The days of the hand-drawn advert in the local press are long gone. It is very rare these days that we see any advert that hasn’t been digitally enhanced, although prior to 1980 they were very common. This page has been put together to celebrate the original bingo adverts as they appeared in the local press.
The cuttings below were sent to us from personal collections by enthusiasts with a generous spirit who wanted to share what they have collected over the years. If you any cuttings of bingo adverts that you’d like to send us then please Contact Us.
Press Clippings Of Bingo Adverts In The Press
Ask anyone under thirty what they know about Top Rank, and you will be greeted with a bemused stare. Ask anyone older and they will probably remember that Rank used to have a hand in many forms of entertainment, including film, night clubs, and bingo.
The advert above ties the two enterprises together, the glamour of the ‘James Bond’ style character, is somehow linked to working in a bingo hall (remember this was from the days when advertising was a lot less sophisticated) In fact, if you look closely at the ‘bus boy’ in the advert with a tray of drinks, one of them looks like a Martini glass – I can’t say that I’ve been to every bingo hall, but I’ve never seen a martini served in those I have played in!
Top Rank had their own magazine, and this one from 1965 was published at a time when bingo was first taking off properly in the UK. At the time The Rank Organisation were busy buying up cinemas that had been suffering declining attendance due to the growing popularity of television. The mention of four clubs opening in one month truly denotes bingo at its heyday. Four of the clubs opened in former ballrooms which were also suffering from the effects of television, and variety shows had all but died off decades ago. The boom would last approximately another ten years before it levelled out and then gradually went into a gradual decline.
Another page in the magazine shows what would have been described at the time as a ‘dolly-bird’ who visited the Peckham club to present a winners cheque. Known as Miss Bazooka, her real name was Gloria Sheehan who was the Festival Queen of Camberwell. Another page shows timetables for many of their clubs, several of which were open all afternoons and evenings – halcyon days for bingo!