Published Friday, 08 March 2013
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The complex will close its doors for the last time at the weekend and swimmers will soon use a new super-sized leisure centre just a few doors down.
Castle Leisure Centre officially opened in 1970 and was designed by Hugo Simpson. It was seen as state of the art and a very family friendly centre, which was the first in Ireland to have four pools.
It was built to allow swimmers to exercise year round, because beforehand they used an outdoor pool in the town.
"It stood the time well and it seems a shame to knock something this size down but that's for the future, and I'm also looking forward to getting in the new pool," said Mr Simpson.
"I hope they have as much success and as little bother as I have had with this one."
The new Aurora building is several times larger than Castle Leisure Centre and it features an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a bigger diving pool and slides, as well as more room for sports courts and outdoor pitches.
David Wilson has his own memories of the centre that is being replaced.
"You were not seeing a building hidden by interior design, you were seeing the structure and it was all bright, and really as a small child it was inspiring," he explained, having gone on to become an architect.
"I met my wife here, I had my first job here, we had a lot of fun, and I swam a lot here. It's a great building, I will be sad to see it go."
Centre manager Stevie Conn has mixed emotions about the closing of the Castle Leisure Centre.
He began working there as a teenager, and has spent 25 years of his career at the centre, which he said was once the centre of life in Bangor.
"The building itself will be missed. It was a big hub of the North Down community but we're looking forward to Aurora. We've something really special around the corner," he added.
"I think some of the staff will be pretty sentimental about it. There's a lot of staff here have worked here for 25-30 years, so it's been a big part of their lives and it holds a lot of memories for me, so we will certainly miss it when it's not here."
The last swim at Castle Leisure Centre is on Sunday, and staff believe they will see many locals turn out for their final visit.