Bingo Central To Swindon Club’s Survival Hopes
A few decades ago it would have seemed that bingo was the antithesis to the goings on in a working man’s club. The men could escape to the club for a few pints with their friends and catch a musical act or a comedian while the women-folk would go to the bingo. There would occasionally be nights when the working men’s club was open for everyone but by and large, it was a place for them to escape to and bingo was definitely not on the agenda for most players. Times have changed though and it seems as though bingo now plays a key role in keeping these clubs alive.
Bingo brings punters along
The Ferndale Working Men’s Club, which has been in operation for over 100 years is facing an uncertain financial future. The club is looking into possibly having to sell off function rooms and the attached house in order to survive. There have been a number of events in recent times to raise awareness of the plight of the club and to raise money but obviously more is needed. The fact that over 100 people turned up for a bingo and curry session on Wednesday night indicates there is a desire to keep the club open but there will need to be more of these activities if the club is to stay alive. The club has had spiralling debts for a lengthy period of time and thinks look to be getting away from the organisers.
Martin Gleed, one of the trustees of the club, said after the bingo session on Wednesday night; “Every club in the country is going through difficult times, which is down to the economic climate and the fact that families are struggling and having to cut back. However we have enough loyal members to fight to keep the club going. It’s been here 108 years and some members have been coming here all their lives. I had my 21st birthday here and I’m looking to have my 65th birthday here as well. If every member spent £10 a week in the club it would not only survive, it would be one of the richest inSwindon”
Said like that it doesn’t seem to be asking a lot to keep the club open but in the current economic climate, £10 a week is a lot of money to be asking from people and it is easy to see why many members are struggling to come along to the club as often as they would like. Nights like the curry and bingo evening could help in the long run.