My name is Graham and I reside in Newcastle Australia,
I came across your website by accident and found it very interesting and inspiring; first let me give you a background of myself, I am co – author of a pinball book (pinball snapshots) with Marco Rossignoli; Marco as you may already know is author of two other pinball books (The complete pinball book and Pinball memories) that he wrote prior to our commitment to this series.
Anyway, in my book with Marco we covered three bingo machines and gave a detailed account of the rules and strategies of each machine, with of course very good photos from Marco to back up each game; the games in question were all Bally (of course) and were – BALI 1974, GALAXY 1978 and TOUCHDOWN 1960, I hope you and your friends have had a chance to look at the book and view the bingo chapters (my favourite to write).
Marco and I are nearing the completion of our second book (title not known yet) and would just like to inform you (and the readers of your website) that this book also includes a detailed account of three more bingo games; these chapters have been fully completed, and I hope I don’t sound biased when I say this, but the text and photos of each machine turned out better then we could have hoped; the games in question are – FROLICS 1952, CARNIVAL QUEEN 1958 and MISS AMERICA DELUXE 1977; Frolics and Miss America were restored by myself, but with the Carnival Queen the cosmetics was done by the owner, with me restoring the mechanics; Carnival Queen is owned by Mark Hanlon who recently sent you an e- mail describing his game with mention of a payout hopper (the hopper is not mentioned in the chapter as to leave the game original); Mark came to me a while ago and mentioned that he would like a hopper in his game and I said it could be done, as I know some games came from the factory as such; after many thought sessions and many beers, I came up with the wiring configuration and applied it to Marks game, and then amazingly it worked, so if you or any readers of your site would like a written description in layman’s terms of how to install a hopper in their own game, hopefully in the near future I can send you the details to pass on to anyone interested.
More about myself; I am 43 years old and for the last 20 years have been restoring/repairing bingos, EM pinballs and slot machines; I have about 30 regular customers who machines I service in their homes, and am the only bingo repairer in the area. Of these customers only a handful own bingos, but they are always my favourite to fix. At the moment I am restoring a KEYWEST and have just sold a restored BALI, plus I own about 6 other bingos. Thanks for reading, this was mainly to let you and your friends know that bingo is going strong on the other side of the world, plus feel free to use this e-mail or part of, on your website.
Here is my story and connection to the reasons I love the bingos and how I became totally addicted to them, plus what they mean to me today.
I started playing flipper games in 1963 at the age of 7 and stopped by the age of 13 in 1969 after seeing and playing for a first time a six card bingo pinball machine called (Bally) Lite a Line (manufactured in 1961) which I stumbled on by accident in the back room of Ting a Ling’s hot dog place located in Newark, New Jersey on Bloomfield Ave across from Branch Brook park. There were other places in the Northward Italian section of Newark, New Jersey in the late 1960’s that had six card Lite a Line bingos like the Blue Castle on Park ave near Hootens chocolate factory , Blue Shutter, Roses candy store which became Rat Mikes (in the late 1970’s early 1980’s), JJ’s on Mt Prospect ave and Bloomfield ave and two other small soda fountain shops which were located on First ave & No.10th st and the other on Bloomfield ave next to the 322 bar/club.
Finding out that store owners and route people would give you cash on the spot for your replays on bingo games made me not want to put another dime in a flipper game again. The first real lure to wanting to play the bingos was the fact that you could win 100’s of replays with one dime. Rat Mike’s was the best location for me because it was walking distance from my house on Lake St in Newark NJ. Rat Mike’s store was so big Mike was able to have four or five bingos in the place at one time which in turn meant most times you didn’t have wait that long to play your rolls of coins. Ting a Ling also housed two or three at a time and I have memories of playing there for many years, plus Sonny the owner of Ting a Ling made the best Italian lemon ice in the state and the hot dogs were the greatest when his father was still alive. I could write a book on all the colorful bingo player characters and people affiliate with these so popular games back then in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
In Newark, NJ in the 1960’s I only remember there being six card games called Lite a Line which were at many different locations through out the big city until of course in the 1970’s when Bally made all those other great six card twenty five cents games packed with lots of new additional features. Here are all 20 six card bingos Bally produced starting with the first bingo ever made by Bally called Bright Lights in(1951), Frolic’s(1952), Bright Spot (1952), Fun Way (1959), Lotta Fun (1959), Barrel of Fun (1961), Lite a Line (1961), Barrel-0-Fun 61(1961), Barrel-0- Fun 62 (1962), Shoot a Line (1962),Hole in One(1971), and Stock Market(1971),Ticker Tape(1972), Wall Street(1974), Blue Chip(1975), Bull Market(1976), High Flyer(1977), Nashville(1978) and Dixieland(1979).
I do remember seeing and playing a Bally Dude Ranch on the boardwalk in Seaside Hts, NJ in the Royal arcade back around 1967 for a nickle a game and a Bally Key West in the boardwalk Fasination Place back in the late 1980’s. These two bingos were the only other bingos besides Lite a Line that I knew of in New Jersey until I started collecting bingos in the the early 1990’s.
Playing six card bingos in stead of the other types of bingo games Bally was manufacturing at the time like the one card games, magic screen games or turning corners games, etc, would make you a better bingo player faster because the six card games started and end much quicker than the other types of multi coin bingos. Most of the six card bingos were max coin limits ( 6, 8 or 11 coin max) in stead of the multi coin other type bingos like the (one card, magic screen, turning corners,etc) games. So by playing more complete games at a quicker pace this would give a player more chances at playing a game and in return more play time making the player become a better player faster.
Hope you are well, as you know I operated a large amount of Bingo’s in East Anglia during the early 1960’s. I see you are asking about Service engineers for Bingo’s in the London Area. I don’t know that there are many left around but if you contact Pat at Paulamatics in Norwich, he is still in business and was the second best engineer of bingo’s that I ever knew, I say the second best because there was a guy in Holland called Kreil who worked for Hobea N.V in Amsterdam and he was the best I ever knew. I am at this time getting ready to retire and spend more time on writing my book’s on about my life and the other is about Coin Operated equipment found on Ebay, I am 63 years young and have just become a Father to a beautiful little girl called Rachelle. So I am taking it a little easier now. I have just started selling some of my Coin Operated collectables and have just advertised some original Bingo pictures on Ebay, you may want to look under Pinballs-Paper and Manuals. Keep up the good work I have not given up on the Calendar idea I will stay in touch best regards from the U.S.A.