Welcome to "Bally Bingo's in Britain" and the latest from the UK Bally bingo scene.
Sorry but no "Ballybingo" Christmas Card this year. Many mailboxes are now rejecting my emails and there are too many people hijacking mailing lists for Phishing and Spam purposes.
Welcome to new owners Steve from Wymondam who has recently acquired a Variety and Eamonn from Luton who has bought my Cypress Gardens which has given me good service for 11 years.
Ronnie Rocket and Jim, "The Essex Boys", paid me a visit last week and spent a few hours giving my Parade and Sun Valley a workout.
(Ronnie and Jim. I have now moved the machines so that they can played together and even levelled Sun Valley for you so I look forward to another visit)
Firstly thanks to Kevin for his hospitality at the second open weekend that he has hosted this year. It was well attended considering the long distance some visitors had to travel.
Nick has added some memories of his early bingo experiences and later re-introduction to the hobby. Check it out in the stories section.
Greetings to all our regular and new site visitors and as you will notice there has been a long period since my last update. I've been taking a break from bingo's and set about completing other restoration projects including my 1955 Williams Three Deuces pinball, 1948 Chicago Coin Trinidad pinball and a 1941 Keeney's console slot machine which I cannot obtain a wiring diagram for. There are also a number of unfinished projects about my home that are also getting done at last.
The Forum is now coming back to life after a very quiet spell before and after the transition to YUKU. Thanks to the regular users that are keeping it going.
Kevin from Long Melford (near Sudbury in Suffolk is hosting another open weekend on the 14th/15th September, good on you Kevin as I know you put a lot of effort into it. Looking forward to meeting old and new friends at the event.
Our Ebay rip-off friend seems to have given up in his quest to make a fortune out of others work by failing to sell anything bingo related at all.
A Bally Follies Bergeres 20 holer sells on eBay later today, I hope the buyer realises that although it has less holes, it is a pretty complicated machine to get repaired.
I have updated the "My Machines" section to include my latest machines.
Don't forget Kevin's Bally Bingo weekend on 25th and 26th of May, there will be several machines to play and some to purchase. There are also guest machines from the 60's available to play.
Update on the Forum. The last migration of the Forum to YUKU lost all the replies to the postings so it has been downloaded again and the replies are now available. Sadly however the postings made recently have now been lost and are not recoverable. I now hope that we have a reliable forum that will be easy to access all the time.
Some of you have contacted me regarding a person listing items on eBay that have been ripped from mine and Phil Hoopers website without consent. The prints are only blow ups of the ones that are freely available for personal use on my site and blown up to A3 will look pretty crap unless viewed from more than 10 feet away. Phil is also very annoyed particularly as he has spent a lot of time and money to make the files freely available to all and has contacted eBay regarding the sale of copyrighted work but in the meantime has made a listing of his own. Click to view If the person involved visits this site then he should be aware that although the Bally copyright does not exist any longer, the creator of the various files involved does own them. I hope this person will now stop trying to make money from other peoples work.
The forum is back! We seem to have lost a few years postings but it is good to have it back. It is now under the YUKU flag and if members cannot get on then it will probably be best to rejoin.
I have contacted the forum providers again so please keep an eye on things. Failing the revival of the old one I will get another one set up.
Kevin is planning another open weekend at his premises in Long Melford Suffolk. The dates are the 25th and 26th of May and contact can be made with Kevin using firstname.lastname@example.org
After a spell in hibernation I have now returned to the outside world and carrying on with this years projects.
Firstly I must apologise for the lack of a Forum but I have contacted the host providers and this is their reply.
Whether it comes back in the near future is anybody's guess but if it doesn't then I will see about starting another one.
I recently bought a 1949 Universal Feature Bell slot machine but did not realise how big it was so it may have a long stay in the pending shed.
Two other slot machines that are now included with the bingo's are the 1941 Keeney's Two Way Feature Bell.
And the Bally Jumbo.
I still need to sell two or three of my bingo's so if interested then please get in touch.
After nearly 3 months without any updates I am now back in action having completed a long overdue decorating task at home.
Firstly our friend the "Bingobeast" Frans has moved his website to a new address www.ballybingo.nl so if you haven't been able to find him lately you now know why.
Sorry about the Forum being difficult to access at times but as I have explained before it is totally beyond my control although, with a bit of patience, you should be able to get on eventually.
An unusual mixture of machines on eBay recently, some have sold, some haven't and some some have sold only to appear again a few weeks later from the same vendor. Please draw your own conclusions.
As some of you are aware I have sold a few of my collection to make room for different projects which now includes a 1960's Bally Jumbo slot machine and a 1941 Keeneys Two Way Super Bell.
New digital images added to the Backglass section.
Chris Howard has shared his experiences of creating the "Golden Gates" with us. Follow this link Golden Gates to check it out.
Welcome to new owner Chris from Redditch who has recently acquired a Broadway.
Kevin recently hosted another open day and Chris Howard brought along his Golden Gates. Chris has worked very hard on this one-off machine, the tip top condition inside and outside is a credit to him. Well done Chris and also thanks to Kevin for his efforts.
Just a reminder that Kevin is holding his open day in less that two weeks time and as a special surprise Chris Howard is bringing along his Golden Gates. You may think that I have got it wrong and I mean Golden Gate but no, Chris has created his very own unique bingo that has some special features and you will have to come along to find out what they are.
Recently completed a Beach Beauty playfield overlay which is available in the playfields section.
Another pinball to be added added to my collection when restored. This time it is a 1948 Chicago Coin Trinidad which is in original condition, this time I have acquired a machine which is the same age as me.
Although I have recently sold five of my bingo's I'm still willing to let one or two more go for the right price (not cheap).
Dave from Bolton is selling his Roller Derby which was restored by me a few years ago. He also has a Rowe Ami 200 play Jukebox for sale so if interested call him on 07872 831290
Kevin from Long Melford nr. Sudbury in Suffolk is holding another open day on 26th August, all visitors welcome.
Welcome to new owner Alan from South Wales. As a lad he worked in his fathers cafe and remembers the bingo's well but I'm sure that he quickly learned that there was more money to made in operating than playing them.
