But after a complaint by two parents, the Scrooge-like council chiefs at the city council said she could not take children across the road unless she wore her reflective coat. Mrs Russell, who prepared this golden bell costume for the current holiday season, has been banned from wearing the fancy dress for safety reasons
Mrs Russell, a grandmother who is collecting for the mayor of Southampton's appeal fund, said:
"I was pretty cheesed off when they told me because I'd spent a lot of time and effort on this year's costume. Why am I suddenly a health and safety risk? When they used the expression I thought they were saying 'elf and safety' for a joke."
View Margaret's previous Christmas costumes (slide show)
A council spokesman said,
"If a crossing patrol supervisor does not wear a reflective jacket they are not insured and if hit, the motorist could not be prosecuted."
A mother hit back at the decision. Sandy McCarthy said,
"It's absolutely terrible. We've been living here for about 10 years and she's made a new costume every year."
Parents and councillors have joined to attack the move branding it "political correctness gone mad". Two people complained so everyone loses out. A typical reaction of Britain bowing down to the minority and ignoring the wishes of the majority.
Read here about the Belgian who tried to make zebra crossings more colourful and interesting.