The social elite of Allerdale

Keith Hudson

Status sensitivity of a high order appears to be infecting the sleepy village of Allerdale in Cumbria.  No-one wants to be a lollipop lady (or gentleman, of course!).  The 50 pupils of Broughton Moor Primary School will have to cross a busy main road . . . without the benefit of an adult who can, if necessary, hold up the traffic.

The local authority has tried — Oh, how it’s tried! — in the past four years.  It has advertised in the Jobs Centre and its own website.  Also, the parents of the children have delivered flyers to every house in the area.  The headmaster has made pleas in the local newspaper.  So, instead, the council have have to instal speed bumps in the road — a vastly more expensive attempt to moderate traffic along the road — but nowhere near as effective as a lollipop lady (or gentleman).

Obviously nobody in Allerdale wants to show that they are somewhere near the bottom of the social pecking order by wearing the fluorescent jacket and carrying the lollipop-style pole aloft.  But all the residents of Allerdale cannot all think that they are in the higher social classes can they?  Or perhaps they do!  Anyway, no-one is blinking and no-one is taking the job.

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