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1930s arcade games and penny slot machines, including Green Ray Television and Marathon Cycle Race for sale at auction in Louth





Rare 1930s arcade games and penny slot machines which were saved from destruction after decimalisation are set to sell for £20,000.

Two of the rarest lots being sold are a Green Ray Television slot machine and a cycle race game which are among only a handful in existence in the world.

A canny businessman hit the jackpot after he started collecting the games and stopped them from being destroyed in the 1970s following decimalisation.

Rare 1930s arcade games and penny slot machines which were saved from destruction after decimalisation are set to sell for £20,000.
Rare 1930s arcade games and penny slot machines which were saved from destruction after decimalisation are set to sell for £20,000.

On February 14, 1971, there were 12 pennies to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound. But when Britons woke up the next morning on D-Day - or decimal day - £1 was worth 100 pence and shillings were replaced with 5p coins.

The switch meant millions of traditional slot machines and games were destroyed as they were replaced by modern versions.

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Auctioneers say the non-decimalisation games are so rare that just a handful are known to survive anywhere in the world.

The Marathon Cycle Race game, which sees two players spin wheels to race around a track, was made in London in 1930 and is one of only 10 in existence. It will be sold at auction.
The Marathon Cycle Race game, which sees two players spin wheels to race around a track, was made in London in 1930 and is one of only 10 in existence. It will be sold at auction.
These two 1930s slot machines accepted pennies only.
These two 1930s slot machines accepted pennies only.

The 25 machines are expected to fetch up to £20,000 but could sell for far more when they go under the hammer at auctioneers John Taylors tomorrow (Tuesday, March 12).

The machines were once a feature in amusement arcades on the east coast, particularly in Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire and Norfolk.

Auctioneer James Laverack with the 1931 Green Ray Television, which is one of the rarest slot machines in the world with just a dozen known to exist today.
Auctioneer James Laverack with the 1931 Green Ray Television, which is one of the rarest slot machines in the world with just a dozen known to exist today.

Auctioneer James Laverack said: "The collection was started back in the early 1970s when a local businessman was offered a couple of old Cleethorpes Promenade machines that had been in storage for years.

"Thinking he would donate them to a charity group, he paid £20 for the pair and then found he had inadvertently become an antique slot machine owner when his charity said 'no thanks'.

A canny businessman hit the jackpot after he started collecting the games from being destroyed in the 1970s following decimalisation.
A canny businessman hit the jackpot after he started collecting the games from being destroyed in the 1970s following decimalisation.

"It was the start of what would turn into a rescue operation. At the time nobody was much interested in these old pre-decimalisation slot machines.

“Thousands were smashed up, dumped or, if there was enough metal involved, sent off to the scrapyard.”

The 1931 Green Ray Television is one of the rarest slot machines in the world with just a dozen known to exist today.

Green Ray slot machine to be sold at auction as part of a collection of arcade games and penny slot machines which pre-date decimalisation.
Green Ray slot machine to be sold at auction as part of a collection of arcade games and penny slot machines which pre-date decimalisation.

Meanwhile the Marathon Cycle Race game, which sees two players spin wheels to race around a track, was made in London in 1930 and is one of only 10 in existence.

Mr Laverack added: “The days when old amusement machines were smashed up or given away are long gone.

“Several of the most rare in this collection are expected to make £2,000-£3,000.

'The Gypsy' slot machine which printed a ticket that told the patron's fortune is to be sold at auction.
'The Gypsy' slot machine which printed a ticket that told the patron's fortune is to be sold at auction.
'The Gypsy' slot machine which printed a ticket that told the patron's fortune, part of a collection which is being sold at auction.
'The Gypsy' slot machine which printed a ticket that told the patron's fortune, part of a collection which is being sold at auction.

“Others have pre-sale estimates of £200-£1,200. We think the collection as a whole could make close to £20,000.”

The entire collection is being auctioned in Louth.

Do you remember any of the games? What do you think of the collection? Let us know in the comments.



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