THE ceiling of a gym collapsed while the owners tried to re-decorate during lockdown.

Symon Hughes and Jonathan Swinn were in their gym The Fitness Bank when Mr Swinn was taking off the plastering on the ceiling, but the ceiling collapsed moments later.

The duo had taken the lockdown an opportunity to refurbish Girls On Top, the upstairs gym, in Oswaldtwistle.

Mr Swinn from Oswaldtwistle but now living in Manchester, had just finished before heading to the toilet and he was still there when he heard a massive thud and, on his return, found the entire ceiling had crashed in.

Lucky to not be injured, the 55-year-old said: “Luckily, I had just gone to the toilet when I heard a crash and came back to see the machines all covered in black dust.

“It wasn’t even a little bit, it was everywhere because the whole ceiling came down.

“If I had not gone when I did, I would have been under it somewhere.”

The building of the gym is at least 150 years old and the disturbance and vibration of the work was a factor.

They had planned to re-plaster and paint the walls before re-opening later this month.

Mr Swinn said: “When we took it all off we didn’t know the plastering had been supporting the ceiling.

“We got rid of the rubble and got workmen in to fit us an entire new ceiling and are now changing the electrics, which was also brought down in the crash.”

Mr Hughes had been on the second floor of the gym and despite hearing a crash, had thought it was thunder until Mr Swinn went to inform him.

The duo were then left to pick up the mess the ceiling had caused, by steam cleaning every machine on the floor.

The Fitness Bank plan on getting the gym reopen in time for July 25 when all gyms are allowed to reopen following the pandemic.

Mr Swinn said: “We could usually only do work on the gym at night so now we have finally been able to do things.

“We have a strong membership and have been established long enough to not be worried about the lockdown.

“We have had half of our members still pay their memberships because they want to, so we are working on something to repay them for their kindness.”

The Fitness Bank are gearing up to operate on a booking system to allow a limited amount of people into the gym at any one time and will allocate an hour per person.