Myra defies illness for British Empire Medal

Northampton Road lollipop lady Myra Brodie has been named in the Queen's honours to receive a British Empire Medal. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Northampton Road lollipop lady Myra Brodie has been named in the Queen's honours to receive a British Empire Medal. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A lollipop lady from Market Harborough has defied illness to be awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Honours List.

Myra Brodie (62), aschool crossing patrol officer for 25 years, recently passed a stringent medical despite suffering the very early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

Northampton Road lollipop lady Myra Brodie has been named in the Queen's honours to receive a British Empire Medal. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Northampton Road lollipop lady Myra Brodie has been named in the Queen's honours to receive a British Empire Medal. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“I’ll keep going as long as my body will let me - and I keep passing the medical” she said.

“Parkinson’s is different for everyone, but for for me at the moment it’s not serious. It just means when I get tired my feet hurt.”

Married mum-of-two Myra, who lives in Market Harborough, said she heard about her BEM award about six weeks ago.

It was officially awarded for “services to Education”.

Northampton Road lollipop lady Myra Brodie has been named in the Queen's honours to receive a British Empire Medal. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Northampton Road lollipop lady Myra Brodie has been named in the Queen's honours to receive a British Empire Medal. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“It’s a marvellous thing isn’t it m’duck?” she said. “My husband George is chuffed to bits!

“But you have got to keep it strictly secret until the official announcement. That was hard; it was horrible.

“And then I was very tense when people wanted to interview me.

“Not the Harborough Mail though. I’m looking forward to seeing it in the Harborugh Mail and getting a hug from (Mail photographer) Andy Carpenter!

“That and (Harborough churches magazine) The Quintet” - Myra is a regular at St Nicholas Church, Little Bowden.

Myra has seen children and their carers across the busy Northampton Road to Little Bowden Primary schoolsince 1991 when her own children were at the school.

She’s only missed one block of time since - when she had a hip replacement operation.

But now Liverpool-born Myra wonders how long the Parkinson’s will allow her to do the job she loves.

“I take my work very seriously, m’duck” she said. “It’s a very responsible job.

“A hundred or so people use that crossing every morning and every afternoon.

“It’s demanding and challenging and you have to concentrate, keep alert, keep aware. I do that every day, and tell myself to do that.

“The Parkinson’s is not serious, but I can get tired by the end of the day, so that’s a pest. And the health and safety people have very stringent specifications.

“I like saying that - ‘stringent specifications’ - but I don’t like thinking about it.”

A statement from Myra’s employer, Leicestershire County Council, said that Myra had been a “committed member” of the School Crossing Patrol Service since 1991.

Councillor Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: “Myra has dedicated more than 25 years to ensuring the safety of children and adults in Little Bowden, not only as a valued member of the school crossing patrol team, but also as a volunteer.

“We are proud to have someone like Myra working for the county council and pleased that she has been given the recognition that her work so richly deserves.”

And finally, does Myra have a message for Market Harborough drivers? “Yes I do - slow down, slow down, slow down!”