Crime was still a major problem at Joyland, even in the early 1980s. Rarely a week would go by without a report of stealing or other occurrences appearing in the Bridlington Free Press.

One scam of the early 1980s was the use of taped coins in the change machines. In September 1981, 36-year-old holidaymaker Keith McLaughlin from Wakefield was fined £40 and ordered to pay £6 costs when Bridlington magistrates found him guilty of stealing £2 from Joyland in July. McLaughlin told the court that the money would be recycled back into the machines anyway, and said that he was only guilty of deceiving a machine, and was therefore not a thief. When searched by police, he was found to have 34 ordinary 10 pence pieces and 57 taped coins.

Only a month later a 15-year-old Hull boy was fined £10 after he admitted stealing from Joyland by using taped 10p coins as 50p pieces. Like Mr McLaughlin, he was found guilty of using the fake 50ps to get change from machines worth about £2.

Later the same year, the management of Joyland became suspicious when people started bringing raffle tickets to a stall to exchange for goods. It was found that the games machine which issued the lucky tickets had been opened.

Fighting was also a constant problem for the Brown brothers. In August that same year, Robert Brown heard a bang coming from the photo booth. On arriving at the booth, he saw the mirror broken. A 16-year-old Bridlington youth had hit another youth in an argument. He had had hit the youth and his head had smashed back and broken the mirror. He was fined £2 and ordered to pay £5 compensation to Robert Brown.

Later that year, 17-year-old David Barraclough of Tennyson Avenue, Bridlington, was fined £20 for discharging an air pistol into Joyland from the Esplanade. He was fined a further £20 for possessing an offensive weapon. He had been spotted by David Hall, technical advisor to Joyland. Hall had seen youths outside the arcade on 7th September, and luckily had recognised most of them. He had seen Barraclough - with his back to Joyland - firing the gun across the gardens towards the sea. But then to his astonishment, Barraclough had turned towards Joyland and fired his gun towards the arcade, hitting the bingo stall. When police found the weapon, which had been thrown into the nearby gardens, it was loaded with three ball bearing-type pellets and the accused admitted having fired the weapon.

In December, a 15-year-old youth appeared before Bridlington magistrates charged with theft and receiving stolen money. On 12th September, the youth was a look-out while £12 was stolen from a machine in Joyland. On 28th October, a 17-year-old youth asked another boy for 10p, saying that he would give it back and that he knew how to ‘diddle’ a machine. The boy, from Skipton, declined. At this, the other youth said he would take it by force. He punched the Skipton boy in the mouth, saying that each time it would get harder. He was fined £5.

These events, although all occurring in the 1981 season, were typical of the sort of events that would happen year in, year out.

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Deleted Photograph: Collage of Bridlington amusement arcade signs. Photograph: Jim Dodgson

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