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The Pinball Office - Pinball Club (opening on the 4th of December) https://www.thepinballoffice.co.uk/

Hiltoncriss

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
104
Location
United Kingdom
Hello fellow pinheads! I have a small announcement that I would like to share with you all.

A few weeks ago I’ve decided to give it a try with a new idea. New for me, old for others. The suggestion came from quite a few forum members. After being at Pinfest for the first time and enjoying it a lot, I’ve decided to give it a try. As I guess you already know (the title gives it away) the idea would be to open a new pinball club.

I have a small pinball collection that I keep at my office (to play them while I’m not in the mood to do any work - about 6 hours/day out of 8). At present I have a few over 30 pinball machines set up here. If in the following months I will see that there is interest, I can extend the collection to 50-60 machines.

So, to make this as short as possible I was thinking to open it up only for Pinballinfo forum members till the end of the year. If I’m moving fast with getting everything ready for your visit, I guess that I will be able to open it in about 2-3 weeks (by the end of November).

I was thinking probably a 4 hour long session Saturday and if people like it probably another session on Friday evening or Sunday.

The club will be located in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire right on the border with Essex (30 miles from London). We have a large car park (over 100 spaces) that I will be able to use for the club so everyone will have a guaranteed parking space. The parking will be always free providing that you will register your car on arrival. Failing to do so, will end up in a £85 fine being sent to your address. As we don’t want that, please remember to register your car. Probably I will add a section on the website (that is being built right now) that will ask you to fill up your car reg number when booking your spot.

Because the office isn’t very large, I was thinking to limit the amount of players/session to 30 people just to test and see how it will work. Honestly I never had more than 9 people at once in the office so we will have to test this to get a feel about an ideal number of players. I’m sure that your feedback will help a lot. All this of course provided that you will show up. If nobody will show up, I will just play the pins with my kids like I always do.

As I said before, the sessions that I will run this year will be exclusive for the forum members. I was discussing about the entry fee with a few members from the forum, and we got to the conclusion that £10/person would be a fair price for a 4 hour session with the parking space included. This year, I don’t want any of your money so everything will go to Charity. I will even provide free tea (a selection of over 15), coffees (ristretto, espresso, americano, caffe barista, macchiato, flat white, cafe au lait, cappuccino, latte macchiato… you name it) non alcoholic drinks (Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Fanta, Sprite, 7UP, Dr Pepper, San Pellegrino, Water etc)

Considering that my grandfather introduced me to pinball when I was around 6, and when he passed away he was suffering with Alzheimer, I thought that the best charity to choose would be The Alzheimer’s Society. I remember the good old times when he was taking me to play pinball and he was having a bear or two or even three while I was playing. So in the end everyone was happy. Some more than others…

Now leaving memories aside, let’s get back to the club. On site, we have two places where you can have breakfast/lunch, we will have a seating area where we can chat, gents and ladies toilets, the building is literally next to Sawbridgeworth train station, so you can come and leave by train as well.

In the end, I would like to ask everyone to come up with ideas, suggestions, and as much constructive feedback as possible. Please be kind and keep in mind that I’m doing this alone, without any friends or partners or any other help (except from my amazing wife).

I hope that I will see many of you here during the weekends.

I’m sure that I forgot about many other important details but we have time to sort all of them till the end of the month. If you have any questions please post them here or PM me.


Regards,

Chris
 
Last edited:

Gonzo

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Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,998
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Sandhurst
Alias
Kris
Sounds like a fantastic idea Chris. Hats off to you mate, I'm always incredibly impressed when people do this sort of thing and open up their machines for the community.

A lot caught my eye but selection of 15 teas is mightily impressive 😉
 
OP
Hiltoncriss

Hiltoncriss

Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
104
Location
United Kingdom
Sounds like a fantastic idea Chris. Hats off to you mate, I'm always incredibly impressed when people do this sort of thing and open up their machines for the community.

A lot caught my eye but selection of 15 teas is mightily impressive 😉
This is unbelievable Chris! I’m just watching your latest Chinwag. I remember that I’ve tried to approach you twice at Pinfest just to say hallo but you were busy… Hope that you can come. If you want to review any pins that I have you are more than welcome to come by any time.
 

Lecari

Registered
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
84
Location
Herts, UK
I live just up the road from you in Bishop's Stortford (when I'm not at David's in Sudbury!), so safe to say, I'm up for this! Sounds really exciting!

A great charity to support too.

Really looking forward to visiting when you're ready to welcome members in!
 
