October 25, 2004

Pinballers Anonymous is a company selling a variety of pinball games to the general public from their Chesham, Buckinghamshire base. On 24th October 2004, owner Nick Bennett opened up his premises to the public for a day of intense pinball action.

It's not a slick, modern showroom. In fact, it's quite the opposite - a converted school hall where you can still spot the climbing ropes dangling from the ceiling. It's also out in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by farms.

But inside is a sizeable collection of games. Some were in pristine condition and others looked a bit worn but, thanks to the hard work in the days before the party and and on the day itself, they pretty much all worked well for the duration of party.

The main action was taking place in the hall where there were 24 games to play:

The Simspons Pinball Party, Theatre of Magic, Star Trek-TNG, Attack From Mars, Revenge From Mars, Guns N Roses, Who?Dunnit, RoadShow, Fish Tales, Indiana Jones, Whitewater, Corvette, Tales Of The Arabian Nights, Monster Bash, Lord Of The Rings, No Good Gofers, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Johnny Mnemonic, Hurricane, Twilight Zone, Medieval Madness, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Addams Family and Circus Voltaire.

If the space in the hall wasn't enough, there was also a marquee outside where extra games were set up and Gary Flower had a table of spares, flyers and other parts for sale.

Three games were available to play including the newest game at the party - a Ripley's Believe It Or Not! - a Monster Bash and a Terminator 3.

Events started at 10am and within an hour the hall was just about full. Fortunately the earlier rain had subsided so people could spill outside a escape the din to have a chat.

Before long, thoughts turned to lunch and the barbeque was fired up to cook the sausages, burgers and vegi-burgers people had brought with them to go with their crisps, snacks and drinks, and drawing some of the players out of the hall creating a little breathing space.

Three high score tournaments were run on Lord of the Rings, Ripley's Believe It Or Not and The Simpsons Pinball Party and a multitude of prizes were awarded - many donated by party guests - including signs, flyers, translites, posters and assorted Nokia items.

Occasionally a problem would develop with one of the games but with the place packed with knowledgeable pinball people, it was only a few moments before the glass was off, the playfield up and the fault attended to. Mark Squires and I sorted out a Theatre of Magic eddy sensor in our version of (fault) Gone In 60 Seconds.

Of course, with this being a business, if you really liked any of the games they were available to buy and occasionally a game would disappear through the doors and into someone's waiting vehicle. In my case it was the Revenge From Mars.

By 8pm things were winding down. It had been a great day, not only playing a good selection of games but meeting many UK pinball fans and putting names to faces for members of the UK Pinball group who had arranged the distribution of various goods at the party such as DVDs and tumbling machines. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the notional £2 entrance fee contributed to over £350 being raised for cancer research.



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© Pinball News 2004