Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

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moonriver
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by moonriver »

see it - like it - buy it
real bargains usually present themselves for a brief moment and then are snapped up. cash is always king.
If you have to go away to get;
1. money,
2. to think about it,
3. a van,
4. someone to help you,
5. to ask permission
..... and the 'bargain' is still there when you return, then;
a. you were extremely lucky
b. It wasn't really a bargain
cheeky
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by cheeky »

Completely true, although in this case they were just belly glasses that were binned. Dozens of them!!! :-(
sweetmeats
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by sweetmeats »

A maxim I have always found to be true was told to me many years ago is as follows, The tickets of opportunity are stamped valid this day only.
cheeky
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Location: North East Essex

Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by cheeky »

The broken ‘belly’ glasses wouldn’t have been much use. Still on the hunt for an odd machine if one escaped.
cheeky
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by cheeky »

FDA00691-1ECE-43F7-AEF8-CBA1CA67E705a.jpg

Well, I found the machine or one similar used on Walton Pier. That’s good news but the bad news is that I found it after it was sold on EBay and sadly the new owner re-purposed the machine and binned the glass.

Now we have a photo, has anyone seen a machine like this for sale?
chief engineer
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by chief engineer »

Hi All,

I started working for the Pier shortly after the Goss family had sold it on to Anglo Austrian Automatics, made up of a consortium of local amusement caterers. The main arcade was located in the old Blue Lagoon dance hall, which is now the Boardwalk Bar & Grill and Bowling Lanes. It survived as an arcade until the Cockney Pride PH cut the building in half, then shortly after Oscars night club took the other half up. The arcade then moved into its present location, the old Ocean Theatre which at the time was used as a dinosaur/ghost train.

The entrance to the arcade was via the main Pier entrance, as their was a toll fee to enter the Pier. The rear of the arcade facing west to the beach was divided into staff restaurant and arcade workshop. I can certainly remember the Bally's well as there was a lot of them set out in long lines, back to back in groups of four or six, around 40/50 if I was to hazard a guess as to how many. All had identical lower glasses with 'Mr Fun' the Goss trade make for both Walton and Clacton Piers.

I do recall one shipment of these machines leaving the Pier, in a Ford transit Luton van, which certainly put it on its knees, they are not light machines. Not sure who the purchaser was, but I think he had two loads.

As to the glasses, there was a good supply of spares held, I don't think any of the machines in service got dismantled, so you probably saw just the spares before they got disposed of.

In those days the old Jolly Roger theatre was used as a store for all the old arcade equipment, this was on the upstairs floor which was later removed to allow Chipper Fields Circus the full height of the building. When the building was cleared out for the Circus, I would think all of you would have been in tears with the vintage equipment that had accumulated over the years was thrown over the outside balcony into waiting trucks.

CE
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moonriver
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by moonriver »

chief engineer wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:58 am
When the building was cleared out for the Circus, I would think all of you would have been in tears with the vintage equipment that had accumulated over the years was thrown over the outside balcony into waiting trucks.

CE
Thanks for cheering us all up :cry:
chief engineer
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by chief engineer »

It was a shame to see it all go, I used to spend many a happy hour looking through all that had made its way up the Pier. I did save a few pieces some of the old Allwin flickers, one with a bingo type front and a clock one. I did restore a couple of the Allwin's, which I now regret selling on. These were just the doors as most of the machines used in the arcade were the four square type. Most of this type of vintage machine had disappeared from the arcade floor by the time I started there, living locally I have fond memories of visiting the Pier and its arcade in my younger years when the arcade was full of the older equipment.

One other machine I recall going, was a four square prize pusher, the type with the chrome articulated hand and fingers with the prizes on a revolving mirrored deck.

For those of you local to the area, the tipper lorries were from St. Osyth Trading Company, and it took quite a few loads to empty the building. Hundreds of 'director' style deck chairs along with miscellaneous theatre props and equipment, including a baby grand piano, ended up in the back of a lorry.

CE
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treefrog
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by treefrog »

Essex hills are made of rubbish tips, sadly probably where lots of jewels are buried.

I still have one machine from Clacton a Felix Shooter with the arcade badge on from the 1930’s..

Edited with badge, Harrison’s, think they were on the pier maybe !PUZZLED!

Updated again as I noticed the business below Harrison finally was liquidated 4 years ago and created in 1962, also one of the directors was from the Goss family, maybe a tie. Anyway one of the machines that got away
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chief engineer
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Re: Clacton-on-Sea - The Pier Bally Machines

Post by chief engineer »

Hi Treefrog,

That looks like a very early badge. The five digit telephone number possibly dates it to pre 1980s, I believe, Due to a national shortage of local telephone numbers, Clacton numbers went to six digits around the '80s.

I believe the Harrison family did go into partnership with another local firm to manufacture amusement machines, one of which may have been the 'Sooty & Sweep' musical puppet show:-



Yes, there is a relationship of marriage between Harrison's daughter and Goss's son, but it was not until the Pier was purchased by AAA that the Harrisons took on an arcade concession at the front of the Pier where the Fish & Chip shop is now located. When AAA failed, the company reformed as Total Quest with the help of the Harrisons taking control of all the amusement arcades on the Pier. With the failure of TQ the pier ran for one year in receivership until Harrisons brought it, eventually selling it on to the Ball family.

CE

PS In searching to see if I could confirm the firm (Golding Automatics) that Harrison teamed up with, I came across Treefrog's earlier post on Goldings:- Golding Automatics

I believe they only made similar type 'Sooty and Sweep' musical machines, possibly using Goldings audio knowledge, although these machines only used the technology of the day, an 8 track cassette player.

Keith Sparkes is a name that possibly was also associated with the teaming of the two firms on these machines. Keith was very involved with the theming of large ride projects at theme parks around that time, and would have worked closely with Goldings supplying any audio. He was very much the 'imaginer' and possibly came up with the original concept of the puppet machines.

CE
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