What makes a great pinball show?
Lots of vendors?  Guest speakers?  Hundreds of machines?  All the latest titles?  Multiple tournaments with large cash prizes? A large spacious venue with good climate control?
Yep, the East Anglian Pinball Weekend  has none of those.  So, why do so many of the attendees describe it as the most fun pinball event of the year?  Two things really: the people and the atmosphere.
The EAPW is held in the back room of a country pub in the village of Swavesey, ten miles northwest of the city of Cambridge in the East of England.
The White Horse Inn in Swavesey, home of the East Anglian Pinball Weekend
The sign bearing the village motto – Steadfast in Work & Play
Organised by Mark Squires, the event has been run since 2006 and, apart from a re-location for three years at Bar 62 in Ely due to tenancy changes, it has always been held at Mark’s local, The White Horse Inn.  It’s a cosy pub run by Darren and Shelley, with a small bar on the right and a slightly larger dining area on the left.
The bar at The White Horse Inn
In hindsight, the choice of this particular weekend was both inspired and unfortunate.
It was inspired because all three days featured excellent Summer weather, with temperatures nudging 30C (87F) at their peak, blue skies and masses of sunshine which made it great to sit outside in the beer garden or on the patio.
Out on the patio
The unfortunate part concerned the number of other events happening the same weekend.  Few would have predicted that the English football team would still be playing in the World Cup at this stage, but on Saturday afternoon they were playing for a place in the semi-finals which packed out the pub with supporters to watch the game on the TV.  It was also the British Grand Prix weekend, with qualifying on Saturday afternoon and the race on Sunday – both also on TV.  Tennis was on at Wimbledon and also on TV.  The Tour de France was starting and on the TV, and it was also the village’s