Thursday, 5 November 2015

Norfolk Coast 2 Coast - Part 1

We went on a trip along the Norfolk coast, checking out all the seaside towns, villages and holiday parks.  Norfolk is really lovely, and shamefully I had never been to some of these places before, despite them being so close.  The plan was simple: explore the Norfolk coast and have some nice family days out.  And check out the arcades, hopefully uncovering more arcade classics along the way.

Great Yarmouth, Hemsby and Newport
I’ve previously covered these on the blog.  Since then, The Haven holiday parks all have Star Wars Battle Pod cabinets.  Also I’ve since come across another venue, the Newport Club, with a couple of cool games.


We stopped by Winterton-on-Sea, but there were no amusements along the beach.  Upon driving away I spied some funny little round houses which looked like something out of a Disney film.

This turned out to be Hermanus Leisure.  There is an entertainment complex with a few bars, function room and a small amusement arcade.  I could see a Sega Rally and a Simpsons cabinet through the doors of the arcade, but unfortunately it was closed so we carried on to Sea Palling. 

Sea Palling


No games machines here unfortunately, but the legacy of Pac-Man and Space Invaders lives on!



Castaways Holiday Park

Another holiday park with some real unexpected treats!


Chase H.Q.  The game is one of my earliest memories and started my love for arcades and arcade gaming.  It’s kind of fitting that I should stumble across it again almost three decades later whilst checking out Norfolk’s seaside destinations and arcades. 


Sadly there were quite a few faults with the machines.  The Neo Geo ‘jingle’ could be heard when the Electrocoin Bar Line cab was switched on, but the monitor was dead.  The Chase HQ boost button wasn’t working.  Silent Scope EX wasn’t working.  The UFO catcher wasn’t working.  Adams Family pinball table was faulty.  Even the change machine wasn’t working!  Still, these faults couldn’t dampen the experience.  Playing Chase HQ whilst hearing ‘Hadouken’ and the elephants on Dhalsim’s stage took me right back to the early nineties!


Grays Amusements

Most of the machines here had faults.  One side of the Sega Rally twin had graphical issues, one side of Tokyo Wars wasn’t working, and Star Wars Trilogy Arcade and Crisis Zone weren’t working.  Even the 2p pushers sounded like they were struggling!  On the upside, I had never seen Sega’s Soul Surfer before.  Also despite one half not working, it was nice seeing Tokyo Wars, an old favourite.

We made a brief stop at Stow Mill, just outside Mundesley.  The mill is open to the public and the views were nice from the top.


Trimingham Caravan Park
Next to the bar in the entertainments area there was a small arcade room with a Ferrari F-355 twin, a touch screen quiz machine and…whats this…Super Thunder Blade! 

Much like when I saw the Chase H.Q. cabinet, I had to do a double take!  I vaguely remember playing the sit down deluxe version years ago, but I can’t recall seeing the upright cabinet before.  I’ve had some good finds in holiday parks.  I guess these sites didn’t have to update and follow new trends like arcades had to, with the games viewed as not just a source of income, but an extra facility for the holiday makers.


The arcades had the usual modern shooting and racing games, although it was the first time I’d seen Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade.  I only had two credits, I love the choice of characters and all the references from Sega’s extensive back catalogue and I had good fun racing around the Shibuya track.  Also the colour changing on the cabinet itself looks pretty cool.

We had good fun catching crabs off Cromer Pier.  We had most success when the tide was out and found bacon to be the best bait.  After a hard afternoons crabbing we treated ourselves to fish and chips in town.