Playing Bingo

Photo Gallery 1 - Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff, City Road - Lost Bingo Halls

I did a lot of black and white photography when I was younger, doing all the development side of it myself. During the Christmas of 1991 I had an art project which I based around my place of work, The Top Rank Gaiety in Cardiff. At the time I never bothered developing the photos as the negatives were underexposed. They were thrown into a box and not kept in very great condition.

The whole reel of film should have been shot on a tripod and exposed a lot better. But now, thanks to the joys of technology I'm able to rescue the negatives to make this gallery of shots from the club. The quality of them is pretty poor; I've had to play about with them in Adobe Photoshop™ to improve them, and the negatives were very dusty and blurred to start with. That said, they offer a glimpse in the period the club was open, a few years before it shut down.

By David Lloyd (Feb 2008)

1991 Photoset - Interiors And Players

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

The view from the very back of the hall, from the top of the stairs in the balcony where there was a small stall with room for about 4 people to sit.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

The back of the balcony, the covered up projection booth windows are visible on the wall, and you can just about make out the circle dome in the ceiling of the club.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

This big grill was above the fire exits at the end of the hall, either side of the stage. I believe they were the covers for the speaker system when it was a cinema.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

The set of 3 double doors at the front of the club, looking out onto City Road. To the left in this image was the main entrance and admission desk. To the right was the Prize Bingo store.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

The standalone Prize / Party Bingo rows - as you entered the club these were behind the book sales counter.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

Another view of the Party Bingo standalones, looking down the hall to the stage, bar and buffet.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

Another view of the party bingo, looking to the main foyer, ticket sales desk and the Party Bingo booth. This area was directly below the balcony.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

The caller's desk. This terminal up on the main stage at the front of the hall was used for both the main games and the Party Bingo games.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

Another view of the callers console, with one of the assistant managers calling the numbers. The cupboards behing held all the switching and PA gear.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

This level was directly below the edge of the balcony, on the ground floor. The stairs lead up to the Party Bingo area. This lady was one of the regulars at the club, her name escapes me.

Top Rank Gaiety Cardiff

Another of the regulars sitting down in the main bulk of the hall. This was an afternoon session, which were usually very quiet at the club, hence the number of empty tables.

If you have any photos from this lost hall, be it of its interior, the staff, special events, parties, customers and more; and you'd like to share them here, please contact us to arrange adding them to the site.

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