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other building dedicated to bingo, the former Palace Cinema in Deptford, the time being
Saturday morning, the best time to visit this interesting and picturesque locality. The an-
nouncement is made by one of the intrepid ladies of the Salvation Army, shouting through
a megaphone. I greatly admire the Salvation Army, not only because it takes courage to
stand up for one's convictions in public, but also because they accept so much of London's
dirty work. Whether they know it or not, the Salvation Army is very period, exceptionally
so. I hope they will always retain those unbecoming coal-scuttle poke bonnets. 'Yes, Jesus
is our friend', repeats the megaphone, and I look round at the audience, awaiting the bingo
session. They are a curious, listless group to watch - these Guys and Dolls. The female
of the species are just as deadly as the male, if anything slightly more in need of a wash,
and roll their marble eyes disdainfully over the healthy Salvation Army warriors. ('We'll
cling to the old rugged Cross', continues the megaphone, 'and exchange it some day for a
crown.') Although no word is spoken, except by the tin trumpet, one feels that a chronic
apathy exists … the teddy boys and louts in leather jackets nudge their fun-molls and chew
their cud. Suddenly the atmosphere is electrified by a curious pantomime - a shrivelled-up
white woman, red-eyed and as thin as a rake, is chased across the road by a great hulking
brute of a negro, both screaming like mad. This is more than enough to divert the wander-
ing attention of the Jean-agers, and the crowd, now forgetful alike of the Salvation Army
and the bingo, disappears.
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