Mar 1 2006 Paisley Daily Express
THE number is up for players at County Bingo in Paisley after bosses revealed the historic club is to close its doors for the final time this weekend.
Gala Bingo have decided to call time on the High Street club because they believe it has become outdated.
The final ‘eyes down’ will take place at County Bingo on Sunday and the landmark building – which was once home to the popular Regal Cinema – will then face an uncertain future.
Yesterday, bingo enthusiasts expressed their disappointment at the demise of the County club.
Paisley woman Margaret Wilson said: “I first went along to the County Bingo around 20 years ago and, more recently, my daughter has been going there.
“The trend these days is for big, glitzy bingo halls like the one at the Phoenix retail park on the outskirts of Paisley but the County Bingo has always had a friendly feel to it and I’ll be sorry to see it go.
“It’s the only bingo hall in Paisley town centre and not everyone wants to travel miles to play the game somewhere else.”
The historic High Street building is believed to date back more than 70 years and generations of Buddies went there to watch movies during its heyday as the Regal Cinema.
Excited children would queue outside the cinema on Saturday mornings to join the ABC Minors club for the latest cowboy flick.
The cinema closed some 25 years ago and was then transformed into a bingo hall.
However, it is believed that numbers have dwindled in recent times and now a ‘For Sale’ sign has been placed on the building.
A spokeswoman for Gala, which also owns the giant bingo club at Phoenix retail park, told the Paisley Daily Express: “We have found that people would prefer to go along to modern clubs which have modern facilities.
“With older clubs, there are also issues in terms of our ability to comply with various regulations such as access for disabled people.
“The County Bingo club will close on Sunday, March 5, and the building has now been put up for sale. Our search for a buyer is at an early stage.”
The spokeswoman added that staff at County Bingo have been offered alternative employment elsewhere within the Gala group, although it is understood some have opted for voluntary redundancy instead.
Meanwhile, Paisley historians are demanding that the building’s facade be retained by whoever snaps up the property.
Ellen Farmer, president of the Old Paisley Society, said: “This building is part of the town’s history and I would be very disappointed if it was bulldozed to make way for something new.
“It is in a prime location in Paisley town centre and I would imagine property developers will be interested but I hope that whoever buys the building will be sympathetic to its past.”