Last edited:

Gonzo

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Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,998
Location
Sandhurst
Alias
Kris
This is unbelievable Chris! I’m just watching your latest Chinwag. I remember that I’ve tried to approach you twice at Pinfest just to say hallo but you were busy… Hope that you can come. If you want to review any pins that I have you are more than welcome to come by any time.

You should have said hello anyway mate, everyone is always chatting at Pinfest.

That's very kind of you so thank you. I'm popping to Flipout next but would certainly love to drop by at some point soon.

I love the charity choice too 👍

Great work and a something really good for the community.
 

James gatward

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
19
Location
Royston
Alias
Arcade crusaders
This is great news. I'm from Royston so only 30min drive. Would love to get involved if you need any help. Can't wait for opening day👍
 

Neil McRae

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Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
13,667
Location
Surrey
Alias
Neil McRae
Hello fellow pinheads! I have a small announcement that I would like to share with you all.

A few weeks ago I’ve decided to give it a try with a new idea. New for me, old for others. The suggestion came from quite a few forum members. After being at Pinfest for the first time and enjoying it a lot, I’ve decided to give it a try. As I guess you already know (the title gives it away) the idea would be to open a new pinball club.

I have a small pinball collection that I keep at my office (to play them while I’m not in the mood to do any work - about 6 hours/day out of 8). At present I have a few over 30 pinball machines set up here. If in the following months I will see that there is interest, I can extend the collection to 50-60 machines.

So, to make this as short as possible I was thinking to open it up only for Pinballinfo forum members till the end of the year. If I’m moving fast with getting everything ready for your visit, I guess that I will be able to open it in about 2-3 weeks (by the end of November).

I was thinking probably a 4 hour long session Saturday and if people like it probably another session on Friday evening or Sunday.

The club will be located in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire right on the border with Essex (30 miles from London). We have a large car park (over 100 spaces) that I will be able to use for the club so everyone will have a guaranteed parking space. The parking will be always free providing that you will register your car on arrival. Failing to do so, will end up in a £85 fine being sent to your address. As we don’t want that, please remember to register your car. Probably I will add a section on the website (that is being built right now) that will ask you to fill up your car reg number when booking your spot.

Because the office isn’t very large, I was thinking to limit the amount of players/session to 30 people just to test and see how it will work. Honestly I never had more than 9 people at once in the office so we will have to test this to get a feel about an ideal number of players. I’m sure that your feedback will help a lot. All this of course provided that you will show up. If nobody will show up, I will just play the pins with my kids like I always do.

As I said before, the sessions that I will run this year will be exclusive for the forum members. I was discussing about the entry fee with a few members from the forum, and we got to the conclusion that £10/person would be a fair price for a 4 hour session with the parking space included. This year, I don’t want any of your money so everything will go to Charity. I will even provide free tea (a selection of over 15), coffees (ristretto, espresso, americano, caffe barista, macchiato, flat white, cafe au lait, cappuccino, latte macchiato… you name it) non alcoholic drinks (Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Fanta, Sprite, 7UP, Dr Pepper, San Pellegrino, Water etc)

Considering that my grandfather introduced me to pinball when I was around 6, and when he passed away he was suffering with Alzheimer, I thought that the best charity to choose would be The Alzheimer’s Society. I remember the good old times when he was taking me to play pinball and he was having a bear or two or even three while I was playing. So in the end everyone was happy. Some more than others…

Now leaving memories aside, let’s get back to the club. On site, we have two places where you can have breakfast/lunch, we will have a seating area where we can chat, gents and ladies toilets, the building is literally next to Sawbridgeworth train station, so you can come and leave by train as well.

In the end, I would like to ask everyone to come up with ideas, suggestions, and as much constructive feedback as possible. Please be kind and keep in mind that I’m doing this alone, without any friends or partners or any other help (except from my amazing wife).

I hope that I will see many of you here during the weekends.

I’m sure that I forgot about many other important details but we have time to sort all of them till the end of the month. If you have any questions please post them here or PM me.


Regards,

Chris

excellent to see another club like this get off the ground. Just check one thing - make sure your business insurance covers third party liability. I’d be amazed if it didn’t and won’t burn down the bank to make you covered.

Neil.
 

M4carp

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Jan 12, 2019
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Pembrokeshire
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Lostcause
I have a small pinball collection that I keep at my office (to play them while I’m not in the mood to do any work - about 6 hours/day out of 8).
I wouldn’t call 30 pins a small collection, that’s pretty impressive! I’m not in the mood for work 24/7 so don’t😂

Great idea and use of your office, good luck with it👍
 

Doggard

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Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
59
Location
Dereham/ Norfolk
Alias
Steven Dale
This sounds amazing, I would definitely be a regular visitor. I normally head to either flip out, or electric circus, both of which are 3 hour drive, so something a bit closer to Norfolk would be fantastic, can’t wait 😊
 

David_Vi

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Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
834
Location
Sudbury
Alias
DaveTheTrain
Definitely happy to support this, i'm only 50 minutes away in Sudbury Suffolk, so if you need any help setting up i'd be up for it!

