Retro 1980s footage captures the magic of a bingo session in Herne Bay

Cup of tea, number three; two small ducks, 22; straight ahead, 82. Bingo! A game of bingo was, and remains for some, a key part of a day spent at the arcades.

These photos follow our two previous trips back to this point in Kent’s history; it was perhaps where budding photographer George Wilson felt closest, having been a bingo organizer for two seasons in the early 1980s at the Central Parade arcade.

The bingo area was arguably the biggest part of the arcade in the 80’s and it got very busy during the summer season. Prizes ranged from washing-up powder to boxes of corned beef as contestants sat behind the terminals and many lit their cigarettes.

Read more: Amazing photos show teenagers playing pool in Herne Bay in the 1980s

One of the owners provided the winnings – they ventured out to the local cash-and-carry each week and brought back a selection of groceries that would make up the prizes that week.

There are said to be around 350 bingo halls in the UK today, up from almost 600 in 2005.

The high number of closures has been attributed to a combination of high taxes, the smoking ban and the rise in online gambling, among other factors.

Have you ever played bingo at Cain’s Amusements in Herne Bay? Let us know in the comments!

For some great historical images from the past, check out and see what you can uncover.

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