A couple of weeks have gone by without any further interruption to the site so I will keep my fingers crossed.
I had an interesting phone call from our ex-pat friend Freddy Bailey, he is as bright as ever and busy beavering away on many projects. I just hope I have the same amount of energy when over 70. Freddy has been contributing to a U.K. gaming industry website www.coin-opcommunity.co.uk , he has written some interesting articles about the showmen and pier operators over the past 100 years.
There is a nice looking Miss America 57 on eBay at the moment, it looks to be in superb all round condition but photos can be very deceptive so I will always recommend a look first. The backglass is excellent but it is not original, probably a Suzo copy.
Sorry for the recent problems and the Google warnings for the site. Malware had been detected which resulted in taking it off-line until the matter was resolved. A further upload of the files was done but after a few hours the HTML files were infected again which indicated a password issue. My host has now changed the password and hopefully things will be OK from now on but I will be monitoring the situation closely. I also hope that the person or persons responsible will read this and be very proud of their efforts to bring down a hobbyists website.
Many of the regular followers to this website will know I have slimming down my collection to make way for new projects, some bingo but mostly others like old wood rail pinball's. Four have found new homes but there others still available so if you want a restored machine please get in touch.
The forum keeps flagging up a virus warning but that is only aimed at the forum host in general and, as there are no downloadable files, it should be perfectly safe to continue using it as many members are still doing including myself.
Welcome to the many new owners that have bought bingo's from eBay and myself. Paul from Sheffield now has three including a Miami Beach from me.
I believe that Steve from Pat's Cafe still has some machines and spares to sell so give him a call on 07413 587663 if there's anything you need.
Kevin's Bally Bingo Weekend was a great success with a good number of visitors from all over the U.K plus our friends from the Netherlands. Hosting a two day event meant a lot of work for Kevin and his family who provided us with refreshments. Thanks again Kevin from us all. A selection of pictures from the day can be found HERE plus others including a DVD can be found on the Forum.
Don't forget Kevin's new Bally Bingo Weekend that's only 4 weeks away on 19th and 20th May with the main tournament being on the Sunday. Visitors are welcome on both days. Details of location venue to follow.
Our friend Jim is continuing to recover from his operation and hopes to join us at the Bally Weekend in May.
I am having to thin out my collection a bit over the coming months so please contact me if anyone is interested in buying one of my machines. Most readers will know what I am like so serious enquiries only please. All machines are pictured on the website in My Machines.
If any readers know the location of a 1971 Bally Sea Ray pinball in the U.K. please contact me.
There have been a few machines change hands both on and off eBay so please get in touch if you would like to be included in the locations list.
I have to confess that I have recently restored a 1950's Williams wood rail pinball for my collection and have recently obtained another one of a similar age for restoration.
Jim has had his operation and is recovering in hospital. Best wishes to him and Jenny for a speedy recovery.
Steve from Pat's Cafe in Norwich has contacted me and confirmed that it has now closed. I am sure that it will be missed by all those who have made the annual trip there for the past eight years. Steve needs to sell the bingo's and is looking for sensible offers, there are 3 Miss America De Luxe's, 3 Miss America Supremes, Sun Valley and 2 others that require some restoration and loads of spares. Steve is willing to sell as a job lot or individually but needs to have the bingo's collected from the cafe before the 27th March or he will have to find storage space. Please ring him on 07413 587663.
Fortunately Kevin from Suffolk is organising a get together in May that could be an alternative to Pat's Cafe
Just a few updates this time although things still seem pretty quiet overall.
Welcome to new owner Allan from Stockport who has recently acquired a Miss America '57.
Jim has now gone through all of the tests relating to his recent ill health and will be undergoing a quadruple bi-pass on Monday 12th March. I'm sure you will all join me in hoping that he makes a full and speedy recovery.
A few bingo's have been on eBay recently with some selling and others remaining unsold.
Kevin from Sudbury (Suffolk) is organising a bingo weekend in May which sounds like it will be good fun. Check out the Forum for more details when they are available.
As I am not sure about the current status of Pats Cafe there will not be a get together in June this year.
And finally I have now completed my first playfield overlay for a pinball. This is a 1956 Williams Super Score which I bought last year.
I would like to wish a Happy New Year to all of my many bingo buddies from around the World and visitors to the site.
A special wish for a speedy recovery goes to our good friends Jim and his wife Jennie. The year has not got off to a good start for Jim but I'm sure that he will make a full recovery and join us at Pat's Cafe later in the year.
David from Liphook recently sold a Bally Beauty on eBay so perhaps the new owner will make contact so they can be added to the owners list.
Talking of eBay there is a Miss America 1957 for sale. It is listed as "runs but not all functions are working" but in a question to the seller he states that the "balls do not come up" so apart from the 6v lighting circuit working it is far from "running" . So, unless potential bidders know what they are doing, BEWARE.
The forum is still being a pain but if you check regularly it does work intermittently. I wish it were better but I have no control over it.
Firstly I need to say something about the forum, it has been a nightmare recently and even today it came back for about four hours before going offline again. The forum is hosted by "Forumsforfree" which is owned by "Forumer" and they will not release the database so that it can be hosted elsewhere but our buddy Phil Hooper is making an attempt to retrieve it for us.
Just had a few days holiday in Norfolk and stayed at a Travelodge in Acle. Just down the road is the BEL-AIR American diner where you can have a good meal at a fair price so if you are visiting The Broads or the Gt. Yarmouth area pop along and tell them that Ballybingo sent you. Their address is 23 Old Road Acle Norwich NR13 3QL 01493 751777.
I heard a rumour that Pat's Cafe had closed down so whilst in the area I checked it out. The cafe was originally housed in two shop units but with the current downturn Steve has given up one of them. This is the one with the cafe name on it so it could easily look as if it is closed but Steve is currently repainting the outside so hopefully he will still be there next year.
My insurers sent a loss adjuster to inspect the fire damage and I am pleased to report that my claim was met in full. I am well on track to having the summerhouse completely refurbished by the end of next week but Sun Valley and Miami Beach need extensive repairs.
