Bingo machine a ‘gift of love’ to care home

Betty King with her son Steve and (back, from left) home manager Dawn Minto and residents Marion Hearne and Joan Bentham. Below, Frank King
Betty King with her son Steve and (back, from left) home manager Dawn Minto and residents Marion Hearne and Joan Bentham. Below, Frank King
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CARE home residents have received a hi-tech bingo machine thanks to relatives carrying out a man’s dying wish.

Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, in Peterlee, received a bingo machine in memory of Frank King, husband of home resident Betty King, on August 16, which would have been the couple’s diamond wedding anniversary.

Steve King has donated a bingo machine and public address caller system to the Bannatyne Lodge Care Home in Peterlee in memory of his late father, Frank. Frank, pictured on the cover of his "Homegoing Service" booklet (thought I'd leave it intact in case you want to run it that way, otherwise it can be cropped).

Steve King has donated a bingo machine and public address caller system to the Bannatyne Lodge Care Home in Peterlee in memory of his late father, Frank. Frank, pictured on the cover of his "Homegoing Service" booklet (thought I'd leave it intact in case you want to run it that way, otherwise it can be cropped).

London-born Mr King came to Peterlee in 1965 to open the Clix zip fastening business.

He later ran the Kefco and Alpha Process firms, and enjoyed playing bingo with his wife and other residents at the home.

But occasionally the bingo cards would fall on the floor, frustrating residents.

Mr King and his wife, 79, had planned to present a state-of-the-art bingo machine to the home on their anniversary, but sadly Mr King passed away aged 81 on February 29, after a short illness.

The couple’s eldest son, Steve, 57, said: “He and mum had talked about this bingo machine as being a present they wanted to give to the care home on their diamond wedding.

“When he passed away, we knew he wanted to do that. He had notes in his file and information he had collected. We all agreed without hesitation that we should continue with his and mum’s wish.

“He was a man of the Lord and we believe my father is in heaven looking down on us.

“I think he would be absolutely delighted that we have continued through with his wish that he and mum both decided on as a celebration of their diamond wedding anniversary.”

Dawn Minto, the home’s personal activities leader, said: “The residents think the machine is great as it has a digital display at the front and they can see the numbers. We would like to thank the family, we could not afford one otherwise.”

Mr and Mrs King also have three other children, Lynnette Campbell, Debbie Smith and David King, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.