These days, not many things in life can say that they’ve lasted 40 years – but one bingo hall can say it has!
The Mecca Bingo in the Scottish town of Rutherglen, just south of Glasgow, has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary – and in great style!
The bingo hall has been open on its Main Street location since March 21st 1975, and last Friday (20th March) there was a big birthday bash. The night included five guaranteed pay-out games – with a prize of £500, a giveaway of 40 Golden VIP Tickets and an appearance by Glasgow’s singing sensation Christian.
The general manager at Mecca Rutherglen, Lynne McMillan, has worked at the hall for the past 18 years and thought the evening was a perfect way to celebrate the hall’s 40 year history.
She said: “The 40th anniversary celebrations went really well. The staff and customers had lots of fun celebrating this milestone year, and we had a great turnout – including two customers who played on opening night back in 1975!
“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who came along and we are looking forward to many more years to come.”
Before its current incarnation, the hall was the Odeon cinema, and staff member Jean McKenna has been there since it first opened.
TV presenter Anne Aston, famous for her role in 1970s show The Golden Shot, was the guest star at the Mecca’s opening night 40 years ago. Jean recalled: “When we first opened, the club still had the old cinema-style seats, which weren’t at all convenient for playing bingo.
“These have now been replaced with more modern and comfortable seats.
“One of the biggest differences was that when I first started, the caller would select the bingo balls from a cage.
“I can’t remember exactly when this changed, but it’s all done electronically these days.”
Over the last 40 years the bingo hall has helped many local groups and communities – in addition to raising lots of money for charity.
Lynne said: “Being part of the local community is very important to us, and we have worked with many local charities over the past 40 years.
“We have done a skydive and shark dive for Macmillan Cancer Support, donated Christmas gifts to a nursery that was robbed on Christmas Eve, taken part in a cycle around Millport to raise money for Whizz Kids, and done the Kilt Walk – which we will be taking part in again this year.”
Congrats to Rutherglen Mecca Bingo, and here’s to another 40 years!