Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Marking 1oo Years of Seaside's Dome; but Council 'Snubs' Bingo Boss's Event

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Marking 1oo Years of Seaside's Dome; but Council 'Snubs' Bingo Boss's Event

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson

BINGO boss Ellen Casey yesterday helped stage a celebration of the centenary of a seaside landmark.

The Spanish City Dome and adjoining Empress Theatre in Whitley Bay opened exactly 100 years ago.

An exhibition of vintage Spanish City photographs was unveiled yesterday at the Carlton bingo hall - previously the Empress Theatre and later ballroom.

But Mrs Casey claimed that North Tyneside Council had not played the game in failing to mark the exact anniversary. "We are disappointed that the council has done nothing and that it has been left to other people to celebrate the centenary," she said.

"After 100 years it is surprising that the council has done nothing.

"The Spanish City brought a lot of money into Whitley Bay over the years but people would not know about the 100th anniversary if we weren't doing something."

The exhibition has been organised by Whitley Bay Culture Quarter, which supports events and activities in the town, Empress Arts Partnership, Carlton Bingo and Northumberland architects Spence and Dower, who have been involved in restoration work on the listed dome.

Carlton Bingo also marked the centenary yesterday by admitting customers for 100 pennies and selling bingo books for 100 pennies - a saving of pounds 6. This month Carlton is also staging 100 games at no less than pounds 100 for a full house, and on Saturday is including a cabaret party night.

Mrs Casey said that North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley had been invited but had not replied.

A spokesperson for North Tyneside Council said: "As a council we will be delivering the best possible celebration of the Dome's centenary by ensuring that this iconic building is once again structurally sound and able to be enjoyed by the community over many more decades.

"The final phase of the structural repairs are now under way and will include strengthening of the roof terraces so they can once again be used by the public, the final external treatments to the walls, and the return of the dancing lady figurines to their rightful place on the top of the building. …

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