, Colin has come under scrutiny in the past few weeks. Why? Because he loves to give out high-fives to the kids he helps across the road. An act which apparently, he shouldn’t do. Sigh.
In fact, Colin was actually banned from giving out high-fives, after it was deemed a ‘disruption’, in a move which has (rightly so) infuriated countless parents, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Lollipop man Colin has been banned from giving children a ‘high five’ as they cross the road because council bosses think it is a distraction from his duties https://t.co/WR0jW4VCHj pic.twitter.com/nVs6147vq6
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 9, 2018
One parent explained to the Manchester Evening News:
If a child is having a bad day, it can make all the difference when they see Colin. He really cheers them up before school.
They miss Colin when he’s not around. He really is part of the landscape.
A similar story arose this weekend after veteran Hull lollipop man, Bryan, was told his high-fives and hugs could be seen as ‘grooming’.
Sadly, Bryan decided to resign from his post, one he held for 20 years.
Fortunately this tale has a more positive end result as Stockport Council have admitted that they were wrong and have allowed Colin to continue spending his mornings high-fiving himself into oblivion.
A spokesperson for Stockport Council admitted their wrongdoing, saying:
Following the recent reports surrounding Stockport Council’s lollipop man, Colin Spencer, we want to apologise for the unnecessary concern caused by the issuing of an instruction that was clearly wrong.
This morning I met Colin the Stockport lollipop man. He’s been told to stop high-fives because it disrupts the traffic. Parents are pretty furious while Colin says he’ll follow the rules but won’t say no if someone high fives him! pic.twitter.com/SZqhqYXvgV
— Abi Smitton (@AbiSmitton) February 8, 2018
Colin himself even had something to say on the matter, adding:
It was petty. It’s bureaucracy gone mad. The decision really did upset many children. Especially the younger ones.
But this is great news. It should never have come to this in the first place. The children will be pleased.
A small apology from the council, an unforgettable victory for lollipop men and women across the globe.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.