Popular Julie's 30 year career in Burnley and Padiham is going swimmingly

Julie Redfern has clocked up 30 years working at leisure centres in Burnley and Padiham.
Julie Redfern has clocked up 30 years working at leisure centres in Burnley and Padiham.
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If Julie Redfern looks familiar to you that is perhaps because she has been serving the public across Burnley and Padiham for 30 years.

Her ready smile and friendly nature has made her popular with both her colleagues and the public over the past three decades working for Burnley Borough Council at the authority's leisure centres.

Julie at work on the reception at Gannow Baths, Burnley in the 1990s

Julie at work on the reception at Gannow Baths, Burnley in the 1990s

Julie's first role was as a lifeguard at the now demolished William Thompson Recreation Centre in Burnley.

"It was 1988 and I was 23 and had my bronze medallion in life saving.

"I went for the interview and they asked me there and then when I could start.

"Times were very different then."

Julie was just 23 when she started working as a lifeguard at Burnley's Thompson Centre

Julie was just 23 when she started working as a lifeguard at Burnley's Thompson Centre

Julie was following in the footsteps of her mum Carol Stinton, who was also a lifeguard and was the first member of staff to greet the Mayor when Padiham Baths, now Padiham Leisure Centre, opened in 1969.

In all her years as a lifeguard Julie was never called on to save anyone's life and the only incident she can recall is having to help a woman out of the water when she got into difficulty.

In 1991 Julie went to work at the former Gannow Baths, but this time she decided to take on the role of receptionist.

Julie, who is now 53, said: "I loved it there. It was a really good little community and the baths were very popular.

"It was a sad day for me when it closed and I asked to be the final one to leave and lock the doors before it closed for good."

From there Julie went to work at Padiham Leisure Centre and as she also works at Padiham's Mamma Mia restaurant many customers joke with her that the never know whether to ask for a pizza or a swim!

Julie admits she loves both her jobs and certainly has no plans to step down yet.

As a gesture of thanks from colleagues Assistant Manager Scott Bryce surprised her with a bouquet of flowers.

The highlights of 30 years for Julie include meeting her husband, Martin when he came to work at the Thompson Centre.

The couple, who will celebrate their silver wedding next year, have three children, Rachel (22), 20-year-old Helen who is also a part-time lifeguard, and Richard who is 17.

A true Padihammer, Julie is involved with several organisations in the town including the Friends of Memorial Park and the Friends of Gawthorpe. Julie and her mum are also long standing members of the Burnley Mayoress's committee.