Tribute to ‘real character’ who scooped £43,000 at the Bingo

tribute to real character who scooped 43000 at the bingo - Tribute to 'real character' who scooped £43,000 at the Bingo

A great-grandmother who featured in the Bristol Evening Post after winning £43,000 at the bingo has died aged 86.

Barbara Newell, from St Anne’s, claimed the national bingo jackpot prize in Granada Bingo Hall in August 1991.

Her granddaughter Joanne Kilbey, 34, said: “It was a substantial amount of money at the time. As a family we went to Florida and she just treated the whole family.”

Mrs Newell, who died on Wednesday (January 29), had four children, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Her big prize – collected almost 30 years ago – came after years of dedication to the bingo, according to Mrs Kilbey.

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“She was just a real character. She was well known in the bingo hall,” Mrs Kilbey said, adding her grandmother had several favourite bingo spots over the years.

After her most successful game, before the days mobile phones were popular, Mrs Newell found herself home alone.

As a result, a family joke developed that she had no-one to tell about her win except her dog, according to Mrs Kilbey, who was a child at the time.

“I can’t really remember that moment because I was only six or seven years old,” Mrs Kilbey said.

tribute to real character who scooped 43000 at the bingo 6 - Tribute to 'real character' who scooped £43,000 at the Bingo

Barbara Newell receiving her bingo jackpot prize in 1991 (Image: Courtesy of Joanne Kilbey)

Nevertheless, Mrs Kilbey remains grateful to her grandmother for generously using the jackpot win to fund a family trip to the USA.

Mrs Newell crossed the Atlantic with sons Les and Dave, plus Les’s then wife, as well as a young Mrs Kilbey and her cousin Royston.

She also used the money to treat the family in other ways, said primary school teacher Mrs Kilbey.

Mrs Newell was a cleaner in later life, according to Mrs Kilbey, but enjoyed working as a Sunday school teacher in her teens.

Away from the bingo hall, her interests included knitting, horse racing and crossword puzzle books.

She was immensely proud of her family and loved the fact several members spent time in the military, according to Mrs Kilbey.

Mrs Newell’s husband Roy died in 1983 and she did not marry again.

tribute to real character who scooped 43000 at the bingo 7 - Tribute to 'real character' who scooped £43,000 at the Bingo

Barbara Newell on her wedding day to Roy (Image: Courtesy of Joanne Kilbey)

She died peacefully in her sleep at St George’s care home, St George.

The funeral will be held on February 27 at 12pm at Bristol South Crematorium, with the wake to follow at the Kings Head pub in Whitehall.

Back to: Home Bristol NewsSource: Bristol Post

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