Carousel Amusements, Sheringham 2007 Grays Amusements, Sheringham 2007 Wells quay side on a sunny bank holiday, 2007 Golden Sands Amusements, Hunstanton 2007 Beach Plaza Amusements, Hunstanton 2007


The last leg of my journey was to cover some of the ground from last years tour, but this time I wanted to check out Sheringham as well. I had planned in getting the 8:36am train out of Norwich to make an early start, but with it being a bank holiday the buses were on a Sunday service so didn't start running until 8:45. It was 9:45am as I left Norwich and unlike my early trips around the Norfolk coast, today was sunny and hot.

Sheringham was already busy as I arrived but I had only intended to stay there for an hour before getting the little Coast Hopper bus to Wells and Hunstanton. There were two arcades in Sheringham, both were on the made street that lead down to the sea front. Unfortunately, as is the norm for these smaller towns, neither of had much in the way of videogames. The Fast & Furious as well as a few gun games were pretty much in the minority with fruit machines and penny-pushers being the main staple for the eager visitors. I didn't hang around long so I was soon as the sea front and went a little mad with the camera as I hadn't been to Sheringham for a long time. In fact I almost missed the bus to Wells and had to make a mad dash through the crowds of holiday-makers with literally minutes left. As I sat at the back of the bus I decided to listen to a few MP3's and what do you know, ELO's Mr Blue Sky started playing. As I looked out of the window I knew exactly what they meant.

Wells was also very busy with lots of visitors taking advantage of a beautiful bank holiday Monday (a rarity in these parts - the weather that is). We had visited in May last year so it had been quieter but today the quay side was almost taken up by throngs of people trying to catch crabs. As I walked past I took a look in some of the buckets and I same had done better than others, in fact some of the crabs were much bigger than I had imagined.

To be honest I didn't spend a lot of time at Wells as it didn't seem to have changed much from the year before. The Grays building was still looking forlorn and hadn't been demolished yet, K's Burger Bar still had the machines at the back but weren't switched on but the place the busy and I thought I might be pushing it to ask them to turn them on just for me. So I waited for the Coast Hopper to arrive for the last part of the journey, Hunstanton.

Hunstanton was, predictably, busy as it is a very popular destination for visitors to the North Norfolk Coast. As I did my normal tour of the arcades it was obvious that, like Wells, things hadn't really changed much since last year - which isn't such a bad thing as there are a few older machines holding out in defiance of the fruit machines (good on ya!).

As I had a little more time on this visit, I took a walk down to the arcades that are located away from the main sea-front, in a area near the Searle's restort of holiday caravans and chalets. The first one I checked out was Vegas Amusements and they had a few machines in a row on the left side of this large arcade. Just inside the door where two Konami Dancing Stage machines, unfortunately I can't remember the models but one was a Euromix version (I tend to steer clear of these types of machines to save me making a complete tit of myself). As I moved further into the building I could see an HME Inc Ford Racing cabinet (2001, I think), Namco Time Crisis II (2 player version from 1998), Konami GTI Club : Rally Cote d'Azur (1996), Sega Ferrari F355 Challenge (2 player version from 1999), Sega Rally (2 player version from 1994), Sega Harley-Davidson (2 player version from 1998), and a Namco Cyber Cycles (1995). Not a bad selection but it was very biased to racing games. I had a quick go on the Harley-Davidson and made one of my 'secret' tour video's then left

Next door was the other arcade, Golden Sands Amusements. I don't remember this having anything of interest inside but as I didn't make any notes, I can't be sure. On the way back to the main centre of Hunstanton I popped into the Beach Plaza Amusements. This wasn't too bad and had a number of cabinets (although none where exactly classics). The had 2 x two-seater Sega Rally 2 (1998), The Fast and the Furious : Super Bikes (2006), a brand-new Sega Ghost Squad Evolution (2007), and also an old style cabinet called which had space invaders running on it (I think it was one of those 'multi-game' systems similiar to the ones that Global VR supplied but it didn't have any side-art and just a non-descript black cabinet with a marquee saying 'Arcade Classics' and I didn't have a go on it (not sure why!). They also had a Big Buck Hunter around 2000).

So as I headed back to the bus station for the Coast Hopper back to Sheringham I had a little faith that things hadn't really got worse. I did take some video in the arcades but as it was my 'covert' camera around neck while recording type, it didn't come at well at all (and liable to cause motion sickness).


Original article by Gary - April 2006 (revised April 2015)