Maureen’s birthday plunge into retirement

Surprise leaving do for Maureen Blake at Abbeycroft Leisure. Pictured with past manager of the centre. Left to right - Sue Bull (current manager), Simon Ginders-Coxshall, Alison Bowyer, Maureen Blake, Howard Cook,Justin Wallace and Tim Bone.
Surprise leaving do for Maureen Blake at Abbeycroft Leisure. Pictured with past manager of the centre. Left to right - Sue Bull (current manager), Simon Ginders-Coxshall, Alison Bowyer, Maureen Blake, Howard Cook,Justin Wallace and Tim Bone.
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RECEPTIONIST Maureen Blake has made her final splash at Abbeycroft Leisure Centre in Bury St Edmunds – she is retiring after 35 years at the job.

Maureen, from Bury, left work for the last time on Tuesday – the same day she turned 65.

She joined the leisure centre in 1975 and became the first person to have a dip in the pool with her six-month-old daughter.

And after a devastating fire in September 2004, it was Maureen again, this time with her two-year-old grandaughter, who was the first to take the plunge in the reopened pool.

On Saturday, the staff threw Maureen a surprise leaving party at the centre.

Maureen said although she had loved working at the centre, she was looking forward to putting her feet up.

She said: “The party was a total surprise, I didn’t even have one inkling.

“I love it here – to have been here this long I think that tells you something.

“It is a job that changes every day. I have made lots of friends here with the staff and many of the customers. My husband retired in November, too, and we are looking to do a lot of travelling now.”