Wyn’s Apollo was ahead of its time

Wyn McWillliam at work at  the Apollo Health Centre
Wyn McWillliam at work at the Apollo Health Centre
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The co-founder of a pioneering Preston gym has died at the age of 87.

In the early 1970s Wyn McWilliam opened The Apollo Health Centre on Deepdale Road with her husband Bob.

Her son Ross said: “This was a super gym ahead of its time as it not only catered for exercise classes and weight training, but it was the first to bring in a myriad of beauty and health treatments which included body wraps, slendertones, tanning beds and facials.

“Beyond the treatments though was a large and loyal membership which spawned great friendships, marriages and births. In essence it was the hub of the local community until its closure in 1999.”

He continued: “Mum was an icon of her time in terms of health and fitness. She even ran many courses on yoga and wellbeing which were ahead of the times. She was a gentle soul who cared passionately for her husband, family and friends and will be dearly missed.”

The centre even entered a float in the Guild torchlight procession of 1972. Ross added: “A part of her legacy was to give the gift of health and friendship to the many friends she made at the Apollo. She had a wonderful life which she shared with her husband Bob, her four children and four grandchildren.”

Two of her children, Andrew and Tracey, worked at the Apollo too. After the popular centre closed Wyn and Bob went on to help set up the Apollo Beauty Salon in Ashton which Tracey still runs. Wyn died after a long battle with dementia on May 23. The funeral is on Thursday June 1 at St Gregory’s Roman Catholic church on Blackpool Road at 1pm.

•Wyn is pictured at work at the Apollo and with husband Bob.