The new owner of Haworth’s Prize Bingo has spoken of the difficulties in keeping the iconic “one win” Blackpool hall going, but noted “we’re still here and we’re still doing it.”
The new owner of the iconic Haworth’s Prize Bingo – which has entertained Blackpool bingo fans since the 1960s – has hailed running the historic Dale Street venue as “a wonderful challenge.”
Despite acknowledging the difficulty in maintaining the site’s famous “one win” prize model, James Masson told Lancashire Live that the “unbelievable” value is key to the venue’s ongoing success.
“Although it’s getting harder we’re still here and we’re still doing it as we have been doing for years and I think that’s the fascination with it,” Masson told Lancashire Live.
“Literally people come in and say how much are the prizes and I say everything is one win and they look at something and say ‘well how much is that’ and I say ‘one win!’ and they just can’t believe it.”
Though a number of bingo halls across the country offer one win prizes such as a tube of bubbles or a keyring, Haworth’s is renowned for the range and breadth of its prizes – with toys, bedding, picture frames, lamps, hair straighteners and homewares displayed all around the venue’s walls.
“Not everything we have is to my taste but it’s not about me. Anything with a bit of bling on it sells really well.”
“We also have very practical items such as laundry detergent, tea bags and toilet rolls that people really love and appreciate.”
Haworth’s is also renowned for its 1970s bingo machine, one of the last in the country to use real balls with each number selected by a blast of air, which was installed by the attraction’s late founder Alan Haworth.
A much-loved local personality, Haworth is widely considered to be responsible for the longevity of the seafront bingo hall, however Masson – who first met Howarth during his tenure as ringmaster at Blackpool Tower Circus – reopened the bingo in May this year in order to keep the famous attraction alive.
“It’s a wonderful challenge, before when I was performing at the circus I was in the circus ring 11 meters in front of 1,350 people three times a day, and now my stage is two foot square and I’m in front of 70 people,” said Masson. “But it’s just as exciting, it really is, every day.”