It is often said that things come in three's, well if this is true then I have now had my share of bad luck for this year. Firstly there is an eBayer that is trying to get a refund from PayPal on an item that I recently sold as used but he expected it to be new and has told lies and given fictitious information to them but I believe that they have have finally sussed him out. Next I had a laptop stolen from the overhead rack while travelling from Antwerp to Sint Niklaas on the way to Bingovit's and finally last night a dehumidifier in my summerhouse caught fire causing damage to the building and bingo's etc inside. Please feel free to top that if you can.
Kevin (bluesection) and myself travelled together to Sint Niklaas in Belgium last weekend to join Ronny and Evert for their Open Gameroom weekend. Steve and Dave where also there on the Saturday and I can honestly say that we had an enjoyable weekend. Ronny and Evert made us all very welcome and we had the opportunity to play more than 40 bingos and lots of pinball machines that seem to have a mind of their own. It was good to meet up with bingo buddies from Belgium and Holland as well the younger visitors who had not seen bingo's before. Many thanks again to Ronny and Evert for their generous hospitality.
Forum working OK
Sorry! Forum gone again.
The forum is now back on line, sorry for any inconvenience but it is operated by a third party and I have no control other than some editing facilities.
Welcome to Graeme from Manchester who recently bought a Variety.
There is a Palm Beach (turbo) currently selling on eBay (item number 170674583935) which is not entirely as it seems. The seller has stated that it was made in 1952 when it is really a solid state machine from Sirmo 1980's/90's. The seller also states that it needs "slight wiring attention" which probably means that it doesn't work and it's unlikely that it will work without being taken to Belgium for repairs. The picture has been lifted from either the Internet Pinball Database or a French eBay listing that ended in June 2011 (item number 220794985133) so please proceed with caution.
I look forward to catching up with friends from the UK and Europe when visiting Ronny and Everts "Open Gameroom Weekend" later this month.
After a long spell with no real news I have decided to catch up with a few things so here goes.
Firstly I have just heard that Old Bingers site is now back on line after a long absence so please check it out . Nice to have you back on line Hugh.
There have been a problems with the forum recently but everything should be back to normal now. The forum is provided by a third party and I only have very limited editing access.
This years Pat's Cafe reunion went well with some old friends and a few new ones meeting in a slimmed down venue, in this current economic situation we will have to hope that Steve will be able to keep the cafe running. Coos and Frans brought some new backglasses that had been printed direct onto the glass. Check out Coos website to see some pictures of them.
I am still getting lots of Spam and it is now automatically deleted so if I do not reply to any enquiries please keep trying or phone me on the number in my links/contact section.
Graham White from Norfolk is selling his LIDO and a JPM "Thunderbirds" £250 Jackpot fruit machine genuine enquiries only please.
Welcome to John from Lincolnshire has recently acquired a Miss America 57.
And finally I'm looking forward to a trip to Bingovit's Open Weekend on 21st and 22nd August.
The annual Pat's Cafe get together will be on Saturday 11th June, all welcome.
Due to a well above inflation increase in postal charges I have had to increase my own postal charges to compensate for this.
I have been looking at the changes in the U.K. brought about by the 1960 Betting and Gaming Act which became law on 1st January 1961 and led to the flood of bingo's that came here from the U.S. More about this soon.
Some of you, especially our visitors from the United States will know or have heard of Richard Gerlitz who has been involved in the bingo scene for many years. Richard and his son Jeff have produced a Bingo Repair guide which is in 11 volumes and can be downloaded over the internet from his website www.bingorepair.com and I have just completed watching the whole 5+ hours. The video images are good quality as is the content and it will be a welcome addition to new and experienced owners alike. Richard does appear to have a love of WD-40 which is not shared with myself and many others but there are many tips on repairs which make the cost well worthwhile. If anyone has any queries about the downloads then I am sure they can be answered by emailing Jeff email@example.com
Many visitors to this site also have an interest in flipper pinball's so I am passing on the details of a Blu Ray documentry that I recently bought direct from the makers. It is almost 90 minutes long and covers many aspects of the rise and decline in their popularity. It is also available on DVD as well so click here for link to the website
Here we are into another year and a lot more news in the Bally bingo world and look out for a "New Look" website coming soon.
Jeffrey Lawton's new book "The Bingo Pinball Wars" is now available. It can be purchased from Jeffrey, if you wish to have a signed copy, direct from the publisher, or from Amazon. I ordered my copy from www.amazon.com (U.S.) and used the economy shipping option. The total cost was £25.00, and as there is no VAT on books, no nasty surprise from the Post Office with an £8.00 fee.
Welcome to new owner Paul from Norwich who has recently acquired a Sun Valley via Ebay.
A few more bingo's have changed hands this month both on and off eBay. Karl from Birmingham has acquired a Cypress Gardens and Jim from South London now has a Miami Beach.
More backglasses added this month, Atlantic City from Bally, Rio from United and a Williams Super Score which is the first pinball that I have owned. It dates from 1956 and has wooden legs and side rails.
Hans Binter from Austria has been touch with me but his return email path will not accept my reply so please try again and use a different email address.
Welcome to new owner Glyn who has just acquired a Key West from John in Northampton
More digital work completed this month with a Laguna Beach playfield and a United Manhattan backglass.
Welcome to new owner Paul from Bradford who has just acquired a Big Show and Brian from Solihull who has just added a Bally Beauty to his growing collection.
Another busy few weeks with more new backglass and playfield overlays added to the list, Miami Beach playfield and a United's Havana plus others that are nearing completion.
I have now acquired a new stock of playfield rubbers and lamps. The lamps are #44 and make a good replacement for both #55's and #47's. See spares page for prices.
A special thanks to Billy in East London for his co-operation in scanning a United's Manhattan backglass to help a fellow bingo fan in Australia. Billy has offered this machine on the forum and it will make a great project for anyone interested although it will need a new glass which will be available shortly.
I have recently returned from holiday in Canada and the US where my wife and myself were kindly invited to Dinner at the home of Freddy Bailey and his family in New Jersey. Freddy, a former East Anglian, has an outstanding knowledge of the gaming industry on both sides of the Atlantic and is currently finishing off his book "All my life a Showman" which will be available soon. Although in his sixties, Freddy continues to work hard in the industry that he loves by inventing and re-vamping coin machines.