It will be great to have more pinball venues/clubs!
 

Jmac

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Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
282
Location
Bedford
@Hiltoncriss - Great idea Chris. It’s not far from me (about 40 mins) so I’ll call down when you get it up and running, we can have a chat in person and if you are going to turn it into a long term thing with more machines I may be able to help out with loan of a few pins/arcades 👍🏻
 

Itch

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Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
164
Location
East Sussex
Alias
BAT
I would gladly attend, two hour trip for me, what pins do you have? Pics would be great, £10 sounds very fair to me,

Itch
 
OP
Hiltoncriss

Hiltoncriss

Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
104
Location
United Kingdom
Sounds like a fantastic idea Chris. Hats off to you mate, I'm always incredibly impressed when people do this sort of thing and open up their machines for the community.

A lot caught my eye but selection of 15 teas is mightily impressive 😉
Well Chris, I must admit that I’ve made a mistake already. I just checked and unfortunately I only have 12 teas not 15. My bad, and I do apologise. But to make it right I will try to grab a few more from the kitchen. I hope that my missus won’t notice…
 

JAG555

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Jul 23, 2017
Messages
1,574
Location
Essex, UK
This sounds great and not too far from me at all! Very interested.

Just wanted to say, that is a great thing you are proposing!

Thanks!
 

PAX

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Dec 28, 2020
Messages
312
Location
Thetford
What a brilliant and generous idea Chris.
Certainly be up for this, will even bring some Yorkshire T along. 👍
 
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Hiltoncriss

Hiltoncriss

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
104
Location
United Kingdom
Finally, I got a break so I can answer a few messages. Sorry for the wait.

This is great news. I'm from Royston so only 30min drive. Would love to get involved if you need any help. Can't wait for opening day👍

Thank you James, very kind of you. I might need some help probably after it will be open. For now I am on schedule so it looks like in 2-3 weeks everything will be ready. I will see you soon!
Chris

excellent to see another club like this get off the ground. Just check one thing - make sure your business insurance covers third party liability. I’d be amazed if it didn’t and won’t burn down the bank to make you covered.

Neil.
Neil, thank you for the advice. Fortunately that’s already sorted. I’m very happy to have your support. I will definitely need it. I will pay for the glass that you kindly offered to sort out for us tonight after I get home. It’s on the agenda…
Chris

I wouldn’t call 30 pins a small collection, that’s pretty impressive! I’m not in the mood for work 24/7 so don’t😂

Great idea and use of your office, good luck with it👍

We need some time for us as well don’t we? To much work isn’t good for health. Trust me, been there and I was left with a chronic disease as a reward. Don’t want to go back… Compared to the collection that I had 10 years ago, this is small unfortunately. But I’m building it back slowly. Too bad that now it costs me 5 to 7 times more… But we all know this… nothing new. Thank you for the best wishes.
Chris

Wow Chris, that's awesome, fair play to you!!

Any pics of the place? Do you have a list of the games? Exciting stuff, I wish you all the best with it

Thank you Craig, can’t wait to get some tips from you. The pictures and game list will be uploaded on the website that should be up and running in about a week. Probably from tomorrow I will start posting a few macro pictures from different playfields. I’m curious who will guess what’s what. It should be fun.
Chris
Great news, shame I'm 180 Miles North.
Alan, it took me 3 hours on Monday to get to Leeds. Unfortunately 4 to get back. But then again, this was on a Monday. So yes, you are right. Unfortunately it’s not close. But you have @steve brum ‘s Electric Circus quite close to you so that should be fun. By the way, I’m very impressed with the pin that you built. Well done with that! Love it!
Chris

Unfortunately I have to get back to the PC. Later I will reply to every message that you sent.

Chris
 

Happypin

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Aug 30, 2018
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375
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Alan Adair
Chris
we spoke about this when I visited your collection and the idea and vision you have has blown me away, the story behind you getting back into pinball has really touched me. The set up you have is a pinball club already and to start it up for charity is just an amazing thing to do.
you have my full support, if I can help in anyway what’s so ever please count me in.

Let me reassure everyone, this could turn into something very special.

Alan
 

Martywolfman

Registered
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
339
Location
Bedford
Oh I would be so up for this! Living in Bedford, this would be so much easier for me to get to than any of Flipout/special when lit or electric circus, in the short amount of weekend time I have. I hope this happens! :D
 
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