Penny shove excitement

It’s an image that evokes childhood memories and a ripple of excitement. At the seaside amusement arcades, it’s about the only machine that we were allowed to play.

You would feed one penny coins into the slot as a set of arms pushed the pile of small change towards a drop. They moved back and forwards, forwards and back – and you would hope that a whole pile of money would fall off the edge and into your sticky fingers.

This rarely happened, but it didn’t take the fun out of the game. Eventually the stream of pennies from Mum’s purse or Dad’s pocket would cease and you would be ushered out of the arcade, which was full of brittle, bright colours and ear-piercing noise.

On a brief visit to take these shots, I noticed two penny coins are now the currency of choice. And bundles of tokens to use in the arcade are also in the sweeper. I’m quite sad to say that the boyhood thrill of playing these machines had gone – I didn’t even put my hand in my pocket.

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