Welcome to the new Bally bingo owners, Brian from Solihull , Kevin from Smethwick and Karl from Birmingham. Hoping that you all get a great deal of pleasure from your machines.
Night Club playfield overlay added to the list.
Alan Marriage from Ace Pins in Nevada has produced another set of DVD's on the maintenance and repair of Bally electromechanical slot machines. I am selling these in the UK under licence from Alan for £16.00 per set inc. P&P.
Unfortunately Chris and David are unable to host the annual "Bally Bingo Knockout Competition" at their place in Liphook at the moment due to David's ill health and Chris being very busy with work commitments. They hope to arrange another date later on so in the meantime I hope that David makes a speedy recovery.
Coos from the Netherlands was on holiday in the UK recently and found time to pay me a visit whilst on his travels.
Graham from Birmingham has listed his Palm Springs on Ebay.
How amazing that Bryan's Cypress Gardens did not sell on Ebay. It is one of the most popular bingo's in the UK and didn't even get a bid despite quite a reasonable opening price.
Welcome to new owner Chris from Tamworth who bought the Parade that I had just finished restoring. It had been fully overhauled and resprayed.
With the Parade now gone to a new home I have just started restoring a Bally Beauty which is for sale when completed. It is a 3-card bingo with a "spotted numbers" feature made in 1952 so this is a opportunity to pick up an early classic. Please email if interested.
There is a 6 card Continental Magic bingo listed on Ebay as a Bally. It is not a Bally and is probably a Belgian made solid-state machine. A bit of a nightmare to repair if it goes wrong.
Another of the late Bryan's machines is now listed on Ebay. It is a Cypress Gardens from 1958 and is a popular and sought after machine.
The Night Club recently offered on Ebay has a new home so perhaps the new owner would like to add it to the locations page.
Don't forget Evert and Ronny's "OpenGameRoom" weekend in Belgium on the 21st and 22nd of August. More details can be found in the forum.
Many thanks to those who made the trip to Pat's Cafe this year. The numbers were down this year but it is good to see good friends that had taken the time to come for the eighth consecutive meet. There are no photos this time so please accept my apologies for that.
A touchdown has recently changed hands so perhaps the new owner will make contact so that I can log its location. Following from that there is a Circus Queen for sale on Ebay that belonged to our late friend Bryan. There is also a Night Club available in the same category.
I've got my motivation back and recently completed two restorations for my collection, a Broadway and Big time. I am now restoring a 1956 Parade which will be for sale soon, please email me if anyone is genuinely interested in buying it. SOLD
Many visitors to the website have expressed an interest in seeing my collection of bingo's and other coin op games so I have put them on the site. Click here to view.
Our friend Freddy Bailey who now lives in the U.S. has appeared in a local TV show about his life in the coin op industry so if you would like to watch it then click this link and type in Freddy Bailey.
A Night Club recently sold on Ebay so perhaps the new owner would like to get in touch so that his bingo can be added to the owners database.
Wayne from near Wisbech has listed a Big Show for sale on Ebay
Still pretty quiet on the UK bingo scene at the moment but as the weather improves I'm sure that things will liven up.
Thanks to Chris H and David for the warm welcome to their piece of "bingo heaven" on Sunday when I was able to drool over the stock of imported machines in their workshop. Whilst there I scanned a number of United backglasses for future digital renovation. They are Brazil, Cabana, Havana, Rio and Tahiti so if anyone needs one of these please let me know and I will give it priority.
Not a lot happening at the moment probably due to the everlasting winter weather that we seem to be in the middle of. I certainly have not had a great deal of enthusiasm when it comes to going outside to my workshop although there is a heater in there.
Coos has a new website in Dutch and English so check it out here
Nothing to do with bingo's but I have recently visited the Pyramids in Egypt with the wife and managed to avoid getting ripped off for a single Euro by the local camel s******s. Which is more than I say for some of my fellow travellers.
Backglass section updated to include all of the available prints and the non-bingo ones including a couple of pinballs and some other coin-op games.
A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR VISITORS.
Welcome to new owner Steve from Solihull who just acquired his first bingo, a Big Show from Chris and David.
I have just completed digitising a Silver Sails playfield and added it to the Playfields directory.
Ronnie and Evert our friends from Belgium have now added a Bally Bingo's in Belgium section to their Bingovit website
In 2002 I decided to scan my Cypress Gardens backglass purely as an insurance in case it ever became damaged. At the time I did not have an A3 scanner and located a company in Chelmsford that were prepared to do it for me so I had the Cypress Gardens and later Miss America 57 scanned and merged. The Cypress Gardens came out pretty well but the Miss America was poorly merged and I had to it again a couple of years later. I recently had an enquiry for a Cypress Gardens print so I had a look at it in Photoshop and was not prepared to get a reprint from the original file as the quality is well below the standards that I now achieve. The upshot is that I have now re-scanned the glass and come up with a much higher quality image which is now available for prints. I also have a Miss America De Luxe and Beach Beauty backglass which are nearing completion.
More excuses I'm afraid, this time I've had Gout in my left foot which is the worst pain that I have ever had to endure. I'm sure that any lady visitors to the site would say that it is nothing compared to childbirth but that at least usually lasts for a lot shorter time. To make matters worse I have had a bad cold which has now spread to the rest of the family.
There have been a few postings on the forum about buying a bingo on Ebay without being fully aware of what is involved and I can only hope that this will be a valuable lesson to both buyers and sellers from now on.
For anyone interested in American gaming machines and jukeboxes from the 40's to the present day then the weekly issues of America's famous entertainment magazine Billboard can be found by clicking on the name. It is published by Google books and the gaming pages are towards the end of the magazine.
I have added a page to give visitors that a considering buying a bingo some advice on what machine types are available and how to proceed with caution.
I have noticed a few bingo's selling (or not) on Ebay recently so I will be pleased to hear from any new owners so that I can include them in the locations section.
Alan Hale from Suffolk contacted me recently and sent a picture of a cafe in Ixworth which was owned by his family. They had other cafes in the area and operated bingo's as well as other gaming machines from the fifties to the seventies.
