A SWIMMING teacher who admits she got involved in the leisure pursuit by a stroke of luck has retired after 22 years at Ramsbottom Pool.

Pauline Stanbridge, aged 69, has been responsible for teaching generations of families in the borough and making them feel at ease in the water.

Mrs Stanbridge, who lives in Brandlesholme, hung up her swimming costume to dry for the last time after working as a teacher in Ramsbottom and also at Radcliffe Pool and Castle Leisure Centre.

She said it was only by chance that she took her first steps into swimming coaching.

She said: “I used to go swimming with another girl, and she wanted to do her teaching qualifications with someone, so that is how I got into it.

“I think I have done my time now, and it is time to let someone younger take over.”

Mrs Stanbridge, who has been married to husband Michael for 47 years and has four grown-up daughters, previously worked in accounts for Fire Extinguisher Rental at their former site in Brandlesholme Road.

She said it had been rewarding to see the progression the youngsters make as they take their first splash.

She said: “I taught children under the age of five and you see them looking frightened the first time they come in, and after a few weeks you see how confident they are in the water.”

Mrs Stanbridge, who is a well-known member of the community after serving for 25 years with Ramsbottom Guides, said her fundamental teaching techniques had not changed since she started.

She said: “Maybe I am a bit old fashioned, but not much has changed over the years. The certificates and the qualifications may have changed, but the way I teach hasn’t.”

Mrs Stanbridge has no plans to put her feet up, however, as she is already taking part in activities with the University of the Third Age, including bridge, walking — and learning the drums.