It's been a Maitland institution for generations and now the Hit N Dip Sports Centre has closed its doors for the final time.
The late Bob Geoghegan, a former Maitland City Councillor who died in October 2019 had owned the Green Hills centre for more than 40 years.
The indoor centre's competitive squash courts - where one woman has been playing since 1977 - its gymnasium with boxing trainer Bob McLaughlin, sauna and the popular heated hydrotherapy pool have been a part of the area's fitness landscape for decades.
Sally Beavis who managed the centre with her father for most of her working life said it was his wish for his wife Robyn to sell the centre, as the older building needed a lot of repair.
When one of the centre's customers made an announcement on Newcastle radio last week Hit N Dip was closing, people flooded in to say their goodbyes to Sally and the team.
"A lot of people have a lot of memories and it's nice that they have come in to share," she said.
Mrs Beavis was inundated with well wishes right up until the centre's last day on Thursday, April 1 She gave some of the photographs lining the centre's walls to family members of those pictured as a keepsake.
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When Mr Geoghegan, an A grade squash player bought the centre 45 years ago, he only planned to stay five years Mrs Beavis said.
"At the end of the day it really wasn't work and that's probably why dad kept it for as long as he did," she said.
"He'd come up and see his squashies on a Monday night, just to say hello.
"There were a lot of good times and we have a lot of good memories."
Mrs Beavis paid tribute to their staff including the late Kerry Smith whom she said a lot of people thought owned the centre as "that's how much she cared about it".
The loss of the swim centre would be felt keenly around the area Mrs Beavis said, with one family having had three generations of children go through the learn to swim classes.
"The swimming school is so needed, it's such a shame, it's such a good pool," she said.
This year in particular had been the worse she had seen for older children not being able to swim.
"I had 50 kids on the waiting list before I announced we were closing," she said.
"I know there is a big demand for a pool that is bigger."
She said would dearly love to keep the learn to swim going - and the centre itself - but location is an issue.
"It's a great business, in the wrong spot," she said.
The site is expected to be redeveloped by the new owner.
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