Location: Hayling Island is located between Portsmouth and Chichester on England's south coast. It's a real island with just one road on and off, and it gets rather busy in the summer. To get there take the M27 or A3M to Bedhampton and head east along the A27. Take the next exit to Havant and follow the signs.

Hayling Island is a well known seaside resort and despite once being voted "Britain's Worst Holiday Resort", it remains popular with holiday-makers.

Beside the pinball games, there are several other amusements and rides mainly catering to smaller children and a large tent-like structure which helped keep the rain off.

There's also a rickety roller coaster where the scares aren't from the dips and dives of the track, but the fear that you might be unexpectedly parting company with it at any moment. Nobody died while we were there, but there's no sign saying "x days since last fatality" so make your own mind up!

There are some more arcades at the eastern end of the Island, but there are no pins there and probably not worth the detour.

Hayling Island is not a place acustomed to change and this extends to the selection of pinball machines which appear largely untouched since 2004 as this series of reports from Pinball News readers demonstrates.

Andy Davies Paid a visit in July 2008 and gives us his impressions.

On holiday again, so time to take some of my hard earned to find some pinballs.

This quest is getting harder and harder. However a good target to visit in the past has been Funland at Hayling Island. So a tank of petrol and off.

Hayling hasn't changed much over the years. The rides outside Funland have been updated to suit the young thrill seekers but the three arcades are still as they were the last time I visited a few years back.

However, standing just outside the busy toilets the sight of six pinballs side by side greeted me. It was almost like the old days were sights like this could be found in every seaside arcade along the coast of Britain. A quick glance and some cracking titles are there; Addams Family, Star Trek TNG, Indy Jones (Williams), Roadshow, Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness were all turned on the flashing for my money.

Some of the games in Funland
Some of the games in Funland

But on closer inspection my heart sank. All of the pinballs were in a very poor cosmetic condition. I've seen toilets in a mechanics' cleaner than all of the playfields in front of me.

The Indiana Jones
The Indiana Jones

However a pound coin fell into Medieval Madness and a quick flip of the flipper to see if they were working lead to my first disappointment. The right flipper didn't stay up, then I fired and the lane channels didn't register, then neither of the ramps registered, so I walked away from that one and gave Addams a go.

The Addams Family
The Addams Family

The dirt on the playfield was so bad that some of the mansion lights couldn't shine through. However the pinball still played well and if it would have had a slightly more powerful top left flipper, I could have stayed on this for some time.

Moving to one of my favourites, Roadshow. Not only was this pin as dirty as the others, there was a broken rubber in the playfield!

The Roadshow
The Roadshow

Enough was enough and with a very heavy heart I left via the other large arcade where a Fish Tales could be seen. Pity you couldn't see the playfield on this one either for the dirt was thicker than layer of dust on the topper box.

I'm not usually one to moan, no really I'm not, however there is pinball gold here; 6 good quality pins that must feature in many people's top 10 pinballs. All could change hands on Ebay for 4 figures, but with all of them in the state that they are, they might have well not been turned on.

With pinballs in the wild becoming very much a dying breed, if these were worked on to get them into a good playing condition I'm sure that these machines would indeed become a money maker for the arcade owner. But probably not as much as a £100 fruit machine does, seeing how the hundred of these in the arcade that were all in perfect working order.

Does anyone know how we can get arcade owners to place more pinballs in their arcades?

Jon Ashley visited at the end of August 2005 and gives us his detailed report.

After my update on the shenanigans at the Amusement Arcades of Portsmouth and Southsea, I thought this time to get an update on what is going on at the Beachlands Amusement park in Hayling Island,just a stone throw along the cost from Portsmouth.

Since the last update, the Beachlands Arcade is no more. Closed, boarded up and now for sale. Seems the Amusement Arcade is no longer profitable and a familiar story. So we have only 3 arcades at Hayling Island – 2 of which have Pinball machines.


Our first stop was the Funland Arcade – the biggest of the 3 remaining. Being a bank holiday, the place was very busy.

The Fairground was busy in particular, with lots of people here on holiday. The weather was pretty much OK – sunshine and light breeze so I was expecting to find the arcade full to the brim.


Upon entering, the first thing that hits you is the noise and the heat – no air conditioning and machines on maximum volume! I made my way to where the Pinball tables were located and found the following machines.

In a row, Addams Family, Star Trek:TNG, Indiana Jones, Red and Ted's Roadshow, Demolition Man and Attack from Mars. So a good quantity.


Surprisingly only one was in use which was Roadshow, so I started with Attack from Mars.


They are not located in the best place with fluorescent tubes immediately above creating some nasty reflections.


Attack from Mars is not one of my favourite machines, but I wanted to put it through it's paces. 50p for 2 credits was quite generous so I started the game.

Everything seemed to work OK, then I noticed the left flipper was not returning home properly, and the suspect marks on the table told me it was dragging on the surface.


This made most shots to the right of the table pretty much guess work – not good.


The actual table itself was in pretty good condition, the display bright, the sound VERY loud, someone in this place loves noise. Interestingly enough this machine has replaced Congo which was here originally about 8 weeks ago.

You can tell the machine was craving attention. 3 matches in a row – very odd!


Next in the line was Demolition man. Not a massive favourite but good fun nonetheless.


