I was only following orders...

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stevec
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:47 pm

I was only following orders...

Post by stevec »

This little story may make some of you angry, or undoubtedly make you feel sad, but I'm hopeful that it will at least make you smile.
I am interested in acquiring a Penny Arcade machine. The model I would like is an Allwin or similar, as these are the type I have fond memories of when I was a kid in the 1950s.
Now, I have a valid reason for wanting one of these, although, after reading my little story you may consider me not worthy, but in my defence I was only following orders. (I seem to remember the Nazi's used that as an excuse!).

In the mid 1960s when I left school, I was waiting to go to Art College, and got a job, for about 6 months in a place called Belle Vue.
Since 1836 Belle Vue had been a zoo, and amusement park, with its own circus and many other attractions, including penny arcades. Belle Vue occupied a 96 acre site on Hyde Road in Manchester and at the height of its popularity attracted over 2 million visitors a year. Belle Vue was eventually closed in the mid 1970s, the park was eventually demolished in 1982 and is now a drab housing estate with absolutely no trace of its almost 150 year fascinating history. Some say it was the first theme park in the world but sadly you would never know it had ever existed, nor the huge amount of joy and happiness it gave to millions of people.
Looking back, I am ashamed to say that I took part in its demise.

The Belle Vue management decided that all the 1940s and '50s Allwin Penny Slot Machines were old fashioned and needed to go in order to make way for the more modern one-arm-bandits and pinball machines. So, myself and a couple of other guys were told to smash them up! And armed with sledge hammers, we proceeded to rip them down from the walls and break them up for scrap. Literally hundreds of them were destroyed. And now I am at an age that I can appreciate exactly what they were and their value it saddens me that this sort of wanton destruction was only too common at the time.

I am now in my '70s and would love to have one of these penny arcade machines to put on my wall at home, to love and nurture, to polish and throw sugar lumps at it by way of atonement, and maybe one day pass it on to someone else who would appreciate it.
I hope that after my undoubtedly horrendous crime that you would forgive me and may consider me worthy.
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moonriver
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Re: I was only following orders...

Post by moonriver »

No
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badpenny
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Re: I was only following orders...

Post by badpenny »

You were young and knew not what you did. :cry:

Welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll find something that suits you and will help you to forget the the darker parts of your life in the 60s.
BP :cool:
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moonriver
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Re: I was only following orders...

Post by moonriver »

:lol:
scorpa163
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Location: Halifax

Re: I was only following orders...

Post by scorpa163 »

I have fond memories of going to Belle Vue in the mid 1970s to the fantastic speedway track and, after watching Peter Collins, Chris Morton, Soren Sjosten perform their skill, I would go into the fairground to the rides. I can’t remember any arcades - must have gone by then.
It was sad, as it was in decline then. The famous Hyde Road speedway stadium with its wooden stands dating back to the 1920s, which had seen many fantastic riders and races was the last to go.
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treefrog
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Location: Suffolk

Re: I was only following orders...

Post by treefrog »

Some people still live in the dark side of the '60s. :HaHa:

As has been said so many times, with the endless stories of the machines lost, could you imagine how many would exist today if all the beach bonfires, pier tipping events and backyard smashing had never occurred? You would be able to buy an Allwin for £25. In fact, most would have been abused and thrown away and probably not have the love they do now. :cool:
aristomatic
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Re: I was only following orders...

Post by aristomatic »

Thankfully you didn't get your paws on this....
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treefrog
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Location: Suffolk

Re: I was only following orders...

Post by treefrog »

Nice sign, I assume they are glass reflectors, must be an early item and rare rare rare. !THUMBS!
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moonriver
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Re: I was only following orders...

Post by moonriver »

treefrog wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:33 am Some people still live in the dark side of the 60’s :HaHa:

As has been said so many times with the endless stories of the machines lost, could you imagine how many would exist today if all the beach bonfires, pier tipping events and backyard smashing had never occurred, you would be able to buy an Allwin for £25, in fact most would have been abused and thrown away and probably not have the love they do now. :cool:
I jest of course, but there are some happier examples of surviving examples. Over the border here in Yorkshire there is a former showman who squirrelled away his entire hoard of operating machines and kept them, until now.
He's endured all the, "if ever you want to sell that...", and, "I just want one for the kids..."
Now he's started to sell them at £1,000 a piece. That's his tipping point price; some are worth less; some are now worth more, but he won't sell any more than one at a time and he's drip feeding them out.
pennymachines
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Re: I was only following orders...

Post by pennymachines »

treefrog wrote: Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:33 am You would be able to buy an Allwin for £25.
That would have suited me - I could have had a fine collection and money in the bank as well! :cool:
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