Mystery of wheel below bingo hall - Wakefield Express - jul 23rd 1976
Workmen carrying out alterations to the pavement in Stanley Road, Wakefield, unearthed a cellar beneath the old Rex Cinema - now used as a bingo hall - and in the cellar found a huge iron wheel and metal casing.
The bingo hall manager, Mr Thomad Holdgate, of Batley Road, Wakefield, said he knew the wheel was in the cellar and presumed it was from some form of steam engine originally used to run the first projectors for the cinema.
"We can get into the cellar from a manhole in the hall," he said. "I had been down there and seen this wheel, which appears to be in one piece and stands directly where the old cinema projection room used to be.
"When the workmen started work on the pavement they found the cellar unexpectedly. They have now built a new wall and filled in the hollow under the pavement. We can still reach the cellar from inside the hall."
Mr. Holdgate, who has been manager of the hall for eight years, said he believed it was converted from a dance hall to a bingo hall about 10 years ago and before that had been used as a cinema. The building is now owned by Colin Bartle and Co., the company which owns Wakefield Theatre Club.
* RB: I find it doubtful that a projection room would be in the cellar. Power supply for the projection room perhaps?