I have recently had contact from some members of the forum who are having problems with making posts. I must point out that the forum is provided by a third party and I only have a limited amount that I can change. I cannot access passwords but I can update a user ID to allow posts so if you have a problem please email me with your user name and I will update your profile manually.
Whilst on the subject of forums I notice that Hugh (Oldbinger) has not returned so I would like to extend a welcome to anyone who would like to join regardless of where they are located. The forum never was intended to be just for U.K. use and already has a worldwide membership.
Dave from Leeds has sent me lots of pictures from the Bally Bingo Barbeque which I have put together on a web page. The sizes of the images have been reduced so that they can all be displayed together and will load quickly with broadband. They are all numbered so that if anyone would like a better quality image email me and quote the numbers so that I can forward them to you.
Click here to load images.
Many thanks to John (XansaBop) and his good lady Katherine who hosted a BBQ and bingo competition for the bingo fans who traveled many miles to their home in Northamptonshire. I did not count how many were there but it was good to see so many old friends and also to meet some new ones. Chris Howard was the competition winner and was awarded a very nice trophy made by our friend Coos from the Netherlands. By the way Chris I hope you read the small print and realise that like the Eurovision contest, the winner hosts the next one.
Another new owner this month is Neil from Worcester who has recently bought a Barrel O' Fun.
Welcome to new owner Jim from Walsall who has just purchased a Beach Club.
Just to let all of you regular visitors know that due to the illness and finally loss of a family member I have been neglecting the website and email recently. I hope to get back up to speed soon and normal service will be resumed.
I have also lost some emails amongst the 200 Spam that I receive daily so if you have been ignored please try again
Mike from Nottinghamshire has kindly allowed me to publish some photo's from the early 1980's of some bingo's being taken away for disposal which had been stored under canvas for a few years. His family owned the Top Ten Cafe in Hucknall Notts during the 1960's and had several machines on site. Seeing the potential benefits of owning the bingo's then led them to form R & C Automatics to buy their own and also supply other cafes and clubs with bingo's and various other gaming machines. Some of the other venues were Katie's Cafe in Meadowhall Sheffield and Manor Top Cafe Basford Notts, the Keeneys Rainbow in the picture gallery was located at The White Post Cafe on the A614.
Click here to view gallery
* Note how the Magic Pocket features have been disabled on the Gayety and Gay Time.
Another well attended annual meet at Pat Cafe in Norwich with many old friends and some new ones. Being too busy talking to everyone meant that I forgot all about taking pictures so please email any that were taken so that I can put an album online.
I will soon be publishing some pictures that were taken by a former operator of their old machines being loaded on a lorry to be taken away. A sample is shown below (I think they needed a bit more than TLC)..
The Dimpy Ipswich St. Stowmarket circa 1962.
This and other local cafes were a second home during my teenage gambling years. The Dimpy was opened in 1962 by Nancy Roberts from TV's "Double Your Money". It had previously been "The Warming Pan" and, as can be seen in the picture, was next to a garage which was later bought by the cafe and made into the "Cavern Ballroom". There were no windows in the ballroom and it soon picked up a bit of a reputation as not being a good place for your daughters, or sons for that matter, to go. The shop next door was owned by Billy Cunnell and we used to buy a Joystick (double length cigarette) for 5d to smoke in the cinema opposite and 1d bangers in the lead up to firework night. The shop also became part of the cafe in later years. They had two or three bingo's that were in play for most of the sixteen hours a day that the cafe was open and took either 3d or 6d depending on which one you played. It later became "The Newcomers" and next a restaurant known as "The Pine Mine". The ballroom hosted the Stowmarket Country Music Club for many years and is where I met my wife Paulette. It is now a nightclub called Jokers.
Welcome to new owners Mike from Wolverhampton, Ian from Somerset and Graham from Great Yarmouth.
I have now tried two sets of prints with a laminate layer on the front and I am pleased with the results. It is a bit harder to cut out the circular holes on the earlier bingo's but the magic screen games are much the same. The option is available for print orders and costs an extra £10.00.
I have removed an oval shaped I.D. plate from a 1957 Miss America. It says "Supplied by SPA COINOMATICS 75 CLARENDON STREET LEAMINGTON SPA". It also has the name A. C. Jordan who may have owned the company. Anyone remember them, if so please let me know.
Yacht Club playfield added to added to playfield overlay section.
Welcome also to all the recent new visitors to the site including new owners from Argentina.
Nothing to do with bingo's this time but to announce that my son Ricky, who some of you will know, and his partner Michaela had a baby son today. Hopefully he will learn to play the bingo's into the next generation.
Some of you have been asking about the annual Pat's Cafe get together so I am pleased to confirm it will be on Saturday the 6th of June. It will be good to see bingo buddies both old and new so don't forget to put the date in your diaries.
I am testing a laminate coating for the prints. It will make it more difficult to damage the surface when cutting out the sections for backglass repros and less likely to ripple. If all is OK then it will be an optional extra when ordering a print and cost about £10 extra.
Yesterday our "bingo buddy" Bryan's funeral took place near to his home in Staines. It was a time of sadness and also some laughter at the well attended service of family and friends. Gone, but will always be remembered by all.
I have completely renewed the "How to make a backglass" section with pictures and instructions.
Bryan's funeral is to be held at Hanworth Crematorium, Hounslow Rd, Hanworth TW13 5JH at 14.40 Friday the 13th of March. His family will be pleased to see any of Bryan's bingo friends that would like to attend so if you going, please email me so that I can let them know numbers expected.
It is with great sadness that I am passing on the news that our "bingo buddy" Bryan from Staines has lost his battle with cancer. He was a real "what you see is what you get" kind of person and will sadly missed by his family and friends. Funeral arrangements are not yet finalised but I will post them as soon as I know.
Big Show playfield overlay complete and now available to order.
Mel from South London is selling a Beach Time. It is in need of some restoration but will make a good project for someone willing to put in some effort, check out the forum for more details.
Back in circulation again after a pretty crap two weeks of being ill.
Frans and Ed now have an updated website in both Dutch and English, check it out on this LINK or find it in the Links page.
