Since my first childhood holidays in Great Yarmouth I’ve always loved amusement arcades and ‘Penny machines’

Many years ago I owned a few wall machines, a Novomat one arm bandit, Rotopool electromechanical wall machine and best of all a ‘Win a Fruit Gum’ Allwin. I sold them before the last house move and lived to regret it, them last year fell in love with a 1980 Pinball machine in a local antique emporium. I joined a few forums and was warned the ‘one will never be enough’ and a few months later found myself driving back from Surrey with my 1939 Genco Airport in the back of the car. Click on the images below for more info on these two very different machines.

1939 genco airport pinball

The Curse that is eBay strikes again

Take a look at our

1939 Genco Airport Pinball

1980 Bally Black Jack

You go out looking for fresh  knitting patterns and come home with .......

A 1970’s Bally Black Jack Pinball???? Click on the photo for more pics

Modern amusements!

The best forum by far for early pre-electronic machines is When I joined I found I was itching to try my hand at the digital restoration of the often very brittle ‘backflashes’ of some of the wall machines. Originally these were silkscreened onto a celluloid type material which warp and crack with heat and sunlight.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a crack at two projects thanks to Giles and John. One was e-mailed to me and I purely did a Photoshop restoration for the collector to print himself. The other I digitally repaired, printed on my wide format Epson and encapsulated in plastic. Both great fun jobs and links to download artwork for both below if fellow collectors need a copy. I can supply printed, laminated copies of either artwork if required, just e-mail me with your needs.

If you have a machine with similar problems please get in touch and I’ll see if I can help.

Scanned at 300DPI in 4 sections and ‘stitched’ together

Printed in Epson Ultrachrome and laminated front and back

Scans supplied by e-mail

Repair returned by e-mail

Images from the web used as guide

Finished artwork printed and laminated a reasonable copy of original

Another challenge was to re-create the background for a scratch-built ‘Punch Kicker’ machine. All we had as guidance was a couple of small images pulled off the ‘net. Printed on the Epson 7800 and double laminated again.

The latest project was a Whales ‘Win a Spangles’. As usual the celluloid had shrunk, faded and cracked. I have tried as far as possible to be guided by original colours from the edges which were hidden from the light and keep some degree of ‘patina’ from the original silkscreening.

Backflash prints and artwork