" 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.
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."