Dates: March 2008, June 2011 & June 2015

Report by Simon Ashmore
Updates by Simon Ashmore & Ad Jonker

Pinball in St Ives is dying!

The Wharf Front Arcade used to have four and the Fore Street Arcade one, but now the Wharf is the only home of pinball here (until I can afford a house big enough to move my Bally Space Invader game into).

The arcade on the Wharf now only has one machine. (I did catch sight of the side of a Street Fighter machine in The Isobar but as night clubs are not my thing I have not been in - I object to queuing at my age even for pinball).

Granted it is a Simpson's Pinball Party which plays extremely well however there is a catch. The owner has read the manual and the changed the settings. When it first arrived, the stops on the left, centre and right outlanes worked. Then the summer (and tournament play with a prize!!!!!) came and the stops became inoperative :-(

I carried on playing it and then was pleased to find that the stops returned with winter and higher scores followed. (My 85 million still the highest!)

So be warned - at £1 for a game this can be expensive! £2 gets you three games though and with a replay at 7 million the first time around you should only be paying 50p per game for 4.

Unfortunately as Christmas is now a peak time for St Ives the settings have changed again.

However visitors to St Ives can enjoy at least one modern working machine! (Just come out of season to ensure the highest scores)

Update - March 2008 by Simon Ashmore

The Simpsons Pinball Party is still there, well maintained, £1 for 2 games and (after not playing for several months) I am Grand Champion - a never before achieved feat, knocking the man with the keys off the top.

To anyone visiting St Ives - feel free to drop in to the arcade and ask if they would consider installing maybe one more machine. You know it makes sense!

Update - June 2011 by Simon Ashmore

The Harbour Amusements is still keeping pinball going (almost) on its own in St Ives, with the very nicely kept Simpsons Pinball Party.

I played the game last night and after about half an hour of play can tell you the following;

  • The machine is in an excellent state with everything working.
  • It is fitted with working UK All-Skill system posts, which were in use when I played.
  • The whole machine is very clean with strong flippers & I only got the ball stuck once in the Itchy & Scratchy sinkhole when the drop targets reset with it inside. Many ball searches couldn’t release it for ages. (A visit to the cash desk to ask for assistance was all it took in the event – no-one actually needed to touch anything, but it knew from the PA that someone with the keys was approaching & escaped on its own – much like a PC.)
  • Settings as follows: · 50p per game. No advantage for paying £1.
  • Replay at 123,484,200 - Harsh!

I paid a pound for 2 games, with the results included below:

  • #4 Simon Ashm: 31,128,830 (me on my first game)
  • #3 Didn’t check – wife waiting to go to the Harbour Pool Club (upstairs - recommended)
  • #2 See above.
  • #1 Ashmore S: 88,370,920 (me again on my second game – hands cramping up by now. That got me one credit that I left for another lucky punter.)
  • Grand Champion: Gilbert 612,443,060 (identity unknown)

The only problem with the game was that I am out of practice on modern machines, since I don’t play it as much as I used to. The reason, apart from rarely finding them, is that I am now lucky enough to have found a home on the beach since my last update, which gives me my view of the surf and space for my Bally Space Invader machine - most unusual in St Ives!

Given that this machine is so well maintained I’ll try to play it more and so should you, so we don’t lose it. Thanks to Harbour Amusements for keeping it on the road.

Update - June 2015 by Ad Jonker

On my short visit to St. Ives on the 26th June, I popped in Harbour Amusements. It seems to also have the name Patsea Arcadia.

Harbour Amusements
Harbour Amusements

In the back I found a Stern Star Trek Pro priced at 50p for one game or five games for £2.

Stern Star Trek Pro
Stern Star Trek Pro

The playfield was quite dirty, but the pinball played well though, and you get five balls per game.

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