Does anyone know what has happened to Freddy Baileys website as it seems to have vanished. I have tried to contact Freddy but so far I have had no response.
Best wishes for the New Year and it starts with a message from John in Wellingborough who is organising a "Bally Bingo's in Britain" day on Sunday 30th August. Please contact John via the Forum for more details.
Welcome to new owner Glynn from Manchester who has just bought my Big Time. Glynn is also into classic cars so he shares similar interests to some of the other owners. Jim from Upminster who has the "odd" Broadway (Dec 1st) is making good progress in returning it to original operation.
I have just received an email from David Wilcox which I felt that I had to share with you all." This will provide another piece in the jigsaw of the Bally bingo's history in the U.K. I am now seventy years old and started in the industry when I was fourteen working for Electromatics in Birmingham. I later went to Associated Leisure Ltd (formerly Phongraphic Equipment Ltd) during which time I dealt with the reconditioning and sale of literally thousands of bingo machines. I remember Bally's "The Twist" because as the name implies it had a twist in that every coin advanced a feature but it did not give any greater advantage than the conventional bingo's. At about the same time we sold the Bally "Jumbo's", another very addictive machine, these were upright console type machines that incorporated features taken from bingo's. During the heyday of the import and distribution of the bingo's I had a team of engineers working for me and we must have come across almost every conceivable fault both mechanically and electronically that existed. I was an expert in diagnostics and "talk through" repairs over the phone, of course there were no mobiles or cordless phones in those days so there was sometimes a long wait for the repairer to respond after trying something out. The worse problem was a dead short which resulted in having to de-solder all the orange (70) wires and re-connecting one at a time. One of the most common was overclocking, usually 6 for 4, which was normally either the cams behind the search disc or worn out search relays so we developed a system of stopping the motors after the first ball was fired. I could go on for hours with bingo nostalgia but will close with a couple of memories, the first was a fault with a "Big Show" owned by Freddy Bailey. He had put a new coil winding on the mixer/spotting motor back to front and caused the motor to run backwards and finally that my first encounter with a Bally machine was a Bally Reserve (1938) which was a forerunner of the bingo's to come. You had to bounce the ball onto the wire bumpers to light all the numbers on the screen to win an amount that advanced every five coins. That's all for now but thanks for keeping bingo's alive." DAVID WILCOX (edited by Ballybingo)
I have included a PDF file of a Belgian sixties bingo and amusements catalogue that I copied from Ed a couple of years ago (yes I know I'm slow in keeping up with things!). The front pages have grainy pictures of bingos and other machines while the back 16 pages list parts and their numbers so perhaps a handy reference tool.
Best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of my "bingo buddies" both old and new and I hope to see as many of you as I can during the coming year.
Welcome to new owner Bob from Bexhill who has recently bought a fully restored Key West from my collection.
Jim from Upminster has sent me a picture of a Broadway he recently acquired which has had some rather strange modifications to the odds and features. It is hand painted onto Perspex and was probably done here in the UK and it is so different I wonder if anyone remembers where it was located, if so please drop me an email.
Welcome to new owner Paul from Cannock who has just bought my Palm Beach. Hopefully another new visitor for the Pats Cafe reunion in June.
Firstly there are a number of new bingo owners after a lot of machines were sold on Ebay recently although I have no idea who some of them are. Ray from Bedfordshire bought the Big Show and Show Time that was sold by Mal from South London and Jim from South London has just bought the Dude Ranch that was offered by Kevin from Camberley. I have just updated the locations list so please advise of any errors or omissions.
A Galaxy backglass and a Circus Queen playfield have recently been completed and have been added to the lists. I still have a few backglass scans to complete but no other playfields at the moment.
A special thanks to Chris Howard from Littlehampton for all the help he has given freely to many bingo owners who are having problems with their machines. A very special guy!
Recently George from Fife contacted me and said that he would like to buy the Big Time that I was offering for sale on my website. I spoke to George on the phone and he explained that he had played the bingos in his youth and would love to re-live those memories but due to a serious accident in his youth he was confined to a wheelchair. I agreed to take the bingo to Scotland with no obligation for him to buy and sadly George found it too difficult to use the magic lines buttons so he did not have it. I must say that it was a true pleasure to meet him and Andrew and to take this opportunity to thank him for the kindness and hospitality given to me.
John (Xansabop) has updated the Forum with details of his dealings with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs regarding the payment of a lower rate of VAT on old and N.O.S bingo parts imported from the U.S. and other non EEC countries. I am pretty sure that the Royal Mail will still charge £8 for the privilege of collecting your own mail from the sorting office.
Welcome to new owners Steve from Luton with a Ticker Tape and Big Show also Edward from Nuneaton with a Cypress Gardens.
Mal has re-listed his bingos on ebay after they failed to meet the reserve. I can assure anyone interested in buying them that they are a really good buy and that the photos do not reflect how good they are. I am sure that Mal would be more than happy for a serious buyer to check them out at his home.
Back again after a busy few weeks working to earn enough to keep me going through the winter. Firstly I was sorry to see that Mal from South London is having to sell his bingo's. I hope that anyone visiting the site and wanting a bingo will give them some serious consideration as they are in top condition and worth the money. Follow this link to see them.
Will all bingo owners please send me details of changes to their collections as the database is falling behind a bit. There has been a number of machines bought and sold in the past few months and I have lost track.
Welcome to new owner Fred from Basingstoke who has had a County Fair for many years and just discovered that he is not the only person in the UK who has one and hopes to be joining us on the internet soon.
Four more playfield overlays added to the list, Cypress Gardens, Palm Springs, Carnival Queen and Bikini.
I have just been informed by Bingovit in Belgium that there is a Jukebox and Collectors Show in Genk Belgium on the 13th and 14th of September so if you fancy a trip over the water to stock up on wine and cigarettes then this is for you.
I would also like to thank all my guests who braved the weather and attended a barbecue at my home yesterday as a celebration of my upcoming 60th birthday. The bingos and slot machines had a good hammering which will do them good as they don't get enough use.
