A historic building in Stamford, Lincolnshire is due to provide a much-needed home for local bingo nights. Following the closure of The Cummins Social Club in Wharf Road, regulars have been concerned about the future of the club’s events but luckily, one of the town’s theatres has stepped forward to offer assistance.
The Theatre Lounge Bar is based at Stamford Corn Exchange, and has agreed to play host to bingo nights from 25th March 2013. Sessions were previously held twice-weekly on Mondays and Thursdays at Cummins Social Club, but the company who owns the clubhouse (Cummins Generator Technologies) decided back in November 2012 to withdraw their support in an effort to save money. The Club’s committee have been hard at work ever since, desperately trying to source substitute venues at which to hold the various meetings and events that were formerly run by locals clubs and organisations at the clubhouse.
Judith Mackie is the manager of Stamford Corn Exchange, and admits that the Theatre Lounge was being under-utilised, “especially at the start of the week.” Therefore, they’ve agreed that not only can the Cummins’ bingo players use their lounge space, but also some of the other groups that used the social clubs for meetings. Ms. Mackie added that as the premises has a lift, access for visitors is “really easy,” and that the Theatre is really pleased to be helping the community as there are not many places for local bingo-lovers to go. Other groups who have been left homeless by the closure of The Cummins Social Club have leapt to accept the offer of a new event space for their members. So far, these include the interestingly-named Stamford Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, and a community knitting group, although others are expected to quickly follow suit.
The secretary of Cummins Social Club, Tim Wade, said that whilst it’s sad the club will close its doors on 23rd March 2013 regardless; their new home at the Corn Exchange is great news for their bingo players who will be able to continue enjoying their favourite hobby. Mr. Wade also says it’s often one of the only opportunities the players get to socialise and meet their friends, and is therefore vital to the community.
Are your local bingo nights under threat? Do you think communities should pull together more to ensure there is a protected (or subsidised) home for events like these?