This is perhaps more of a mystery than a history as we don’t really know much about about the Bingo Special. The image below is from a postcard that was kindly provided to us by Martin Tapsell who has a wealth of bingo memorabilia. The card was sold by English Heritage in Walmer castle, and shows a special train taking people to play bingo in Brighton in 1962.
Despite our lack of knowledge on this area of the subject this is a great bit of history. It may have been the Top Rank Bingo Special – BR Brush A1A-A1A D5593 (later class 31) train that started out from Liverpool Street. At the time Brighton was still a very popular getaway for Londoners, rail fares were cheap, and cheap mass air travel had not yet arrived.
This must have been a great excursion and the year 1962 pre-dates the explosion of bingo hall openings in the mid sixties. Many of the converted grand cinemas were yet to open, so this would have been a rare opportunity to play bingo. As you can see from the photo it also pre-dated any smoking laws as well.
We are grateful to Martin for the opportunity to publish this great photograph, but, we would really love to know more about the Bingo Special. If you have any information that you’d like to share with us please contact us. Thank you.