I just learned hours ago that we have lost Patricia "Pat" Gresham -- a great woman and good friend. A funeral service is scheduled for tomorrow. Her official obituary:
GRESHAM Patricia Anne (Pat) Of Westwood House, North Dalton and former proprietor of Penny Arcadia, the Ritz Cinema, Pocklington and the Beverley Playhouse Cinema. Passed away peacefully after a long illness on 31st October 2019. Wife of the late John, much loved mother of Lindsey and the late Maxwell, treasured grandmother of Connie and Isobel and sadly missed sister of Maureen. Funeral service to be held on Friday 6th December 2019 at the East Riding Crematorium, Octon at 1.30pm. Family flowers only please, donations can be made to Macmillan Nurses on the day of the service. Henry Naylor Funeral Directors Ltd Eastfield House, New Road, Driffield, YO25 5DL. Tel: 01377 252222
Published in Pocklington Post on Nov. 13, 2019.
Pat was one of my very favorite people I have met in my life—in total—not just as a result of my interest in coin-operated machines. She was always pleasant, intelligent, independent, kind hearted, interesting, creative, artsy, and fun. I ended up spending a total of a full month visiting her in Pocklington, broken up into 3 trips, during which we had the opportunity to talk and exchange stories about countless topics ranging from our lives to politics, and from magic shows to family.
Pat and I were introduced to each other at a time when I was in the middle of putting together a key reference collection on the history of amusement game machines. It was also a time, 8 or 9 years after her husband death, at which she was beginning to think about the future of the Penny Arcadia collection.
She found the idea of keeping the heart of the collection intact particularly appealing and important to her. She saw the alternative as having to eventually sell off individual pieces of the collection in many different directions. This would break apart something in which she and had Jon had both put so much time, love, energy, and money into acquiring, operating, sharing, and maintaining.
After extensive discussions, Pat entrusted me to be Penny Arcadia’s adoptive parent – keeping together the top 100+ pieces of the collection, along with the Penny Arcadia name, a reference library, and associated materials. Her collection was combined with my own. At several of the Penny Arcadia exhibitions and gatherings held since, I’ve have had the honor of displaying the original Penny Arcadia sign that was hung so many years earlier in Pocklington. Additionally, I am currently in the planning stages of expanding coverage of the collection online. In doing so, I hope to continue to honor Pat’s legacy, and to make that legacy more accessible.
On our web site we maintain a short history of Penny Arcadia and Pat and Jon’s evolution with it ( https://www.arcade-museum.com/penny-arcadia/
I hope that Pat’s friends and family have a chance to read some of what I’m sure will be numerous posts. The first message in this thread is from England. The second was posted from Perth, Australia. I write this one from California. Her presence was and is felt globally.
Pat, thank you for our friendship. You will be sorely missed.