In the seaside resort of Bangor, Barry's Amusements is closing and everything must go at auction.
The decline in Barry’s Amusements in Bangor in County Down, mirrors the decline in the seaside town as a holiday destination. With more people taking foreign holidays, fewer of them are visiting the amusement arcade.
However old age is the main reason why is 84 year old Minnie Delino, owner of Barry's Amusements has reluctantly decided to sell. Ordinarily she would never part with any of the machines, as the amusement arcade has been owned by her family since the 1930s, and is of great sentimental value. However she consoles herself knowing that
At least I’ll know they’re going to someone who cares about them, because anyone that buys them must care for them, or else they wouldn’t spend their money.
At the auction there was no shortage of people wanting to buy a piece of their own childhood. And while there were dealers and other arcade owners bidding, most of the £14,300 raised at the auction came from private buyers with a taste for nostalgia.
William Ellis is
Absolutely amazed at the number we’ve had, we thought we’d get far fewer, I think we’ve had about 350 people here this morning.
Minnie Delino did not attend to the auction as she couldn’t bear to watch her machines being sold to the highest bidder. She does not plan to retire entirely as she still runs a thriving ice-cream and fish and chip business.
I’ve never heard about anybody retiring in our business. We all die, or else something.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 January 1983.