I’m an old-fashioned gal – when it comes to arcades…

I’m not really a great lover of the modern game arcades. The decibel level of the games is my biggest gripe and the flashing lights are a little too overpowering for my delicate nature – though I did enjoy the close proximity of one within a bar at the end of Pier 39, in San Francisco, as a means to keep my oldest children entertained whilst my youngest took a nap in the buggy – and I enjoyed a glass of a local red and some ‘head space’.

My first memory of arcade games was as a child on visits to my grandparents. They lived in an attractive seaside town called Penarth, in South Wales. We visited them at least six times a year and one of our favourite outings involved a walk along the cliff-top to the penny arcade.

Penny Arcade at Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, Hampshire

On our recent trip away we visited a fabulous museum called ‘Milestones‘, in Basingstoke, Hampshire, where they keep a great collection of working penny arcade machines. For one pound we got ten old fashioned penny coins to play with on the machines.

Penny Arcade Puppet Show

Grandma and Alice at Milestones Museum

The entertainment value for the children was equal to that of the loud games at the modern arcades and the nostalgia fix for me was priceless – especially with the ‘Wombles’ and ‘Sooty’!

Dancing Wombles

Alice and Sophie enjoy Sooty

Of course there was a little more than penny arcade games at the museum. We walked the streets back in time through the ages with my sister accompanying us.

Milestones Museum

Auntie Claire and Alice step back in time

Sophie enjoyed the opportunity to dress up and really looked the part…

Sophie in costume at Milestones

Alice enjoyed being a post-lady (and Granddad enjoyed playing along too!).

Alice the post lady

Granddad, Alice and Sophie playing at posties

And we all had our fortune cards dealt to us by the mechanical gypsy in the penny arcade. It was good old-fashioned fun, enjoyed by all (and a reminder just how easy we have it on the washing, drying and ironing front in this modern age too!).