One of our saddest set of photographs. The club closed in 2011 and remains empty to this day, awaiting demolition to become for a new Tesco. It was open when Michael Hess shot the photos for the original book and as such is the perfect example of the damage done to the game in the last five years. The club is like a bingo Marie Celeste, with the pen and microphone resting, ready for action on the caller’s console.
Strand Bingo in Mansfield is located in a old cinema/theatre, although unfortunately we do not as yet know its history or name. From the exterior shot we can guess that it was probably built around the late nineteen twenties when ‘fins’ were in vogue with cinema architects as part of the Art Deco design, although the exterior brickwork is not a grand as some of the more ornate facias that clad some of the more ornate venues. The interior remains relatively intact, even the stage appears to have been untouched, although obviously the original lighting appears to have been replaced with strip lighting. In fact although the digital boards are on the stage, the console isn’t which is not a common layout for a bingo conversion, usually all the action is centred on the stage.
Photographs copyright Michael Hess April 2013. They cannot be reproduced without the permission of PlayingBingo.co.uk.