One of Britain’s oldest bingo halls is to change ownership as current owners Tommy and Michael Hearn have decided to call it a day, and at the ages of 80 and 81, who can blame them. They opened Crown Bingo Hall in Hudson Street in 1961, not long after the Gaming Act 1960 was passed, which allowed casinos and bingo halls to operate legitimately.
One of the first to open, it has done well to survive this long. They have countered problems with the economic climate, bingo taxation, and the smoking ban, all factors which contributed to the very sad demise of many bingo halls in the UK.
If I was a bingo hall owner, I would definitely be heading up to their club to find out exactly what it is that has kept them in the game for so long. It could be a matter of luck, but, I’m guessing that the fact that it’s a family run business has got something to do with it. It is a factor that does seem to be common in the long running smaller independent clubs across the country.
Here at Playing Bingo we receive comments about clubs on a daily basis, and one of the most common complaints is about about staff rudeness, and conversely, comments on staff friendliness tend to be the highest recommendation that a club can get. Of course we get complaints about prize money, and other issues, but after years of reading bingo player’s club comments it appears that even if the food isn’t great, and the prizes aren’t huge, if the staff are friendly, the players will keep going back.
Bingo isn’t merely about jackpots, it’s a social event, and I’m guessing that the brothers Hearn figured that out a long time ago, hence the longevity of their club. The good news, is that the club will be taken over by Rob Garrard, owner of Beach Bingo in North Shields. He will also be taking over their other hall, Hearns Bingo in Jarrow.
We hope the Hearn brothers enjoy a well earned retirement, and hope that the two clubs continue to thrive under the new management.Original article.