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Lollipop lady can't stop keeping busy

PUBLISHED: 10:44 03 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 03 July 2010

Always busy: Ena Mallett

Always busy: Ena Mallett

AT 76, Ena Mallett could be forgiven for taking life easy. However, as the grandmother notches up 25 years as a lollipop lady at Fairhaven Primary School, South Walsham, her life couldn't be busier.

AT 76, Ena Mallett could be forgiven for taking life easy. However, as the grandmother notches up 25 years as a lollipop lady at Fairhaven Primary School, South Walsham, her life couldn't be busier.

For Mrs Mallett, a black belt in spirit combat and martial arts tutor, has a social diary fit for any teenager. There is never a dull moment for Mrs Mallett, of Ranworth, as her schedule includes fitness classes, Avon and organising the school garden club and cycling tests. She has no intention of hanging up her fluores-cent jacket and lollipop stick, either. She said: “It is the satisfaction of seeing the children grow up and knowing they can cross the road safely. “When I first started at the school it had just 48 children, but over the years it has got bigger and can now hold 120 pupils.”

When Mrs Mallett isn't seeing children across the road safely you'll find her teaching spirit combat, running a ladies' keep-fit class, selling Avon goods and watching Norwich City play. “I have been going to matches since I was 11 - but I'm not looking forward to this season so much,” she conceded.

Mrs Mallett started learning karate at 48. After failing exams and refusing to accept defeat, she tried spirit combat, with successful results.

She said: “I love meeting people, and I think it's important to keep fit and active when you are old. It keeps rheumatism at bay and your joints moving.”

The mother of two was widowed three years ago and has just been to Ranworth Staithe for a walk dedicated to the memory of her husband, Clem. “We planted wild flowers in his memory. It was one of his favourite places,” she said.

Fairhaven head Melodie Fearns said: “She is amazing. Every year I tell her she is not allowed to leave - the children think she is fantastic.”

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