Walter Hoyes

George Laverick had been the Chief Mechanic in Joyland from its opening in the 1930s until his death in 1950. He was replaced by Walter Hoyes, who started his employment with the Browns in early May 1950 as a Maintenance Engineer. He would eventually become Chief Mechanic and would remain at Joyland until 1970. He was always known in Joyland by his nickname, ‘Wally’.

Walter Hoyes had started his working life as a turner in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where he had learnt his trade. He was therefore able to use these skills at Joyland, particularly when the rides needed repairs, or machines needed new parts. In the 1950s, when parts for machines needed replacing, they often needed to be built in-house. Walter Hoyes quickly built up a strong reputation in Joyland for being able to make anything with a lathe.

Walter was a highly respected member of the Joyland staff, and always smartly dressed in a shirt and tie, with flat cap. He retired in May 1970, after 20 years with the Browns. He remembers his time fondly:

“Most of the years were pleasant ones. We had our differences, but I could not have had better employers and enjoyed my years with them. I was very sad when the arcade came to an end, as it did after I retired.”

After Walter left, he often popped into Joyland to see Jack Henry, but as the 1970s progressed, he went into Joyland less and less. At the time of writing, Walter Hoyes was well into his nineties.

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Walter Hoyes was Joyland's Chief engineer, and stayed with the arcade for 20 years. Photograph: Dennis Tate

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© 2006

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