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Barrow Bingo Hall becomes a Rare Antique

  • 06 Jul 13
  • Written by Deena Chance

altA former bingo hall in the Cumbrian town of Barrow is due to be given a new lease of life as an antiques shop. It’s quite a fitting tribute to a premises that was once frequented by many a bingo fan, and the iconic building is due to open its new (or should that be old?) doors on Sunday, 30th June 2013. The building is located at The Pavilion on Roose Road in Barrow, and has a long history of attracting the local community. Originally, it was home to the Pavilion Picture House, which sadly closed in late 1959 after a drop in visitors, who were more eager to stay indoors and take advantage of TV. In later years, it became the town’s bingo hall, but even that had to close its doors last year when its owners decided the business was “no longer viable.”

The ex-bingo club has now been re-christened “Rich Pickings,” and the shop will sell antiques, vintage goods, art, and crafts three days a week, as well as running a special collectors’ fair on the last Sunday of every month. The new business’ operations manager, Lesley Burton-Hughes, says the venue is an ideal home for an antiques shop. She says that many of the locals have “fond memories of the Pavilion” (or ‘Pav’ as it’s known in Barrow), and hopes they will be “delighted to see the building being occupied again.”

The building has some fascinating, original 1930s features, which the new owners hope will reflect the historical nature of the products they sell. Further down the line, Mrs. Burton-Hughes believes the building could be expanded into an auction house. She says she was initially attracted to the property because of its local importance in the community, where it was always well-known as a place that “brought people together” and kept them entertained, whether it be with the latest Hollywood movie or to give them a chance to win a Full House at bingo. It also boasts “a majestic feel” and offers plenty of space for all sorts of antiques and collectables.

It looks as though the new Barrow antiques shop is already set for success, as people are already making bookings for the antiques fair in August, and the shop isn’t even open yet. The owners are very much looking forward to launch day, where they’ll be encouraging people to come and have a browse, and enjoy a glass of Buck’s Fizz on the (full) house.

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