The huge bingo chain Buzz have announced that they are closing another of their venues this week, this time one down in Bristol.
It seems to be a strategic decision with other factors at play, but it will be a loss to the Bristolian bingo fans who have played there over the years nonetheless.
There is another Buzz in Bristol, amusingly named Buzz Fishponds, but it is on the other side of town so will be a bit of a trek for older players without their own transport especially.
The next closest venue is in Weston Super Mare, but at a 40 minute drive that won’t be a realistic option for many.
For any regular customers or those just interested in the news, the finer details are below.
When is the Hengrove Park Buzz Bingo in Bristol Closing?
It’s all pretty immediate, with just a few weeks of bingo on the calendar left to play until the final balls are called.
The club have announced that their very last bingo session will run on January 28th, 2024, after which the doors will close for the final time.
That means anyone wanting to say goodbye to the place has just 3 weeks left to do it.
On the club’s Facebook page, a club announcement said:
“It’s with a heavy heart we announce the closure of Buzz Bingo Bristol Hengrove on Sunday 28th January. We’re really sad to bring you this news as we know this will be a difficult time for our community and our colleagues. We’d like to thank you for all your support – we’re going to miss you SO much but this isn’t the end for our amazing community. Our friends at Buzz Bingo Bristol Fishponds and Weston-super-Mare would love to welcome you”
There is not much hope of it reopening either, as part of the reason for the closure seems to be development of the retail park it is part of.
The retail park isn’t doing so well, with the Cineworld that was situated next door to the bingo hall closing late last year.
Plus, developers have planning permission to build 350 houses on the site, so it looks like building developers and town planners are behind this one.
A Huge Loss to the Community
Hundreds of people have commented on the closure on social media, with old faces and new offering their condolences to staff, and talking about happy memories of the club.
One of the original team who started when the venue first opened is even going to travel across the country to say goodbye to the place before it closes.
Other well wishers have pointed out that the closure will be good news for the other bingo clubs in the area as they will now get busier, although these are not Buzz clubs.
Most importantly though, many mentioned what a loss it will be to the community, with one commentator putting it rather well:
“I’m very genuinely sad for those who will need to find new jobs and those who’ve made the club their safe space and their escape. I wish all the current staff and regular customers nothing but the very best for the future.”
Another wrote a very brief post that shows how important a bingo hall can become for some people:
“Sad to hear this but you lovely people. I will remember how you cared for my mum. x”
When bingo halls close it is a business decision, but the impact it has on the real people who feel safe and happy there is so much more than financial.
All of this just shows you how much a bingo hall can mean to the people that play and work there; it’s so much more than just a building.