Standing in the bingo queue Linda Martin waited until Maybeth Johnston served a woman in front of her before asking for her main books. Sheila Bryson her friend returned from the toilet; the cold air always made her kidneys work overtime.
It was mid October 1972 the trees had all but shed their leaves and the ground was wet where it had rained earlier. Wednesday night was bingo night for the two women who were now in their early fifties.
“Will you be wanting the early tickets Sheila asked Maybeth?’
“Yes, please and we will have two of the specials as well.’
“What about the late tickets?’
“No thank you Maybeth; said Linda as she reached into her green coloured carrier bag that her friend had brought back from Ireland for her purse. She paid for the tickets and then picked up the bag that had leprechauns on the front and four leaved clovers.’ “Are we going to have a go on the bandits asked Sheila, who sported a sixties short styled hair cut. Sheila had recently just come back from Majorca. Her skin had a golden look about it and you could hardly notice the scar down from her trachea where she had been operated on for cancer.
Linda had blonde hair and blue eyes and spoke with a very quiet voice. So quiet at times you had to stain to hear what she was saying. “What time is it Sheila?’
Its ten past six.’
“Well if we are going to get something to eat I suggest that we make our way into the hall.
“Evening ladies said Chris and Don who were giving out change to the people playing on the bandits.
“Hi, said both women as they passed the arcade and opened the door to the bingo hall.
Sitting at the tables was Sonia and her partner Steve.’
“Hi you too said Sheila as they asked if they had had any luck.’
“All bloody bad said Sonia the large breasted woman with short white hair and spectacles. Sonia had been in the army serving over in Northern Ireland in her younger years before becoming a prison warden in HMS Durham Prison. Steve who spoke with a guttural voice because of deafness in his left ear had tight curly hair brushed on the side with a parting. He was a landscape gardener for a South Tyneside hotel. Steve didn’t like the people he worked for but it was a job he only had two more years to work and he would retire.