The images below have kindly been provided by Martin Tapsell from his personal collection. Not only are these programmes a rare find, but they are also a bit of an ‘historical curio’. The dates on the programmes are from the late nineteen forties, whereas bingo in the UK only became legalised in the 1960s (on a commercial basis). However, we doubt that the games were played for big prizes and were probably more of a bit of fun than a chance at grabbing a big jackpot. Also of interest is that the programmes shown are from sea liners that Martin travelled on himself.
Of note are the other items on the programmes, orchestras, news broadcasts, and Holy Mass which all hark back to the golden days of sea travel – no redcoat entertainment or karaoke! For those who could afford it or work their passage this was a great way to see a bit of the world before the advent of cheap air travel, and at a time when the world held more mystery (pre-Instagram days). And, on top of all that, a game of bingo! Athough not bingo related, the final image is an extract from the ship’s log containing weather conditions – and if anyone out there is clever enough to work out exactly where the Queen Mary was on these dates we’d love to hear from you (the clues are on the log).
Programmes Of Bingo Sessions At Sea