OldCiren - Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Looking back through the old Standards recently, I noticed that while sporting events such as Football and at one time; Water polo have always been popular in Ciren. Other forms of competition have also held popular interest: Competitions such as "Fattest Bacon Pig (1935) , “best hat” competitions at the ABC Regal in the 1960’s to the more esoteric “Pipe Smoking” competitions that continued through to the 1970’s. While many competitions had cash prizes (and silver cups) I don't think there was much betting done, other than on racing and other sports fixtures. If it can be called betting, Bingo is one exception, and although arguably now past its high point from the 1980’s; remains the game of chance for many people. In the 1970’s I can remember my Mother my Aunts, piling into my Father's Ford Zephyr 6 car and driving to Bingo.This would happen at least once or twice a week, and they would travel as far away to play as Cheltenham or Swindon. The Regal in Ciren opened its doors to Bingo players in the 1970’s and operated for a time as a hybrid venue with films shown in one part and Bingo in the main downstairs area. Eventually the films stopped and the Regal continued until it’s closure with just Bingo. My Mother used to win quite often at the Regal Bingo in Ciren. Not particularly large amounts of money, but prizes such as a toaster that she won one evening and a non-stick frying pan another time. The Regal Bingo had a “Snowball” each week - a cumalattive game that was linked by telephone connection to other halls around the Country. The prize money increased each week on a jackpot part of the game, the winning of which was an exciting event for the those present in the Regal, but was also reported in the Standard for wider audience.