Joyce's Column May

    I recently spent a few days in Great Yarmouth and visited the Model Village  which was absolutely superb and on the exit from the Model Village you came out by their Vintage Amusement Arcade, where they had numerous vintage slot machines and games of fun on offer for people to play, They were in the old coinage and you had to get change to old pennies to play them, but it was amazing to see just how many people there were playing these machines and really enjoying them. I took some photos of 3 machines which were extremely popular Sega Bell, Aristocrat Arcadian and Carousel which was manufactured by Parkers Automatic Supplies of Rhyl, and even after all my years in the industry this was a new one on me, as I never realised that this company manufactured machines, does anybody else remember this company and what other machines they manufactured? It just goes to show that we can all learn something new each day, despite the fact that we think we know it all!!

    Whilst I was at the Irish Gaming Show I bumped into Joe Cramer, who was JC Cables but he has now had a change of business and he is now Vintage Glow Bespoke Creations where he is making Artisan Creations, specialising in ceiling lights, standard lamps, table lamps and wall sconces, all bespoke and a one off all hand crafted, complete with all important energy saving bulbs. If you fancy something unique to you in the way of lights why not contact Joe on 00 353 87 263 9890 or email him on

    I mentioned Chris Bell in my earlier chat column and about his help at the Irish Gaming Show, he was attending this show for the first time in many years and using it as a swan song tour seeing his customers before his retirement. Apparently, he had covered the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland on this tour and enjoyed it from start to finish. He was welcomed with open arms by his customers all wishing him well and success for the future and of course telling he would be missed. Chris thought that this tour was the end of his retirement event but how wrong he was as Bandai Namco organised a surprise retirement party for him and this was held at The Richmond Hill Hotel, Richmond on Thames with canapes and champagne served at 17.15 and I was most honoured to be invited as a guest to this party, as apart from staff from Bandai Namco, Chris’s wife Alison and a couple of their friends, there were around 5 of us from the amusement industry invited as special guests, including World of Rides David and Andrew Robinson.

    Chris arrived at the hotel at 17.30 accompanied by his wife Alison and to say he was overwhelmed when he saw us all there would have been an understatement. Dinner was served at 18.30, followed by speeches (yes I made one) and a picture show of Chris through the years who apparently liked to dress up in various guises, he received many gifts and Bandai Namco’s John McKenzie presented him with the Red Book, a similar to the one that was always presented on the late TV show This Is Your Life.

    Chris reciprocated by thanking everyone for attending, for the speeches and to Bandai Namco for organising such a great event for him. After more food and much more alcohol consumed, the party continued well into the early hours of the morning, and I have to say that that a great time was had by all. I would like to end this tribute to Chris by wishing him all the very best in his retirement, may he have a long and happy one, and please Chris don’t be a stranger come back and see us, at least at the shows now you will be able to walk about at leisure instead of being tied to a stand from 10am to 6pm, and maybe even get the odd drink or two in at the bar.

    Congratulations to Electrocoin’s Teresea Arnedo and Bob Nicholson on their wedding and Teresa’s 60th birthday on 29 April, the same day that they celebrated their wedding, Teresa looked stunning in an amethyst coloured dress and both her and Bob looked so relaxed.  The ceremony took place at Fredericks, Camden Passage, Islington and Teresa’s sister Angela carried out the wedding ceremony as she is an actual registrar with Islington Council. This was followed by a lovely meal at Fredericks together with many toasts to the happy couple, followed by dancing and then cutting of the cake, again more dancing and then carriages at 23.30.  

    I was once again invited as a guest, only a few people from the amusement industry were invited including the Stergides family and Neil from Electrocoin, so I was also honoured to be invited to this wonderful event and to be able to celebrate the start of their new lives as husband and wife.

    They spent the night after their wedding at a hotel in the area and then were off to The Cotswolds for a few days. Just a further mention about a member of the Stergides family, Gabby was at a meeting before the wedding and was dashing to get to the wedding and he couldn’t get any transport to suit, so being the person he is, he cycled to the wedding and he arrived looking immaculate as always and not even out of breath.

    While you are all reading this chat column I will be sunning myself (I hope) in the Dominican Republic where I am going on holiday for 12 days, and it is around 20 years since I was last in this country so I am rather excited to see how far it has come into the 21st century. I will not be going towards Haiti as I don’t want to get locked up, and of course I need to be back for the Open Day at Park Avenue on 5 June, always a day to be remembered and enjoyed.

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    24 May 2024



    Steph Curtis-Raleigh

    28 May 2024 13:36

    Wishing Chris a very happy retirement!

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