As Joni Mitchell sang in her 1970 hit song, Big Yellow Taxi, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”, and this lyric may well ring true for bingo players who live in Hull. On Sunday, 26th February 2023, many of them took the final opportunity to visit their favourite bingo hall for the last time.
Mecca Hull Cecil is now permanently closed
Back in January, we brought you the sad news that the owner of Mecca Bingo Cecil had decided to close the bingo hall due to ongoing struggles with costs and admissions.
The club, which is on Hull’s Anlaby Road, is one of several Mecca Bingo clubs that has been earmarked for closure in recent weeks, but at least the customers that patronised the bingo hall were determined to help it go out with a bang.
Members of the local media headed down to the club on its final night to interview some of its regulars to find out what they made of the loss of their beloved bingo hall.
Queues for entry lasted over an hour
Kat Taylor and Michelle Lines are two friends who were determined to see the last full house called at Mecca Hull Cecil, and they say that they joined the queue to get into the club over 60 minutes before it opened. They say that players end up making friends with everyone as “the same people come” and “everyone feels like family”. The duo attended bingo at the venue every week and say that they’re “really sad” about the closure.
Another couple, Jeff and Sue Pollard, had been coming to the club every Sunday. Another regular who was determined to visit the bingo hall for one last time, Diana Backstrom, was lucky enough to win £50,000 while playing there last year and says that she’s been playing bingo there since the 1990s.
Once inside, customers were treated to glasses of bubbly and live music to ensure that a great night was had by all.
The queues were reminiscent of the venue’s cinema roots
Mecca Cecil Hull takes its name from The Cecil cinema, which occupied the building back in 1955. The pictures of the queues that looped around the venue on its final night very much resemble the queues that would have originally formed as movie fans queue to get their tickets back in the 50s.