Toucans and Lollipops is a major new display at Riverside Museum, Glasgow. It tells the story of road safety and how our approach to learning about this deadly serious issue has changed since the 1950s, through one element that hasn’t changed – the Lollipop Person.
In a unique move for Riverside, the display structure has been adapted to include a miniature roadway, complete with a fully functional Toucan Traffic Light Crossing System, which visitors can cross. Adding to the atmosphere is an audio soundscape between a Glasgow Lollipop lady and some local schoolchildren, accompanied by the sounds of busy traffic and car horns to remind visitors that the road is a dangerous place.
Glasgow has some 360 lollipop people. Betty Martin generously donated her uniform to Glasgow Museums. It features in the display alongside road safety education objects, including a poster from the 1930s, a Teddy Tells You How to Be Safe booklet (1952), together with a much-loved How Tufty Crosses the Road leaflet (1974) and a Road Sense Early Learning Ladybird book (1977). The display is complemented by contemporary road safety objects popular with today’s schoolchildren, including a Go Safe With Ziggy soft toy and artist’s sketchbook.
A children’s road safety activity pack has been specially produced by Riverside Museum in partnership with Go Safe Glasgow to complement the display. The new exhibition will also feature in the museum’s Learning and Access programme, together with a formal workshop programme.