INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPRIETOR
John Whyatt has a background in electronics and computer engineering dating back to 1973.
He had a three year apprenticeship in telephone engineering and worked on Strowger type telephone exchanges upon it's completion. Working with all those relays and uniselectors was a good background when it came to fixing electro-mechanical pinball machines. He then went on to computer engineering, working as a site engineer for ICL, followed by service engineering with Nixdorf Computer before joining Intergraph, where he became a Senior field service engineer.
He first encountered pinball machines when he played them in the arcades along Gt Yarmouth seafront in the late 60's. Around 1985 his interest in them was re-awakened when he attended a convention organised by the Pinball Owners Association, (POA). The first game he owned was a Gottlieb High Hand. His first electronic game was Spiderman, another Gottlieb machine. He became a member of the POA and contributed articles to the organisation's magazine, Pinball Player. Around this time he started buying games as the addiction to pinball started and with game ownership came the need to understand how to fix the machines. Towards the end of the 80's he started fixing machines for other people, but it was still very much a hobby at that time.
In 1990 he attended his first Pinball Expo event in Chicago, an event which he went on to visit on a regular basis. During the 90's he attended other pinball shows, both in the United Kingdom and the USA. He also became editor of Pinball Player magazine and contributed articles to other publications that were amusement and pinball related. He also began his pinball supply and repair business, running it in his spare time.
John Whyatt (right) presents an award on behalf of the Pinball Owners Association at Pinball Expo 1992 to design team members of the Addams Family. Pictured left to right are Roger Sharpe, Pat Lawlor and Larry de Mar.
As machines started to take over his house and home, selling became more crucial and gradually the hobby became a business. He became more involved with the POA, helping to organise conventions and other activities. He also contributed technical articles to the magazine, many of which were the result of his experiences in repairing customers' pinball machines.
By the end of the 90's, the business was fully established and alongside sales of machines offers board repair services as well as complete game overhaul. Time constraints meant that his involvement with the POA and work on Pinball Player had to take a back seat.