Jim and Jenny from South Essex decided to accept the kind invitation from our Belgian friends Bingovit to attend a pinball and bingo weekend near Antwerp. They had a really good time and were well looked after by our Belgian friends. Click this link for pictures.
I have just acquired a photo of some men playing on a Show Time bingo in the early sixties. There is a possibility that it may have been taken in Derbyshire so can anyone of our website visitors identify the cafe or any of the lads in it (now probably in their late 60's) ?
(Copyright - stilltime.net)
Frans and Coos from the Netherlands have been doing some great work on some superb new replacement buttons and metalwork for bingo lockdown bars. Check them out using this link http://www.coos.net/ , it is in Dutch and English.
The picture is of a bingo that has recently been added to my collection. It came into the U.K. in a container shipped from the U.S. in 2003 by John from Newark. After some cosmetic work it was bought by Steve in Lancs and later moved across the Penines to Dave in Wakefield. It was then sold on Ebay to Baz in Durham who after a while sold it again on Ebay to Neil in the West Midlands. It then had a short visit to the bingo hospital here at my home and then went back to the Midlands for another year. Sadly the backglass had deteriorated badly and I took it in as a part exchange on another bingo and took the opportunity to do a bit of file manipulation for the new backglass.
Yes I'm sure you've spotted my vain attempt at bingo fame by re-naming a Dude Ranch to my family name of Dade.
Bingovit from Belgium has sent details of a bingo and pinball event that he is holding in Belgium on the 23rd and 24th of August. The pinball event is on the Saturday and the bingo event is on Sunday so please checkout the attachment for details
I have attached Joe Shope's parts list in an Adobe file for easy download. Joe will be only to pleased to help with your Bally bingo parts.
Click this link for a selection of pictures from the Pat's Cafe 2008 meeting. The pictures are so good I have decided to award everyone free entry to the cafe next year. The witty remarks on some of the pictures are nothing to do with me so if anyone is offended I will not disclose Johns name.
Welcome to new owner Eric from West London who has just taken delivery of a Silver Sails from our friends in the Netherlands. Eric is delighted with his new bingo and say's "This is the first of many".
CLICK HERE FOR HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
This line up is some of the attendees of the Pats Cafe annual meet. Those missing were either camera shy or had to leave early. Thanks to John for the picture.
What a day! The annual meeting at Pats Cafe was the best yet with a good mix of owners, restorers, future owners and just fans who had not even seen a bingo for 35 years. Please forward any pictures to me and I will put a selection together for the site in a few days. Thanks to Barry, John and Frans who have already sent some great pictures of the day and the best picture qualifies for free entry to the cafe next year. Special thanks to our friends from the Netherlands for their usual enthusiasm and the help and advice offered and John from Wellingborough whose wife Katherine kindly took the ladies on a trip to Blickling Hall. It was also a pleasure to see Peter Hoebert who has the largest collection of bingos in Europe and probably the world with over 200 machines. Peter is mentioned many times in Jeffrey Lawton's Bally bingo book and to get here was his first experience of driving on the left and to top that he came through the Dartford crossing on the M25 at 4.00pm on a Friday. What a man!
On another note the hit counter has passed the 10,000 hit mark and the rumour that 9,000 of them are mine is not true as my own hits do not count. Thanks to all of the regular and occasional visitors.
Well "The Twist" tale takes another turn, sadly Allen, who has only owned the machine for a couple of weeks, has had to offer it for sale on ebay. Often people buy a bingo and after owning it for a year or two the novelty wears off but I must say that two weeks is now the current record.
If you need any hard to get spares then why not contact Joe Shope from Utah in the U.S. firstname.lastname@example.org for all sorts of NOS and used parts. Joe accepts Paypal and will ship to any part of the world and only charge reasonable shipping costs. Please remember that you may have to pay U.K. duty if the value of the goods exceed the amount allowed by H.M. Customs.
Welcome to new owner Allen from Kettering who has just acquired The Twist (I always like a story with a happy ending).
Talking of The Twist, Kevin from Camberley has recently listed The Twist on ebay. It is modestly priced but in need of major restoration work so please don't bid on it if you cannot carry out the repairs. A new glass can be made using my backglass inner and outer prints and laminating them between two pieces of 3mm glass.
A bingo called The Twist was recently offered on ebay and during the last minutes of the auction it became a fight between two bidders finally ending up with someone using the ID power_mighty winning at £2000. Now comes "the twist", the following morning the under bidder received an email giving a "second chance" opportunity to buy it for £1900. The bingo remains unsold.
Another cautionary tale is to beware if ordering any parts from Marco in the US. One of our forum members recently ordered two coils at $7.95 each (about £9 for the two) and got stung $40 shipping charges which should have been about $10 at USPS rates. To make matters worse the shipping was declared as part of the value and he also got charged VAT and collection fees. (The post office charges £8 and you have to go to the sorting office to get the package).
More playfields added to the collection, Show Time, Sun Valley and Variety and having just completed a Big Time overlay I have put together a Fitting Instructions guide using pictures and simple instructions.
I have been authorised by Alan from Ace Pins in the U.S. to distribute the DVD's of his Bally Bingo service guide Vol. 1 & 2. They are a must for both new and experienced bingo owners and cost £15.00 inc P&P. Email me for details.
I am looking forward to the annual meet up at Pat's Cafe and it looks like it's going to be the best turnout yet. Our friends Frans and Ed will be coming from the Netherlands along with Peter Hoebert who is a well known contributor to Jeffrey Lawton's Bally Bingo book.
Freddy Bailey, an ex. pat. "bingo buddy" from the U.S. is shortly publishing a book about his 50 years in the gaming machine industry. I have attached a publicity flyer which he has sent to me so if you are interested in a copy then please let me know.
Now that we have some decent Spring weather I have come out of hibernation and arranged the Pat's Cafe annual visit. Unfortunately Steve is unable to open on Sunday this year so we will be meeting up on Saturday 14th June.
Welcome to new owner Steve from Coventry who has recently acquired a 1957 Miss America. Two other machines have been sold recently, a Cypress Gardens and a Carnival Queen. Perhaps the new owners will get in touch so that I can update the locations database.
