How do you imagine celebrating your 90th birthday, if you’re lucky enough to see it?
Vera Laird was more than a little surprised when instead of playing her regular game of bingo at Redcar Beacon Bingo Club (operated by Virtue Fusion) in North Yorkshire Monday night, she had turned up to her very own birthday party!
The 90 year widow has lived in Redcar for 43 years, having moved there from North Ormesby, Middlesborough with her late husband Richard. It would be another 8 years until Vera caught the bingo bug, when the club first opened in 1979 on Esplanade. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Over the years, it is estimated Vera has played an amazing 140,000 games. How much she has spent or won is not known however!
Vera says of her bingo passion: “I love it here. I am used to coming and it’s the only place I really get out to. I have carers at home, and I don’t get around without a chair, so I look forward to my four nights a week here. The staff are brilliant with me and I enjoy coming, I have a lot of friends here. I play for fun, definitely not for the winnings!”
Because of her 4 games a week habit at the bingo club, she well and truly has become part of the furniture! How bingo is played has moved with the times, but not our Vera. She still likes to use a traditional felt pin and paper bingo strip, as opposed to the electronic boards.
And because of her passion spanning the decades, Vera has become much loved at her local club. Assistant manager Dot Wood, who has worked at the venue for as long as Vera has visited, was so impressed by her bingo record that she decided to throw a party in her honour.
“As soon as we knew it was Vera’s 90th birthday we didn’t hesitate to get something planned for her. It was a great night and I know Vera enjoyed every bit of it.”
After the party, Vera said: “It has been a wonderful evening and I am over the moon to have had my family and friends at Beacon Bingo with me to help celebrate.”
Dot summed up the warmth of feeling for Vera: “She received flowers, cards, and a handmade cake from our customers. It really was a special night for a special lady. The nature of bingo means that people are able to come along for the social aspect as well as the game, and that’s why our customers are such good friends. It is so important that we celebrate people like Vera and it was great to see everyone there to help us do it.”
Happy Birthday Vera from all of us at WDW Bingo!