A POPULAR lollipop lady has lost her battle with cancer.

Patricia Butcher helped youngsters safely get to Myland Primary School for more than 35 years before she was forced to retire due to ill-health.

She began the job when her only child Ralph started going to the school, and was eventually replaced by a traffic light at the Mill Road junction with Mile End Road.

Patricia, who bought lollipops for children at special times of year, including Christmas, received many awards for her service and went to Buckingham Palace after her 35 year award.

Her cremation will take place on Wednesday at 11.45am at Colchester Crematorium, followed by a service of thanksgiving at Marks Tey Methodist Church at 1pm.

For the full tribute see today's Gazette.