The instant issues with this machine were noticeable immediately – a really dirty playfield. In fact some of the images on the playfield were so dirty you could hardly make them out.


Playing the machine faired no better. Weak flippers, slow play due to the dirt, a badly corroded set of balls. Most shots were just luck, so many times a ball started to go up a ramp only to come back immediately. Very disappointing. In fact I played the machine for no more than 5 minutes before putting it down to a lost cause.


And to top it all, one of the gun triggers refused to work also. Same price though; 50p for 2 credits.


One of the all time classics next: Indiana Jones.


I think most people will agree that this machine needs to be in tip top condition for it to play well. It was the most expensive of the games though at 50p a go.


Upon playing the first thing you will notice is that the “deaf” arcade owner forgot to turn this one up – the sounds were barely audible due to the noise coming from the arcade and even more noise coming from the bowling lanes directly behind the pins.


Again, the playfield was filthy and this instantly restricted gameplay with the ball acting sluggishly for the entire credit.


From what I could see there were some chipped plastics and rubbers really needed replacing. The flippers were OK but you could tell they weren't perfect, and some of the bulbs had obviously blown. A real shame for such a good machine. I almost felt like leaving 3 bottles of Novus.


Our next pin was Star Trek the Next Generation. Now I own this machine so I guess you could call me critical of any others. Just like Indiana Jones, ST:TNG needs to be tip top condition for it to function correctly.


But first of all, the thing that really made me cringe was the appalling paint job! Yes, someone had taken some bright paints to all the playfield models – and they look absolutely terrible.



As you can see this picture shows you what travesty has happened here. Forget the fact the playfield was again filthy and in a desperate need of a clean, the paintjob was just well, embarrassing! The cannons reminded me of a Mark III Ford Escort XR3i paintjob – the one with go faster stripes.


It wasn't just the cannons that had suffered but also the Klingon and Romulan ships had not escaped – this picture does not show too well the colour of the Bird of Prey, but believe me it was green. Very, very green. With red tips. Oh dear…At least the Borg ship and Shuttle had escaped. I just hope it's not on the “to do” list.


Playing the machine revealed little in the way of defects, the machine played well, at least someone had fitted a cliffy protector proving at one time they did have some sense.


Next on the list was the Addams Family.


Personally I have never really understood the fuss over this game. It's good, but not that good.


Any way, from my playing this was the most disappointing and the machine most in need of TLC. The plastic was missing on the blue plate, rubbers were damaged and once again, you guessed it, the playfield was dirty.


The left flipper was weaker than the right and the plunger needs an urgent rebuild – it just about managed to get the ball onto the playfield.


Another machine that falls short of the condition it should be in.


So finally, now that the other player has left I got back to Roadshow to have a go.


I actually quite like this game, just for its comedy. Everything seems fine, apart from a very dirty playfield and very dirty playfield toys so I put my money in for a credit.


As soon as the machine started I noticed Red wasn't feeling too good. With every movement of his mouth, so his whole head moved too! Very off putting. I think this one needs to be tightened up!!


There were some bulbs out on this one, but most annoying was the right plunger which was really weak again needing a rebuild. I had a good go though.


Next I moved across to the other arcade – separate to Funland, but does have one pinball.


But I have to ask myself why they bothered.


Here is a lone Fish Tales. And I have to say this has to be one of the most poorly maintained machines I have ever experienced. The playfield was so dirty (picture does not show – sorry!) you could hardly read some of the words and see any of the pictures.


The flippers were weak, bulbs out all over the place, rubbers missing or broken and the sound down so low, it was barely audible. I really felt like calling the Pinball Police.


A real shame to treat a brilliant game like this. In the 20 minutes I was in there, only I was brave enough to play it. No-one else touched it – and it wasn't difficult to see why.


The last arcade on the beachfront used to have about 8 machines at one time. Alas, they have now disappeared completely for the sake of Fruit Machines. So I left disappointed.


So all in all, the machines at Hayling, although a good collection, really do need some urgent work to bring them back to full glory. You can tell that pinball is not a priority here. So much so that the machines could be seen as neglected. It just says to me they don't make any money, so why waste time on them. Annoyingly it wouldn't take more than an hour each machine (and some Nitromors for ST:TNG) to get them back to 100%. When I I return, I'll let you know what has or hasn't been done. I fear the emphasis will be on “hasn't”.



Andy Thomson went to Hayling Island in August 2004 and brought us this report.


Hayling Island is good for Machines.

The main Funland arcade on the seafront has an Addams Family, Attack From Mars, Star Trek The Next Generation, Demolition Man, Roadshow and Indiana Jones in row - I couldn't believe my luck - though a couple of the machines were a bit tired, they were all 30p a go - bargain!


Only £12 for the ferry from Portsmouth - worth it to find four of the top ten machines in one place at one time and all working. Great for comparison.


Bit geeky but three of us were there and rated all machines on the categories that you find on the IPDB site - most surprisingly was: we all had Attack from Mars down as the most uninspiring out of the six to look at - the one we would least like to play on sight - but it took top marks across the board in game play. So you can't always go on first impressions when it comes to these things.

Adams family is a good one but what is all the fuss about with the Indiana Jones machine? No matter how good a movie is it can't make a dull game a top 10!

There's a second arcade next door that has a very tired Fish Tales machine in it.


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