By Mark McConville
STUNNING RETRO pictures have revealed the bright lights of London’s fun fairs where the British public amused themselves during the 1950s.
The incredible images show some young off-duty soldiers playing slot machines in an amusement arcade, a young man enjoying a saucy peep show in a coin-operated machine and another having his palm read by a machine.
Other striking shots show a family playing a high-prize pinball machine, a tattooist waiting in his parlour for customers and a man counting through the day’s takings with a bucket full of coins from slot machines.
The remarkable photographs were taken in some of London’s amusement arcades in December 1951.
The amusements, also known as penny arcades, were a type of venue for coin-operated devices which usually provided entertainment.
Common machines included pinball machines, slot machines, fortune-telling machinery, peep-show machines and love tester machines.
The bright lights of the amusements were most often frequented by men and teenagers although families could enjoy a night out together.
The arcades were the forerunners for the video game arcades that came later in the 1970s and 1980s that included such classics as Space Invaders and Pac-Man.