Sam Quinn has been keeping fit at his local leisure centre in Manchester since it opened – 75 years ago!
And at the age of 82 he's still swimming at Broadway Leisure Centre in New Moston three times a week.
The only break in his dedicated attendance came in 1944-47 when Sam served with the Parachute Regiment in Palestine.
Sam and his wife Gladys, of Bridport Avenue, have two sons and six grandchildren. His son, daughter-in-law and grandson who live in the same street also use the leisure centre.
Sam plans to be at the leisure centre on Saturday (15 September) for a Family Fun Day to mark the centre's 75th birthday.
Birthday events at the centre start at noon and run until 4pm.
There will be lots of activities available, all costing only £1 each. There will be Party Fun sessions in the pool with floats, inflatables and super soakers - great for kids and the whole family - a bouncy castle and Aqua Tone classes, as well as the opportunity to relax in the sauna/steam room or try out the fitness suite.
There will also be a free prize draw offering the chance to win a 12-month Isospa health and fitness membership to Broadway Leisure Centre worth £329.45 or a course of Swim Life swimming lessons worth £50.80.
The old Broadway Baths was built in 1932 to improve the health and well-being of the local community as well as to provide a venue for other social activities. The centre has a 25-metre swimming pool, fitness and workout studios, a health suite with sauna and steam rooms, and sun beds.
Councillor Mike Kane, Executive Member for Arts & Leisure, said: "Sam is a great example of the benefits of healthy exercise. It's great that he has been going to the centre since it was the old Broadway Baths and has such happy memories of the many hours he's spent there over the years. It's also good to know that his family use the centre too, as there are activities available for all ages."
Sam said: "Two or three years ago the old baths had about £1 million spent on it to turn it into a first class leisure centre.
"I have been retired for nearly 25 years and I make a practice of going to the early morning swimming sessions three times a week and do about a dozen lengths. Senior citizens get a leisure pass so it costs me only £20.50 a year.
"I go to the early sessions starting at seven in the morning because there are no kids. Kids don't realise there are two seven o'clocks in the day!"
When swimming cost 1½d…
Sam Quinn has not only been going to Broadway Leisure Centre since it opened as Broadway Baths - he even remembers it being built.
"I went to New Moston Infants' school and I remember the old Broadway Baths being built. There were two pools, one for males and one for females, with a slipper baths in between. People who didn't have a bathroom could go for a bath for three pence in old money,"he said.
"On Sundays only one pool was open for mixed bathing, aimed at families with kids.
"When I was a child it cost one and a half pence in old money for children to go swimming but because my dad was out of work we couldn't really afford it so we used to go swimming in the canal near Wrigley Head Mill at Failsworth.
"The canal was really clean then and the mill used it as a lodge and discharged warm water into it, which was great for us kids.
"The people that ran the baths lived above in a flat. A family called Bostock ran it. The baths had a coal-fired boiler then and every week they'd have tons of coal delivered.
"In the winter they used to put wooden boards over the right-hand pool and hire it out for dances on Friday and Saturday nights. It was contact dancing then, not this modern stuff. We used to have a 10- or 12-piece band and they'd play the old-time music popular in the 30s and 40s.
"In those days everything used to end at 11pm - now things seem to start at 11."
Martin Hellewell, Tel: 0161 234 3729