Wigton gym owner hangs up trainers for hiking boots
Last updated at 16:54, Friday, 01 April 2011
After 22 years at the helm of a Wigton gym, Brian Reay is hanging up his trainers in favour of hiking boots in his bid to become a tourist guide.
The 59-year-old will close the doors on the Water Street Gym at the end of this month .
It will spell the end of an era for around 300 people who feel the burn at the popular gym.
But Brian won’t be retiring just yet – he will be sitting a series of tough exams next week in a bid to qualify as a Blue Badge guide for Cumbria.
“Age has prompted the change,” he said. “I just felt that I wanted to try something else in my life before I got too old.”
Brian, who also owned the former McMechan’s newsagent which is now owned by Mills, launched the gym in 1989 with business partner, the late Phil Knight.
The pair took over the lease at the former mill owned by the Wigton Masons, creating a fully equipped gym to complement its squash courts.
They also launched fitness classes.
“Over time the classes became hugely popular and the gym overtook the squash courts,” said Brian, who trained as a fitness instructor in London and was heavily involved in Wigton RFU for many years.
But over the past year, Brian has been swotting up on Cumbria’s history through the guide course run in partnership with Cumbria Tourism.
“I’m not retiring by any means. The Blue Badge is the ultimate in guiding.”
Brian will be self-employed if he passes the stringent exams to become a guide and hopes to take tourists around Cumbria’s towns and fells.
“My passion has been fell walking for a few years now,” he added. “The course has been spot-on and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”
It is not clear what the future holds for the premises, but it could be used by community groups.
However, the town won’t be losing out in the gym stakes as local duo Steve Pearson and Gary Thwaite prepare to create a new purpose built facility on Miller Park, Station Road, to be called G&S Fitness. Under the plans, the pair will install a mezzanine floor into a unit on the industrial estate formerly used by a kitchen and bathroom company.
Mr Pearson, a local farmer, said: “We’ve started work and are hoping to be open in about four weeks. My daughter is training to be a fitness instructor and with Brian going we thought it was an ideal opportunity.
“It has always been Gary’s dream to run a gym, he is a fitness fanatic.”
The scheme was given planning approval by Allerdale council earlier this year.
First published at 14:10, Friday, 01 April 2011
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
- Wigton Theatre Club's News and Events
- OPENING OF THE ASTRO-TURF AT WIGTON RUGBY CLUB
- Swimming pool opening times
- Carlisle United boss Abbott puts referee on the spot
- Flooding chaos in Cumbria (1 comment)
- Treasurer admits stealing £21,700 from Cumbrian pre-school nursery
- Wigton Hospital Summer Fayre 2011
- Pupils hit the road with drama
- 600 players, 48 games and 105 goals – Cumbria’s super soccer youngsters light up Brunton Park
- Videos of the Cumbria floods
- Videos of the Cumbria floods
- Cumbrian garage owner selling up due to supermarket competition (10 comments)
- Cumbria's nude art calendar 'girls' raised £15,000 for charity
- Downpours cause flash flooding across Carlisle
- Teens host Wigton’s first rock festival for young people
- Station Rd becomes a river as Wigton floods
- Wigton gym owner hangs up trainers for hiking boots
- Wigton’s carnival will go ahead, pledges deputy mayor
- Carlisle Midnight Walk: Those taking part
- School term times