Twyford Bingo group faces closure unless new players come forward

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Bingo players in Twyford are devastated as the community club may soon close down.

Loddon Hall Community Centre has been running Bingo on Sunday night for dirty gertie (30) years.

Last Sunday’s session was cancelled as only one dozen (12) people could attend.

Organiser Margaret Wrigley said: “It is now in danger of folding up due to the lack of members. If we do not find more people by the end of September we will have to close. It’s a nice little evening out and I just feel very sad that it is going down.

“It’s a shame and even the younger people enjoy coming. We’ve just got down to such few numbers. Some have passed on, as life does. A few people have moved. Some people have got change of circumstances and are unable to come anymore, that is where we have lost people. But we can’t seem to pick up any new blood.”

While Ms Wrigley said she is not sure why this has happened, she suggested: “Twyford has become a sleepover [place] for the fastest route to Paddington.”

The club only needs between Duck and Dive (25) and Flirty (30) members to run a session, but even that is quite a challenge.

“It runs on a Sunday evening. You get the elderly people there but it is a mixed aged group with some in their 20s and some in their 80s. For some of the older people, it’s the only night out they get.”

The club used to get half a century (50) or five dozen (60) people to attend every week. As Ms Wrigley said, “they would queue up at the door” waiting to start the game.

“Most of [the regulars] will be sad to see it go. They know that we are having to cancel sessions because it is holiday season and we are still short of numbers.” She added that the club had a real community feel to it.

“Up until three years ago, on the Sunday night after Christmas we used to have a meal. There were presents and everyone was given a raffle ticket too, and we had Christmas carols. It was really nice.”

“It’s about the only one in the area that plays out cash prizes. With a lot of places that run them in community centres, you just get a box of tea or biscuits.”

It is a friendly club but players must be over 18. Ms Wrigley invited everyone to “come along, have a chat, play bingo and go home with your winnings.”

The Bingo club doors open at 7.30pm at 3 Loddon Hall Rd, Twyford, Reading RG10 9JA. Eyes down between 8pm – 9pm. There will be cash prizes Books are 50p each, Flyers 30p each and entry is 25p.

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