Today Mecca Dagenham is celebrating its 20th birthday. The venue, which is located on the Cook Road is almost unrecognisable from the hall that was built back in 1996.
Carol Shepherd is a bingo bookseller, and she has been working there since the day the venue opened. Carol shared with us that she found it quite amusing to see how the site changed over the years.
The 51 aged worker’s love for bingo was passed down to her 18-year-old daughter, who also works at Mecca.
Jason McFarlane, who is the show host at the club for approximately 12 years and he stated that he is as enthusiastic now as he was on the first day.
The bingo hall was entirely revamped in 2010 in order to introduce new zones, which will fit various moods. These include a late night entertainment area and a social lounge. However, Jason remembers the traditional layout.
Since the revamp, the venue has been attracting famous faces such as Roy Walkre, who is the game show legend from Catchphrase, as well as Mark Labbett and Shaun Wallace from the Chase.
Surprisingly, bingo has become quite popular with young people in the last few years. Jason shared with us that there is a load of customers aged between 18 and 30. He continued saying that when he started working there, the community thought that bingo was only for the elderly.
The bingo will start at 6.30pm and costs £20. There will be 20 prizes of £100 and 16 of £500. The birthday night will also include cake, party bags and champagne.
After the bingo finishes which will be at 9:30 pm, a DJ will play until 1 pm.