September 17 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 31, 2014
It was eyes down for a full house as Geoff Moss took his place at the bingo caller’s table for around the 500th time.
Come rain or shine, the octogenarian from Great Cornard near Sudbury fronts the weekly sessions of the game at the local Stevenson Centre – a task he has relished for more than a decade.
And at the age of 81, Mr Moss believes he could be the “oldest bingo caller in the east”.
Remarkably, he doesn’t actually like the game very much, but he gets a “great deal of satisfaction” from bringing enjoyment to the 50 or so avid players who attend Molly’s Club every Tuesday afternoon.
He says the main attributes of a good caller are a loud clear voice and a good sense of humour.
Despite having only just left hospital after a serious operation, Mr Moss was back in his seat this week, ready to keep the players on their toes with his own brand of wit.
He said: “Personally, I think bingo is a daft game – but I enjoy doing the calling.
"We can’t say two fat ladies anymore because that isn’t politically correct, and for 26, we say ‘two and six, half a crown’ which is a bit out of date now."
“It’s mostly old people who come to the club and it’s the only time they get out to socialise.
“They can be a cheeky bunch and curse me if I don’t call out their numbers.
“But the main thing is that they get to have a chat and a laugh – that’s why I do it.”
Mr Moss has seen a few changes in the game, even in the past few years. He now has a high-tech number generating machine with a digital display to help him in his task, and some of the rhyming ‘bingo lingo’ has changed.
He added: “We can’t say two fat ladies anymore because that isn’t politically correct, and for 26, we say ‘two and six, half a crown’ which is a bit out of date now.
“The people who come here can remember things like PC 49, from the TV show Dixon of Dock Green, and we still have some of the old favourites like ‘legs eleven’ and ‘28, duck on a plate’.”
Ron Grover, who helps run the club with his wife Joan, described Geoff as “a very popular man”.
He said: “Geoff does sometimes have a tendency to make up stories about the numbers as he goes along, which can make the games go on a bit longer than we would like, and we have to hurry him up. But he’s a lovely chap and the club wouldn’t be the same without him.”
Molly’s Club is at 1pm every Tuesday at the Stevenson Centre.