i . WAIT! NO f‘Of-t TH E P E f l NY "ft ) Ji if JP OK so you haven’t won so far, but the next coin is sure to
be a winner. We get cleared out at the seaside amusement arcade. Words: Catherine Bromley
ven on a sunny day. British seaside resorts are desolate places tinged
with sadness and regret. But there is a glimmer of hope to be found
at the heart of these godforsaken destinations. in each and every amusement arcade found littering the front of faded promenades.
Doubtless these places never close but I timed my arrival in a Portobello arcade to coincide with the mid-moming rush of single mothers and plucky pensioners. My first port of call was the small-change kiosk where a woman of ample girth supplied me with enough ten and two pence pieces for nigh-on three hours of happy torture.
I divided my pleasure predominantly between the Penny Falls and the one-armed bandit. taking time out to vent my considerable frustration on the Cracky Crabs. Although the very name of the Penny Falls conjures up romantic images of cascading crystal-clear water. the name ‘Tuppenny
Shove‘ does more justice to this sordid escapade. There are a number of
Penny Falls stations to choose from. all of which have a distinct theme and soundtrack and all of which will rob you blind. I settle upon the ‘Rock ‘n‘ Roll‘ station because I
Penny Fals conjures up»
love the sound of generic guitar riffs roma '1th
when I‘m losing. And how I lose. images of It will take approximately .
twenty minutes to be sucked deep cascadlng
into the undulating rhythm of the Penny Falls. While never losing sight of the accumulating pile of change and the cheap toys that tantalise and tempt you. you carefully time the deft manoeuvre of dropping a coin into one of three slots. Only through dogged determination and sheer persistence can these trophies ever be yours. for should you leave your station to load up on more small change. a hovering single mother will swoop and steal what's rightfully yours.
Still. as the old adage goes 'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’ and that at least consoles you when you leave in tatters with only a plastic key-ring trophy to your name.
water, but TUppenny Shove does it more justice.
(4/ ’l' -’ s 1/ m J (if /"\i”‘)i W10 //al
Can’t tell your Penny Blacks from your Penny Reds? Let the philatelists show you how. WOrds: Allan Radcliffe
etween them. Richard Squires and Tom Rielly represent three
clubs for stamp and postal history fanatics. Both attend the Iso-
strong Edinburgh Philatelic Society. which meets fortnightly in St John‘s Church Hall. while Tom is also a member of the Scottish Philatelic Society. If the two collectors seem slightly anxious at the moment. this is because both societies are on their summer recess and withdrawal symptoms are beginning to set in.
'There should be a health warning attached to stamps] says Tom. whose interest was inflamed at the tender age of seven while collecting fora Cubs badge.
Richard laughs in agreement. ‘Because the Edinburgh Society and the Scottish Society meet fortnightly on alternate weeks. you can go to a presentation every week if you're really anxious. And where else would you get a year's entertainment once a fortnight for something like a fiver."
Some collections are displayed on boards around the meeting hall. while others are handed round and appreciated .snm) i'm‘e ( 'and sometimes not so sotto!’ ). ‘Once you're hooked. you really are hooked] agrees Tom. ‘When my wife and I go on holiday. she always takes a book with her to keep herself occupied while I'm offexploring the post offices.'
5—“: a. THE LIST 21