A WELL known lollipop man has temporarily put down his stick after two decades of protecting children on their school run.

84-year-old Albert Carter, has stood out on West Auckland Road, in Darlington as a lollipop man for over 20 years after retiring from working with The Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

Despite his family's attempts to kept him indoors, Albert was even standing by on Monday when the schools were closed because he "wanted to be there for any children who might not have known."

"I've never been someone who can just sit about," said Mr Carter, "so that's how I became a lollipop man.

There were just two children who turned up to school on Monday, but I wanted to make sure they got there safely."

Mr Carter said he's stuck with the job for so long because he finds it 'incredibly rewarding', especially the bond that he creates with the children.

His last shift was Monday but he said he will return to his post once schools reopen.

"I get them all cards each Christmas," said Mr Carter, "I think a lot of them.

"It always makes my day when they say 'good morning Albert'."