Joyce's Column: March

    I see that another well established, company in our industry has - as one could say -  bitten the dust, which is such a shame as this company had been around for many years, I am of course talking about Whittaker Brothers (Amusement Rides) Ltd. Such a pity to see such a nice family company close and to lose more professional personalities from our industry.

    I can remember Eric Whittaker the founder of the company, such a smart and attractive man and always had a great head for business. It is a sign of the times today though that often family businesses are on the decline, as the younger generations of these families do not really wish to carry on with the businesses in today’s hi-tech world. I would like to wish John Whittaker, Alan Buckley and all the employees of Whittaker Brothers all the very best for their futures, and end by saying what a sad loss it is for the industry to lose this company.

    I would like to extend my best wishes to my old friend Chris Bell of Bandai Namco who retires at the end of March after many years in the industry, which he has enjoyed and I have enjoyed knowing him for most of these. Chris, not only will you be missed by your colleagues at Bandai Namco, you will be missed by many in the industry myself included, with your cheery smile and twinkle in your eyes and your superb selling skills you will be a hard act to follow. Take good care of yourself and enjoy your retirement.

    Well-known industry personality David Gershlick was very happy to show me his socks at EAG a couple of months back, they had Space Invaders patterns on them as the photo shows, and the following day he had a different pair on again with Space Invaders, he was obviously, a great fan of this game.

    Not to be outdone, Stuart Keane kept up his tradition of turning up his trouser leg to his knee, no not really to show his leg but for memories of years ago when he always came to the shows in one legged trousers, and he even attended a BACTA Ball in his dinner suit as was expected but his had only one full trouser leg in it.

    Sterling Amusement Machines’ John Marriott was in The Fox pub after the show closed on the second day and he kindly acted as minder to the lady I was with while I had to go and see another person in the room, and he waited with her until I got back, what a true gent you are John, and us ladies know we are in safe hands when we are with you.

    I must also thank my friends at NSM for the supply of their wonderful pens they really do last and I use such a lot of pens it is nice to get something that lasts. I would also like to thank Martin, Alex and Lisa for the glass or two of wine they entertained me with on their stand. It was nice white wine and it went down very well, thankfully it was getting close to the show closing, and I didn’t have any further commitments that day!

    Thanks again are the order of the day and this time Instance Automatics Tina and Ian Eason are the people that deserve my thanks for all they did for me at EAG, they know what they did and I do too and it was appreciated. They really are a kind and caring couple, we could do with more like them in this world.

    Reflex’s Quentin Stott was sporting crutches at the show. Apparently, he had a skiing accident on the first day of his holiday, silly boy! Quentin you are supposed to have these things at the end of your holiday not at the start. I have to say though he was like a whirlwind on the crutches, talk about no stopping him, no way could you have done. Anyway Quentin, hope you soon get rid of the crutches and are back on your own two feet very soon.

    Next we move onto the recent Irish Gaming Show held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin this is the second year it has been held here, and it is a lovely hotel, not the cheapest in the world by any means, but I have to say they do offer  great service, excellent bedrooms, great food and according to what I am told from ‘The Lads’ they do a mean pint of Guinness, of which many are consumed during this show, after all what is Ireland without Guinness, apart from the fact it is a lovely country with great people of course!

    The show was excellently organised by Susan Feery and John Purcell and I know that they work extremely hard in organising this show each year and they get a lot of repeat exhibitors which goes to speak for itself, if it didn’t work then exhibitors would not return year after year. It was well set out with a vast array of products on offer and it is a show that feels friendly and relaxed as soon as you enter the exhibition hall. The visitors came too, and I am told that many of those that did attend were buyers, which is what is wanted, better to have a show with 200 visitors who are all buyers than one with 1,000 visitors and only 10 buyers, not of course there were only 200 visitors to the show, there were many, many, more several of them flying in from the UK for the day to check out the show and of course enjoy the ‘Irish Craic’ and Guinness.

    I will give you more jottings from Irish Gaming Show next month.

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    20 March 2024

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