More eyes down at bingo club

A social club which faced closure is thriving once again thanks to the dedication of its members.

Monday, 11th June 2018, 3:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 11:33 am
Over 50s Bingo and Social Club at Sevenoaks Community Centre
Over 50s Bingo and Social Club at Sevenoaks Community Centre

Numbers were dwindling at the Over 50s Bingo and Social Club, based at Sevenoaks Community Centre in Anchorsholme.

But husband and wife team Bob and Joyce Denby have turned the fortunes of the club around.

Bob, 76, and Joyce, 74, who ran a shop on Eastpines Drive, had previously managed the club but retired in 2016 after 25 years.

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The couple was asked to return to help improve member numbers – and they’re making a difference already.

Bob said: “We started going to the club 26 years ago when we moved to the area.

“It was a way of meeting people.

“They asked Joyce to help out and we built it up from there.

“When we retired in 2016 there were more than 70 people.

“But in November last year, we got a phone call asking us to come back because numbers had got so low and it was on the verge of closing.

“We didn’t want it to close.”

The couple, who have been married for 56 years, met in Durham when Bob was in the Army.

They moved to Anchorsholme in 1987 and retired from running their Eastpines Drive shop in 1991.

And it’s clear their love for their community and the residents who live there is a driving force behind their determination to keep the club going.

Based in Sevenoaks Community Centre on Hobart Place, the club runs on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1.15pm until 4pm.

And the clue to what activities go on is in the club’s name – bingo and socialising.

Bob added: “It’s mainly bingo but we also organise trips to Southport and Morecambe.

“We like to go into the centre and have a good laugh.

“We walk down to the centre and on the way we see people in their windows, looking out, looking lonely.

“We don’t want people to be lonely – come and join in the fun!

“If you don’t go away having had a laugh, there’s something wrong!”

Bob added: “There is no committee.

“Everybody helps out and we leave it up to the members to decide what they want to do and we find it works tremendously well.

“We are now up to 34 members.

“We’ve got an open door policy. There’s no membership fee, it’s an open club.

“It’s excellent to have use of the centre and we must thank Blackpool Coastal Housing for that.”

New members are welcome to join or pop down to have a go at bingo.

For more information about the club call Bob on (01253) 864721.