Lollipop lady awarded BEM after five decades of service in Boys’ Brigade

A lollipop lady has said that she is “pleased and proud” at being recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Joyce Murray, 79, who has worked as a Boys’ Brigade (BB) officer for 54 years, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

She has worked as a lollipop lady for more than two decades in East Dunbartonshire.

The 79-year-old told the PA news agency: “I feel surprised and then pleased and proud of the BEM. It’s just nice to be recognised for things that you’ve done. It’s quite special.”

Mrs Murray spent every Wednesday at the 1st Glasgow Brigade for years, helping them through recognised awards such as The Queen’s Badge.

She also helped with different activities, BB camp and weekends away.

Mrs Murray said: “I worked for the Boys’ Brigade for 54 years. It was the captain that asked me if I would play the piano for their various activities and it would be for three weeks.

“I said I would but after three weeks the person who was supposed to take over never came, and I just continued on and that was for 54 years.

“It was wonderful, it was so good and fun. It was so rewarding and I loved every minute of it.

“It just became part of your week, you went to BBs on a Wednesday night, and it never crossed my mind not to keep doing it, until I realised after that length of time that it was time I handed it over to someone else. It was a great experience, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.”

She stopped her volunteer work seven years ago but continues to work as a lollipop lady at a local school near her home in Bishopbriggs.

She added: “I’m still working as a lollipop lady, I’ve done that for 23 years, and I’ll be 80 next April, so it’s quite an achievement. It’s good fun. I’m very happy about it and I’m fortunate I keep really good health.

“They tell me I’ll still be doing it when I have a zimmer.”