TRIBUTES have poured in for a much-loved lollipop man from Canvey.

Ernie Buchan, 81, who lived on the island with his wife Daphne, 80, suffered a heart attack at Southend Hospital.

His daughter, Pauline Rowland, said her dad, who worked as a lollipop man for Leigh Beck junior and infant schools in Point Road, for eight years, had felt unwell earlier in the week and was taken to hospital.

Mrs Rowland, 51, who lives in Basildon, said she was “overwhelmed”

by the amount of support from parents, children and staff at the school who came together to share their memories of Mr Buchan.

She said: “The amount of support we have received is unbelievable.

We knew we loved him, but didn’t realise just how much he was appreciated by everyone else.

It is actually amazing.

“We just want to thank everyone for all of their comments and support.”

Daren Partridge, headteacher of Leigh Beck junior school, said: “Ernie was a dedicated member of the school community who worked for many years, not only ensuring the children safely crossed the road on their way to school, but brightening their day which he showed through the Christmas cards he would give to his regulars.

“He will be missed by the children and families and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Sally Monk, whose children attend the school, added: “Ernie was a lovely, friendly face every morning. My eldest was able to walk to school on her own as you always knew Ernie would make sure they were safe.

“He would comment on our puppy learning to walk properly and we looked forward to treating him at the end of term and Christmas with a token of appreciation.

“He will be sorely missed every morning.”

Mr Buchan’s funeral is set to be held today, at Pitsea Crematorium, in Church Road.