Bingo Re-openings in the news this week
Bingo players and staff all across the UK celebrated the return of their local bingo halls on Monday 17th May.
Many local and national news outlets were there to capture the mood of the players as they got their dabbers out for the first time in months. Here is a selection of news pieces I've spotted around the web this week covering all the local bingo club reopenings.
It's fair to say, in the local bingo PR war, the majority of this news coverage has been Buzz Bingo clubs!
If you spot any more, let me know.
Buzz Bingo Basingstoke
The Basingstoke Gazette reporter, Catriona Aitken, went down to their local Buzz Bingo to report on the reopening. She even did a series of tweets from the venue:
Buzz Bingo Belle Vue
Manchester Evening News speak to Audrey, 87, at Buzz Bingo Belle Vue, who decorated her face visor with bingo tickets for the special occasion
Mecca Bingo Bolton
Reporters also speak to Michael Travis, manager at Mecca Bingo Bolton, who reopen in this their 60th anniversary year for the company. "It's absolutely fantasic to be back for our local community. It's our 60th year and it's great to get everyone back today. It's been a very tough period for the industry but it's great to get back open. It's amazing to see customers back, staff are happy to be back and it's a great atmosphere today."
Cosmo Bingo Stalybridge
The story finishes with a video tour of Cosmo Bingo Stalybridge:
Palace Bingo Great Yarmouth
The BBC went down to Palace Bingo in Great Yarmouth for opening day, where manager Patrick Duffy was on hand to welcome players back with a glass of bubbly.
Reporters spoke with a number of players, all of whom expressed how happy they were to be back in the bingo hall. "We've missed it so much - our friends, the bingo, everything. I have missed this more than the shops," says Mrs Lusher. "I would rather come here than go shopping."
Jamie Olweny, taking up bingo caller duties on opening day, admitted to forgetting what some of the buttons were when he got on the stand to call the first bingo game since lockdown.
Mecca Bingo Beeston
The Nottingham Post reporters were at Mecca Bingo in Beeston for opening day.
General manager Robert Lee said the club was "absolutely key for the local community." "We've had 120 people in this afternoon which is really good for us. Then we're expecting to reach capacity by six o'clock this evening. Based on the sheer amount of phone calls that we had in the weeks leading up to us reopening we have anticipated being busy, which is great."
One customer said she would not have come out if she had not already been vaccinated.
Bingo reopening on the radio
I found this clip from BBC Essex who spoke to Adam Cunningham, regional director at Buzz Bingo, and Dennis Stammers of Mecca Bingo Southend.
Buzz Bingo Coatbridge
Up in Scotland, The Daily Record went over to Buzz Bingo Coatbridge were customers were welcomed back with free breakfast rolls and hot drinks, with local MSP Fulton MacGregor on hand to cut the reopening ribbon.
Gordon Barr, manager at the club, said "It's been a fantastic day even busier than expected - there were people in the car park an hour before we opened. Being able to reopen is a relief and our customers are delighted to be back; it’s like a second family here for most of them and it’s great that they get to see the staff that they know, spend time with friends and have a great time.”
Buzz Bingo Fenton
In the midlands, The Stoke Sentinel reported on Buzz Bingo Fenton's reopening, with Loose Woman Coleen Nolan stopping by to give some 'verbal training' to staff.
General manager Darren Woodward said, "We really do pride ourselves on being one of the safest businesses - all of our team are fully Covid trained. Our presenters have even had some verbal training from Coleen Nolan which was brilliant. It was a big adjustment as we came out of the first lockdown, but now everything is second nature. I'm always running around with a cloth and sanitiser in my hand and so are the rest of the team. We've got ourselves in a really good routine because we want customers to feel safe."
Buzz Bingo Bradford - ITV News
ITV News were over at Buzz Bingo in Bradford on opening day, with a video feature speaking with customers and staff, including Sue Sherman who has worked there for 20 years and met her husband at the club during that time.
"I was very nervous, apprehensive, but very excited as well because it has been such a long time coming. "It's been a long time for everybody as well as people like myself who have been shielding since last year, so yeah it's a good feeling."
Buzz Bingo Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Evening News had their photographer over to Buzz Bingo Edinburgh to take some snaps of customers enjoying the first bingo games since reopening.
Buzz Bingo Skinnergate
The Northern Echo wrote a piece on various venues reopening, one of which was Buzz Bingo Skinnergate. In the article the reporter chats to a few players, who are happy to be back in the bingo hall.
"I’ve missed it desperately. I couldn’t sleep last night. I usually don’t get up until 9am but I was up at 7.30am. I couldn’t wait to get out. The cat has me at home all of the time so she was wondering where I was going.”
Buzz Bingo Crawley
The Crawley & Horley Observer sent their photographer down to a few venues that we reopening on Monday 17th, one of which was Buzz Bingo Crawley.
Not a big article, but some nice pictures of players and staff back at the bingo club. View the gallery here.
Mecca Bingo Dundee
The Courier sent their reporters to various venues in the area on May 17th, one of which was Mecca Dundee.
Emma Foster, manager in the city centre club, was delighted to welcome back regulars. "I think everyone is generally pretty euphoric today. It’s been an honour to reopen today and welcome in our regulars. During lockdown we did contact a few of our regulars every month, just for a wee blether on the phone and we had a few human interest and community outreach stories, but still it’s been lovely to see people in person.”
Mecca Bingo Hartlepool
Teesside Live did a piece on reopenings in Hartlepool, with Mecca Bingo one of the places picked up in their story.
71 year old Colette Holmes said it "is the best day of the year far. I've been desperate for the hall to reopen because as a woman on my own, it's a lifeline and a great place to socialise."
Mecca Bingo Paisley
STV were down at Mecca Bingo Paisley to do a video piece about the clubs reopening.
General manager Lynne McMillan told STV: “Bingo is more of a social activity than a game. If you talk to the customers in here, 99% would say they come here for the experience, not just the bingo. They were queuing up to get in. They were dancing out their cars. I think they were just happy to get back to a social activity.”