"we'll go back the long way round, past the Arcade."
Ashington Co-op - Credit: ian56
The boys go past the Arcade because they know that it is about time for the people attending the dance there to be going home. The Arcade was the name given to the buildings occupied by Ashington Co-operative Society. There was a large hall at the top of the building which was regularly used for dances, bingo and other social functions. (See also bookmarks pp77 & 90
for more on the Arcade bingo, and more on dancing at another popular venue of the time, the Mayfair at Newcastle.)