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More Of Sarah Ainslie’s Bingo Portraits

December 20, 2016
by the gentle author

Ever since the bingo hall in the Hackney Rd was closed and sold by Mecca for redevelopment into luxury flats last year, a chartered bus has been departing most nights of the week to ferry the bingo stalwarts of Bethnal Green over to Camden Town. Contributing Photographer Sarah Ainslie & I loved our first trip to the bingo in such lively company so much that we could not resist going back again to meet more devotees of this compelling passtime and take their portraits.

Joyce Furness – “I’m eighty-seven and my grandaughter encouraged me to start playing bingo ten years ago because otherwise I don’t go out.”

Florence Anderson – “I’m eighty-one and I’ve been playing for sixty years. I used to go four times a week, it keeps your brain ticking over.”

Florence & Joyce – “It was brilliant at the hall in the Hackney Rd”

Patricia Rawlings – “I’m ninety-eight but I first started bingo at seventeen.”

Carmen Clarke – “I started coming to bingo with my mother twenty years ago.”

Pat Marr “I’m ninety-one, I lost my son four years ago. I come here four nights a week because I’m not a stay-at-home-person. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink – what else is there to do?”

Susan Powell – “I’ve been coming to bingo for twenty years. You shouldn’t come here to win but, if you do, that’s a bonus.”

George Durant – “I used to go to the bingo hall in the Essex Rd and Wood Green before they closed, so now I come here.”

Mary Durant – “£300 was the most I ever won!”

George & Mary

Joyce & Florence -“We love our bingo”

Photographs copyright © Sarah Ainslie

You may also like to see the first set of

Sarah Ainslie’s Bingo Portraits

Luxury housing development proposed to replace the bingo hall in the Hackney Rd

7 Responses leave one →
  1. December 20, 2016

    Lovely portraits of the Bingo ladies and gent. My blood boils when I see the photo of that planned building, what an eye-sore, I just hope it will be stopped. Valerie

  2. December 20, 2016

    That ‘luxury’ housing development looks like a prison.

    I used to go to the bingo in Hackney Road with my nan, Ellen Stanley back in the 1980s. It was a good night out.

  3. December 20, 2016

    Lovely portraits! I am so going to play bingo when I’m an old lady.
    Don’t hate me, I think the new flats look lovely

  4. ROBERT GREEN permalink
    December 20, 2016

    Where is the proposed “luxury” housing in the picture ? ? all I can see is four giant milk crates stacked on top of each other.

  5. December 20, 2016

    Another cheery post, thanks!

  6. Carol Dance permalink
    December 21, 2016

    Luxury flat, my eye! Looks like a mouse’s eye view of a rickety pile of pallets!

  7. January 7, 2017

    Oh dear, what a dog this building will be. Stacks of crates are so achingly fashionable at the moment!

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