YEARS before I wanted to be a journalist, I wanted to be a lollipop man.

As a happy five-year-old at Trinity Primary in Edinburgh, it struck me as the dream job as, I thought, it would allow me to stay at school for ever.

Two years and two decades on, I realised the ambition, thanks to City of York Council and 73-year-old lollipop man Brian Whur who, every day, shepherds youngsters across Stockton Lane on their way to Hempland Primary in York.

He’s clearly a local legend in these parts, with all and sundry stopping to say hello as they go on their way, and he puts his success down to his constant smile.

“I get satisfaction knowing I am spreading good humour around,” he says.

“There are too many awful things going round at the moment and I think if you can cheer somebody up, that’s wonderful.”

Early starts don’t usually cheer me up, I must say, but I quickly got into the swing of things.

After joining Brian nice and early at 8am – and after a two-hour training session last week – I soon took charge of the coveted lollipop.

All went well, and a good few quid was raised in sponsorship from generous friends and colleagues.

Anyone wanting to top up the tally can visit