End of an era as Dudley Leisure Centre closes its doors for good

Dudley Leisure Centre was as busy on its last day as it has been for the last five decades.

And its goodbye from us! Staff Eve Blunt, Steve Spencer, Lisa Newton, Caroline Palmer, Trevor Scott, Albert Grant and Katie Court say goodbye to the leisure centre
And its goodbye from us! Staff Eve Blunt, Steve Spencer, Lisa Newton, Caroline Palmer, Trevor Scott, Albert Grant and Katie Court say goodbye to the leisure centre

Swimmers, badminton players, gym goers and fitness lovers joined staff on the last day of service for the popular leisure centre.

The Wellington Road leisure centre is being replaced by the Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre, on Constitution Hill, which will open to the public next Monday.

Manager Trevor Scott told the Express and Star: "I've worked in this establishment for a good 20 years and its been nice.

"The staff and customers have been great but it is time to move on, this place is a bit tatty now so I am looking forward to moving to the new leisure centre."

Trevor and the staff start at the Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre today to train ready for the public opening in a week's time.

Albert Grant looks out across the empty pool at Dudley Leisure Centre after the last swimmer left the water

Swimmer Gary Kilmister, 47, enjoyed his last gym session at the leisure centre.

He said: "It's quite emotional really, I've been coming here as long as I can remember.

"As a child the smells were really strong, whether it be the swimming pool or the chips they used to sell in the cafe.

"I'm glad I came here on the last day and if I can I will make it to the first day of the new leisure centre."

Mohammed Sher and his friend Harvey Bopari enjoyed their last game of badminton at the centre.

Lisa Newton and Steve Spencer at Dudley Leisure Centre's last day

Mohammed said: "We've enjoyed playing badminton here, it helps us keep fit.

Sylvia Bennion came to the leisure centre to see her grandson swim.

She said: "I used to swim in Droitwich Lido a long time ago, my daughter was also a good swimmer and now we come to see our grandson swim for Stourbridge Swimming Club.

"It is important to have local swimming pools and I am glad the new one is opening up the road."

The new £18million Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre opens next week

Another swimmer Steven Daniels, 52, said he was looking forward to the new pool: “If it wasn’t being replaced I would be sad but the new pool is bigger and better, I can’t wait to jump in.”

Footballer Matt Wright is glad to see the back of the place, he said: "I remember five-a-side football in the dome with a surface like sandpaper in a giant canvas construction. Roasting hot in the summer like a giant freezer in the winter.

"The dome shape meant that on the flanks even the shortest of players had to stoop slightly to run down the wing."

Louise Blackburn remembered: "I worked in the lateral flow test centre there last year! Saved my sanity as I could not do my usual work of running choirs. Lovely place, lovely staff."

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