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  • George 1978
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    Re: pier Amusements

    I have always associated these sort of things a lot more with northern coastal towns such as Blackpool or Scarborough - there seems to be a very northern feel to them, just like bingo and gambling (think of Coronation Street characters doing that sort of thing). I suppose that it is because working class people are more likely to use them when they visit or stay in a coastal town.

    Not quite coastal towns but when the annual Goose Fair comes around at the start of October each year, there are plenty of those sorts of things there as well, although it is only for a maximum of five days in the year.

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  • staffslad
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    Re: pier Amusements

    A few more amusements I remember...

    A shooting game in which the butt end of a rifle stuck out of the machine and there was an eyepiece to look through to see a target. Optics made the target appear far away. You could move the rifle and had one shot at the target. After shooting, the machine dropped a paper target out of a slot and you could see how close you got to the bull.

    A machine gun mounted as to appear like those you would see on old WWI aircraft. Enemy aircraft would fly across and you had to shoot them down, cue flashing lights and sound effects.

    A game where crocodiles would poke their heads out of holes, their mouths would open and you had to use a kind of hammer to bash their mouths shut. The crocodile heads would move in and out faster and faster as the game progressed.

    A football game where you would press various levers to make players run up and down grooves to kick the ball.

    The arcade bingo section where people would sit at boards and a person would shout out the numbers. If you had a number you would slide a little door to cover it. Lots of older woman and young women with babies in pushchairs seemed to play this one.

    Not an amusement, but almost every amusement arcade would have a little cubicle inside which a bored looking person would sit to give change, which would drop down a chute.

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  • staffslad
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    Re: pier Amusements

    The wild west/hillbilly shooting galleries I can remember were in North Wales resorts such as Rhyl. I think I first saw one in about 1987 or so. Lots of people were playing on it but by the last time circa 1992 I didn't see anyone have a go. The one I recall the best was indoors and I think it did spray water but I suppose it must have been well away from the other machines.

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  • amethyst
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    Re: pier Amusements

    Its about having fun getting rid of 2ps in the arcades

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  • Mulletino
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    Re: pier Amusements

    Originally posted by Big Tim View Post
    Scarborough (North Yorks) still has a lot of amusement arcades on the sea front. While many are dominated by the more expensive 1 a go "puggies" or video games, there are some smaller arcades (particularly at the far end of the South Bay) which have numerous 2p "Waterfall" machines, plus the aforementioned Horse Racing betting game - most of these have been upgraded to 10p a play.

    The game I used to enjoy most in arcades as a child was one which I haven't seen for years. It was like a shooting range, where for 20p you would get something like ten shots of an air rifle (which did not use any ammunition / pellets, it was merely an invisible beam or something) and if you hit a target, something would happen - often these were "Wild West" or "Hillbilly" themed. I remember many of them squirting water back at you if you successfully shot the target, sometimes it would be something like a character would start playing a banjo, or a door would fly open and some exhibit would appear sat on a toilet reading a newspaper! I certainly remember them in arcades at Scarborough, Filey, Blackpool and in places like Flamingoland up until the early 1990's.
    Same at Southend-on-sea, although one of the arcades there still has one of those Hillbilly shooting things. It's indoors though so doesn't spray water like they used to. You'd know which rifles got wet from which target and deliberately soak other players. An arcade here in Australia (Gold Coast) still has one too.

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  • Richard1978
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    Re: pier Amusements

    There was an arcade in Wells Next The Sea that had one of those shooting galleries until about 1990.

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  • Big Tim
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    Scarborough (North Yorks) still has a lot of amusement arcades on the sea front. While many are dominated by the more expensive 1 a go "puggies" or video games, there are some smaller arcades (particularly at the far end of the South Bay) which have numerous 2p "Waterfall" machines, plus the aforementioned Horse Racing betting game - most of these have been upgraded to 10p a play.

    The game I used to enjoy most in arcades as a child was one which I haven't seen for years. It was like a shooting range, where for 20p you would get something like ten shots of an air rifle (which did not use any ammunition / pellets, it was merely an invisible beam or something) and if you hit a target, something would happen - often these were "Wild West" or "Hillbilly" themed. I remember many of them squirting water back at you if you successfully shot the target, sometimes it would be something like a character would start playing a banjo, or a door would fly open and some exhibit would appear sat on a toilet reading a newspaper! I certainly remember them in arcades at Scarborough, Filey, Blackpool and in places like Flamingoland up until the early 1990's.
    Last edited by Big Tim; 17-08-2016, 15:42.

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  • staffslad
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    Thanks very much for the links. That brought back memories of seeing them in the 70s and 80s. Wow, according to that vid of the hanging it is from the 20s, so that would have made the machine around 60 years old when I last saw it circa 1985 or so.
    As well as these working models I remember several dancing clowns. Put your penny in and a puppet clown on strings would dance to tinny music--the movements being similar to how the puppets moved in the old Andy Pandy programmes. Those clowns were so creepy with their painted, staring eyes.

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  • I. R. Fincham
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    I remember them. I found a few of them on Youtube. They were called "working models", it seems.

    Here's the hanging.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMxx0H8ahcs

    One of several hannted houses
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvveBnTNFH4

    And this, I'd guess, is what you remember as a night watchman
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj2cUkxt-yo

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  • staffslad
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    Still on pier amusements, does anyone remember those animated dioramas that used to be found in arcades well into the 80s? There was one of a haunted house. The scene was a bedroom, complete with sleeping occupant and a burglar attempting to break in to a safe. Deposit your penny and the scene would animate. The safe opened and something came out, the sleeper sat up but his head remained on the pillow, the bedroom door opened and there was a ghost or monster behind it, plus several other effects I am hazy about. There was also a similar scene set on a road with a night watchman being subjected to various frights, only this one I don't remember nearly as well.

    There were also two rather grim ones showing execution scenes. One was a hanging and the other the electric chair. Deposit your coin and the condemned's eyes would bulge, his hair stand on end, his mouth open in a silent scream, and there would be a sound effect of a crackling electric current and possibly a light to simulate an electric arc as he is executed.

    These machines were very old even in the 70s and 80s and I wouldn't be surprised if they dated from the 30s or 40s. You would often find one in a dusty and obscure corner of the arcade, well away from the glitzy video games and other more up-to-date machines.

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  • staffslad
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    I don't remember seeing any one-armed bandits that gave out anything other than cash or very occasionally tokens. Makes you wonder what other items some may have paid out to winning customers.

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  • zabadak
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    I remember once, on Hampstead Heath for their Bank Holiday fair, winning a single cigratte from a one-armed bandit!

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  • staffslad
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    The old penny bandits were great fun. As others have said, there was something very satisfying and addictive about pulling that arm. I also liked the horse-racing and racing car betting games. If I remember correctly, there were 'odds' when betting on them, in that each horse or car had a different probability of winning, so one less probable paid out more if it won, whereas one more probable paid out less.

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  • Richard1978
    replied
    Re: pier Amusements

    Yes that's how I remember it from those 2 clips.

    I did wonder how it used limited colour, which the 2nd clip reveals.

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  • bakermuk
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    Re: pier Amusements

    and here it is how I remember it!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N61Lacr9IGs

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