A woman who has worked at Belper Leisure Centre for 32 years clocked out for the final time last week, with colleagues throwing a retirement party to wish her well.
Sue May, 65, began working as a pool attendant in 1985, before going on to become a swimming teacher in 1989.
In 2003, shewas promoted to swimming development officer, and then in 2008 became took over the front desk as a receptionist.
Centre manager Neil Malenoir said: “Sue is one of the most honest and hard-working people that I have ever worked with.
“She has always been willing to help others and has given her time and experience to innumerable projects.”
Family, friends and staff gathered at the centre on Thursday, March 23, to enjoy wine, cake and memories as Sue rolled back the years.
She said: “I started here when I was 33, but it feels like a lifetime. There have been so many changes and life events both at home and at work.
“I’ve had so many different roles that have kept things interesting. I think the café must be the only part of the business I haven’t tried my hand at.”
Sue, who lives with husband Dave on Millersdale Close, Belper, decided to retire now to spend more time with her family.
She said: “I could have gone on a few more years, but one daughter is down in London with her children so now we can see more of them.
“Our other daughter is a nurse and it’s always tricky to work around her shifts. I’m planning on lots more walks with family and friends, and maybe a few more holidays.”
Looking back over her career, Sue’s proudest moments include training generations of lifeguards and people learning to swim later in life.
She said: “The sense of achievement I’ve seen in other people will stay with me.
“I’ll miss the customers and colleagues. The rapport you build over so many years is very special.”
She added: “It was touching to see so many old faces at the party, I was so surprised. Thank you to everyone who contributed.”
Sue will still be helping out around the centre as a casual member of staff, but hopes to spend most of her visits on the tennis courts.