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A woman whose husband loved calling bingo has bought a new machine for residents living in a DAMHA sheltered housing scheme.

Before his sudden death in 2015, Jim Nelson, was the regular bingo caller at Rutherford House in Seaside Lane, Easington.

Three nights a week, he would take the short walk across from his home at Grey Court to call the numbers for the residents.

Recently, the old electronic machine they used at Rutherford House broke down, but then in stepped Jim’s wife Elsie.

Elsie paid £370 for a new machine, which was used for the first time in May, and she was invited to call the first number.

Elsie, 91, said: “Jim loved calling the bingo at Rutherford and he did it three nights a week for three years.

“When he was tired I would say to him to have a night off but he always said he didn’t want to let the ‘old folks’ down which always made me laugh as he was 88 when he died.

“Being so close, we always liked to go to Rutherford House and I know Jim would be very proud of me for buying the machine.

“We were married for 66 years and I have lots of great memories of our time together and now, whenever I see the machine, I have something else to remember him by.

“It was lovely being able to call the first number on the new machine.”

Barbara Smith, Manager of Rutherford House, said: “Everyone has fond memories of Jim and we were all very sad when he passed away.

“Buying a new machine so we can continue our popular bingo sessions was very generous of Elsie and on behalf of the residents at Rutherford House I would like to thank her for such a lovely gesture.”

Rutherford House is owned by Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association and Mrs Nelson’s home at Grey Court is one of the Association’s shared ownership properties.