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Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby badpenny » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:21 pm

I have been asked by one of our members Mick Harris Jnr. to post this announcement concerning his Dad.

Mick's Father passed away over the Christmas period and the service has recently been conducted.
Although I never met Mr Harris Snr. I know he was a rare and generous man. His enthusiasm for our hobby was unmatched in so much as he was more interested in sharing his knowledge and helping those coming along into our hobby, than guarding his secrets and cashing in on what he knew and what he had stored away. A true gent, our hobby has been richer for his having supported it and poorer for his passing.
Mick welcomes memories and sympathies that anyone may wish to make, via this forum please. He is very busy currently and does not wish to field any queries or enquiries ..... if you get my drift.

MH sen..png

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby liquorbox » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:35 am

New member here.

I did not get the chance to feel his generosity and enthusiasm but the fact that you as a member and friend to Mick have taken the time to share this somehow tells me his passion for the hobby will be carried on through Mick.
Last edited by liquorbox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby sweetmeats » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:25 am

So very sad to hear that Mich as he was known to everyone who knew him, as I did for many years. He will live on in all the bandits he restored over his life. I last spoke to him a couple of years ago when he was in poor heath and was suffering from loss of memory. A truly lovely and generous man who never complained or spoke badly of anyone but always gave his help freely and because of him I own two working carousel bandit machines. I truly believe no one else could have done them. He said to me at the time they were the hardest machines he ever worked on. So sad I missed his funeral - would very much have liked to have been there. Rest in Peace Mich.

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby treefrog » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:14 am

I did not know or have the pleasure in meeting him, but over the years through other collectors was advised it was a worthwhile experience given the help he had offered all concerned. Sad to hear the loss from our community and condolences to the family.

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby junior » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:29 pm

About 4 or 5 years ago I bought my first bandit from Mick an aristocrat 4 reeler. I went to see him twice and he had great knowledge of machines. Most things went over my head being a novice. He still gave me his time. This was a great experience for me as I didn’t know of anyone else who was involved with these machines at that time. Sadly missed.

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby pennymachines » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:02 pm

My condolences to you and your family Mick.
Your dad's reputation as the bandit restoration maestro was well known even amongst those of us who don't collect bandits.

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby JC » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:32 am

......and so another name has departed from our hobby. But Mick Harris wasn't just a name; he was a legend in his own lifetime. For the benefit of those who never met him (and indeed, there will be many newbies here that haven't even heard of him), Mick was 'the' bandit man - no one did bandits like Mick.
My lasting memory of Mick will be the complete dog of a Riviera that he re-built for me. I bought it 'refurbished' from a well known, so-called 'bandit man' and having operated it for a couple of weeks, it was clear that there was so much wrong with it. I made what adjustments I could, but frankly I was out of my depth. Mick sorted it, but was clearly not a great admirer of the person from whom I acquired the machine; there are those who can, and those who 'think' they can - and Mick certainly 'could' - there was none better than Mick. He had worked on a few machines for me, and I still have a machine that was awaiting his attention. Unfortunately, he had been unwell for some time, so it's been a while since I last saw him.
I have no doubt that much of Mick's knowledge and skills have been passed down to Mick Jnr., who is one of the very few people I would trust with a bandit, but Mick's passing is nonetheless a very great loss to our hobby.

My most sincere condolences to Mick Jnr. and family.


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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby coin-op » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:39 am

Also very sorry to hear this news - and my condolences to Mick and his family. I can remember my first of only a few visits being met by this very friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic collector and being regaled with numerous tales of collecting in 'the early days' of this hobby. I also remember the sight of being greeted by a whole line of beautifully restored Mills High tops ( I think there was every variation there was of this machine, or pretty much close to that). On a later visit the High tops had moved into the hands of another collector and I mused on how lucky the new owner was! As a keen fan of all types of music, I was perhaps even more impressed by the extensive and very tasteful array of 50's and 60's CD's collection - clearly as knowledgeable and appreciative of music as with slot machines. A very interesting man who Mick and his family were luck to have in their lives and many of us were fortunate to cross paths with.

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby badpenny » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:32 pm

Our member Eddie White contacted me and we discussed his memories of Mick Harris Snr. and the previously mentioned, famous line of Mills bandits that many remember Mick restoring.
It turns out that due to circumstances Eddie ended up owning them.
Here is his story ........


My thoughts and prayers are with Mick Jnr and his family at this very sad time.

I was very sad to hear about the big loss of Mick today but I also had the biggest pleasure of meeting Mick in my mid 20's when I just started out collecting slot machines. He can only be described as a legend. 
Nothing was ever too much trouble, no secrets kept just unbelievable knowledge and enthusiasm for our great hobby. I remember going to see him for the first time as he was selling a BONUS machine which I really at that time knew nothing about. If you have ever pulled the handle on a Mic Harris restored slot machine then you will know its like a Rolex watch, timing, accuracy and pure quality just simply makes you smile. Anybody can give a machine a coat of paint and a polish and then think they are a great restorer but with Mick we were talking every nut, bolt ,spring and lever working in harmony, set up in every detail. Mick was and engineer, an artist, a creator and restorer that I doubt we will ever see again, that Bonus has not missed a beat in 25 years of me owning it!

I remember going into his workshop where we would talk for hours about how he found and discovered slots over the years, explaining to me how things worked and a beautiful line of Slots all wrapped and covered as each project he did planned and organised like nothing I had ever seen before. He told me he was building a set of Hi-Tops for an American collector which clearly was taking a lot of his time. I always thought how happy that person would be when they saw that set rock up!!
I loved the Hi-Tops and me and Mick always said how much of an under rated machine it was and one day it will have its day. 

Probably 3 or 4 years passed and I would go and see Mick to get a spare or two and a coffee with a friendly chat. I loved going to see what his latest project was and how he was progressing with the Hi-Tops.
I saw the set completed and was just blown away, they were like new cars in a show room, gleaming and shouting play me!!.... then a moment I never thought in my wildest dreams happened, Mick said "That American collector doesn't want them, something had come up, they are for sale!.... without Mick finishing his sentence I said I will have them!! , they are going to a good home where they will never be split or sold just enjoyed for the rest of my days!..... my dream had come true.. 

I am sharing you a picture of the set lined up in my old 2 up 2 down house, where I had no room for them, but did I care!!!  

Mick you will never be forgotten, your legacy will always be there, every time I play your wonderful creations I remember how lucky I am not only to have known you but to own some of your amazing work!!

Rest in peace my friend....
Mick Harris Snr Mills collection.JPG
(Click on image to enlarge)

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Re: Michael Harris Snr. A great Loss

Postby liquorbox » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:17 pm

Nice collection badpenny.

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