‘Two Fat ladies, legs eleven, rugby team, young and keen...’ Although these phrases are popular in Bingo halls you won’t hear them at the Newbridge Town Bingo which celebrates 25 years on October 2 next.
“We don’t use the lingo,” explained Seamus Egan from College Park, who started up the Bingo in Newbridge 25 years ago next month.
“We like it straightforward - people are playing for the money. It is a social gathering and people have made a lot of friends over the years. Everyone sits in the same seats - creatures of habit - there are plenty of seats for beginners but they might be told the one they are on is gone.”
There is also a club lotto played on the night and big winners in the past scooped up to €19,000.
“We have a lotto and the numbers are drawn on the night,” he added. “There is great excitement when the person is there on the night. The women are brillant at Bingo and we have plenty of men too. There are four different Bingos on now on a Tuesday night within a ten to 15 mile radius so that has affected our attendance. About 120 people attend but it was once twice that about ten years ago. A lot of people passed away and young people don’t come as Bingo is classed as an older person’s game. We used to have three buses coming now we have only one. But it is a cheap night out - you go to the pub and you spend money - you go to Bingo and you win money.”
All proceeds made over the years go back into Newbridge Town Football Club to fund its 29 junior teams and three adult teams.
There will be a celebration in style on Tuesday, October 2 at 8.30pm next for the Bingo’s 25th anniversary.
“There is no skill involved - just luck. Years ago we had a ball machine but now it is all digital and members can see the numbers before we can. It is all voluntary run and members pay €10.
“Regulars have seen the club facilities develop over the yeas and they would feel that they have contributed to that,” said club member Jimmy Dowling from Station Road in Newbridge.
“Seamus started Bingo in Newbridge Town. The rest of us had no idea. He’s missed two nights in 25 years because he was in America for the 1994 World Cup.”
There will be a cheese and wine reception on Tuesday, October 2 for all members and Seamus has also promised ‘a few surpises on the night’ not to mention a full house.