I recently sold a Bally Bingo clock on Ebay and several people have made contact and asked if there are any more so I have made a few which will be sold on a first come first served basis. They are £12.00 each with £2.50 P&P (recorded delivery). For Europe and International please email. No extra for Paypal.
The clock has an overall width of 260mm and takes one AA battery (not supplied). A clock with a choice of backglasses can be supplied for an extra £5.00.
I've finally got around to finishing off my Frolics, it has been quite a long process with all the cabinet wiring needing replacement as the cloth covered wire had disintegrated, and the playfield needed a replacement. The first part was relatively easy but the playfield problem has lead me to make digital replacements. Click on the Playfield button to see my progress so far.
Welcome to new owner David from the West Midlands who is now the proud owner of a Key West.
This shocking picture taken after a fire in an outbuilding at the home of Kevin from Surrey shows what can happen to a collection of lovingly restored machines when fire takes hold. The cause is still under investigation but whatever the outcome, some bingo's will be lost forever and money alone will not replace them. I know that many owners, including myself, keep their prized machines in wooden outbuildings in the garden so make sure that you are always on your guard and keep an extinguisher and a hose reel at the ready. My sympathies go out to Kevin on behalf of you all.
On a brighter note I spent three days in the Netherlands last week with my good friends Frans, Ed and Peter where I managed to scan some more playfields for digital reproduction. Those acquired so far are Miss America 57, Frolics, Lido, Palm Springs, Sun Valley, Beach Club, Broadway, Carnival Queen, Circus Queen, County Fair, Cypress Gardens, Key West and Show Time. Many thanks for the hospitality received especially to Frans and his wife Dini who looked after me during my stay.
Welcome to new owner John from Northampton who recently collected his newly restored Key West from the Mechelen Show.
Well it's back to reality again after celebrating the New Year on the magnificent ship Norwegian Jewel in the Caribbean.
I am now looking to increase the number of playfield overlays to match the backglasses where possible so if anyone has one that they need then please make contact and I will do my best to get hold of it. Some of my "bingo buddies" have been in touch and I will be scanning and digitizing several over the coming weeks.
Still more bingo's being sold on Ebay so if you are a new owner or have had one for a while please let me know so that I can update the owners / locations list.
I have been working on the Frolics playfield with the new stick on surface. The people at the printers helped by sticking the print onto the playfield for me( it's easy when you know how ) which was a great help in getting me started. I have taken several pictures of the process and I will put a complete section about it on the site after Christmas. Please email me with any comments or questions.
Note: If anyone in the UK has any old playfields that I can scan then please email me
Check out Peter Hoeberts website with lots of pictures of his fabulous collection of classic slot machines and games, the site is in Dutch and English. Welcome to new owner Jim from South who has just bought a Variety.
I have been informed by Jeffrey Lawton that Russ Jensen has passed away recently. I am sure that many of the visitors to my website will have read some of the many articles on pinballs and bingos that Russ had made freely available to us all. He will be sadly missed.
Well Autumn (the "Fall" for our U.S. readers) is upon us and I will be spending less time in my cabins playing the bingo's and other slots that I have. Sadly as I get older I feel the cold more and enjoy working outside less. Anyway enough of my wittering and back to the bingo news. You know what they say about buses "None come for ages and then three all turn up together" well now believe it or not there are three Bally Variety's on ebay at the same time.
New owners are Graham from Birmingham who has recently bought a Broadway and Palm Springs and John from Bolton has acquired a Sun Valley for his collection. Does anyone know the new owner of the Silver Sails bought for £921 on ebay recently.
Our good friend Frans has achieved fame on national TV in the Netherlands. In a programme about unusual hobbies, Frans is featured showing his collection and explaining about Bally bingo's to a reporter. Follow the link to view the programme www.eo.nl/media/spelert.jsp?-aflid=8804467 . It is in Dutch but I am sure that you will be able to get the gist of what is being said.
Welcome to John from Bolton who has just bought a Miss America Supreme from Belgium.
More top prices paid for bingo's on Ebay show that there is an ever growing demand for the lovely old machines, I just hope that their new owners are willing to learn how to repair and maintain them. Welcome to new owner Steve from Heysham Lancs. who has just bought himself a Night Club.
Pat's Cafe pictures posted please click on link below. The Night Club (1956 not 1952) listed on Ebay has made an amazing £1320, I hope that the new owner will make contact so that they can be added to the owners list.
Hi again to all you bingo fans out there. All of the usual excuses for slacking on the website but I will try and do better in future. Kevin from Sudbury (Suffolk) has recently bought a Big Show and is now in the process of a restoration. Mal from South London has acquired a Beach Time (lucky sod) which brings his collection to three, another shed now Mal? I have also recently picked up a Broadway which is in lovely condition apart from the cabinet graphics so that's another paint job on the list and believe it or not I now have another Summer House which will give me room to house fifteen bingos and other slot machines. Currently only ten are up and running but I hope to have the others ready by this time next year. Visitors welcome by prior arrangement.
I have also digitized another four backglasses bringing the total to fifty, I would like to do Beauty Beach when the opportunity comes but any others will only be done by request.
Click here to view pictures from Peter Hoebert's Games Room
I recently enjoyed a short cruise with my good lady and this included a day in Amsterdam where my good friend Frans arranged a visit to Peter Hoeberts home and warehouse. Well I was amazed at the collection of 1950's and 60's amusement machines at Peters home and with his permission I will put some pictures on the site soon. Many thanks to Frans and Dini, Ed and Paulien, Peter and Ina for giving up their day for Paulette and myself.
Hi again folks! Another long gap between postings but sadly I too have to earn a living and this is one of two very busy times that I have each year. I did however manage a well deserved break in Las Vegas beforehand. I had an opportunity to visit the "Pinball Hall of Fame" where I was made very welcome by the guy who was working there, I have forgotten his name but it is something that seems to happen more regularly as I approach my late fifties. I also got some strange looks from the counter staff when I went into a bank and asked for 30 Dollars in Nickels.
Welcome to Shaun from Evesham with his Big Show to the ever growing band of bingo owners and enthusiasts.
I have managed to complete the restoration of a 1951 Spot Lite which is now the pride of my collection. Many thanks to David and Kevin for making this possible.