The East-Anglian Pinball Show is one of the cosiest and most unusual events in the UK’s pinball calendar.
For a start, hardly anyone called it by that moniker. For everyone involved, it’s just known as Swavesey after the small Cambridgeshire village where it is held. The actual venue is the back room of the White Horse Inn pub on the village square.
The White Horse Inn in Swavesey, home of the East Anglian Pinball Show
Swavesey also happens to be the home of the event’s organiser, Mark Squires, a.k.a. Dr. Pinball, who announces the dates each March and sends out his appeal for machine-bringers and raffle prize donors.
Another unusual feature is the cost, or the lack of it. Entry is free, and all the twelve machines are on free play.
The machines in the back room of the White Horse Inn
The chief aim of the two-and-a-half days is to raise money for the event’s chosen charity. This year the beneficiary was Tom’s Trust, a charity dedicated to providing care for children with brain tumours.
So, how does a free event raise any money? Purely by donations. Machine owners donate their games for the long weekend, bringing them from around the country without any recompense. Others donate items for the raffle which brings in the majority of money raised, while straight cash donations are also taken, either in person at the pub or by pledges.
Some of the donated items for the raffle
But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the pinballs.
Set-up began on Friday evening, once the back room became available following an earlier function. Within a couple of hours most machines were unloaded, on their legs and ready to play.
The left side of the main row
The right end of the row
Two more machines on the opposite wall
The final machine getting ready to play
The full list of machines at Swavesey 2019 is:
Attack from Mars (remake)Batman (Stern)Creature from the Black LagoonFlashHarlem GlobetrottersMiss AnnabellePinball ChampPirates of the Caribbean LE (Jersey Jack)SafecrackerStrikes and Spares (Bally)Terminator 2The Machine: Bride of Pinbot
All the machines were in great shape and even with the high temperatures experienced on Saturday