Hands up who loves ‘penny falls’ or ‘coin cascades’, to give them their official title? The slot machines where you put in coins and hope that some get shoved off the bottom. Evoking childhood memories of rainy days at the seaside where 10p could buy you half an hour’s entertainment. Despite inflation, most penny falls arcades still have 2p machines and this is where we head clutching our cups of coppers.

My kids absolutely love the penny falls and it’s a key feature of seaside holidays for us. What makes a good penny falls arcade? One where you can win tickets, sweets or small prizes as well as money. Yes it may have cost you a small fortune to win that penny chew but the victory is all the sweeter for the minutes spent watching it perch perilously on the edge, hoping to hear the clatter of its tumble.

There have been a few heady occasions where we have had a go on the 10p machines, holding our breath for the big money. #unluckysofar.

Note from a 9 year old: ‘The best penny falls are at Stardust Amusements in Newquay because I won a rubik’s cube there!’

Long live this great British seaside tradition, as much a part of a day out as fish and chips, sea air and donkeys on the beach.


This post is dedicated to the F family #bornlucky


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