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Elton Fabrications Limited

Started by andyg, April 18, 2014, 11:51:15 AM

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This bright yellow object came with some transport tokens....
Not being sure what it was I sent a picture to Malj1, who remarked "It's a bingo token [from the UK] but not sure where."

A brief Google later and I found this website,
Which suggested these were generic tokens for use in Bingo halls,

so next I searched Elton Bingo Machines and came up with this,
A patent for a machine - these little tokens were given out as prizes one assumes, then traded for what you wanted.  A bit like green shield stamps.  They seem to date to the late 1980's.

Sometimes when I have one of these Eureka moments, it turns out I've reinvented the wheel, other times not so.  Not sure which this is, but there is nothing I can find on this website about these  :)

Mal will hopefully add a few scans of the others he has...

Yellow plastic, 1.35g, 26mm
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....


Solid research, andyg. Thank you.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Andyg, apologies, I find I already had some information on my PC from some time ago:

Elton Fabrications (now Elton Games plc) of Southport. Elton Fabrications had been formed in 1962 by Arthur Helm, whose father had operated one of the first Derbys at Southport's Pleasureland Amusement Park.

Formerly Elton Amusements Limited 73 Zig Zag Road, West Derby, Liverpool.

The tokens were ejected from a bingo machine when the correct numbers had been found and is used to claim the award/prize.

Note some of these are marked Elton® lucky 7 Bingo No Cash Value while others are just marked Elton® No Cash Value.

These are found in many other colours and are also found with overprinting by other bingo operators such as those shown.

Below is a blue one as mentioned on the Irish site, these are a generic issue for use anywhere.

Another recent find is a black Elton token with a gold printed centre on both sides no doubt this may have served some additional purpose.

The Elton tokens are Listed in Hayes # 134A. through 134A.15 [various other refs., are used for the overprinted and generic types]
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


for more see  Elton Games PLC

From there I quote:

The first and original Kentucky Derby game was introduced in the 1940's by an American Jockey, G V Tonner and was sited on Blackpool foreshore for a number of years. Arthur E Helm, whose father also operated one of the first genuine Kentucky Derby's on Southport Pleasureland, established the original company, Elton Fabrications in 1962. His intention was to redesign for home manufacture and eventual sale, his own English Derby.
By 1972, the first 'Elton' Kentucky Derby was sold to a park in New Brighton, Liverpool. Since then, more than 300 Elton games have been sold to over 45 countries and 90% of the early games are still in operation today.

This takes us to  G V Tonner in Blackpool:

"....a cousin GEORGE VALENTINE TONNER, who was connected with Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the mid Twenties...."

The first and original Kentucky Derby game was introduced in the 1940's by an American Jockey, G V Tonner and was sited on Blackpool foreshore for a number of years.
From Elton Games.

George Valentine Tonner, a great example of a concessionaire at the Pleasure Beach in those years, his interesting career well documented at his hearing for bankruptcy in 1932, born in Ireland in 1885, went to the Boar War as a drummer boy, eventually to settle in America for a while to ride as a jockey. Tonner was also a manager of a laundry. In the Great War, he served with the rank of Sergeant in the Canadian Army in France, after he worked as an amusement caterer in America and in Australia.

In 1920 he came to the Pleasure Beach investing £10,000 in concessions, in 1926 Tonner had fifteen concessions including the Dodgems and he actually introduced them to the Pleasure Beach in 1921, the year he made his first patent. He had two Kentucky Derby Races, two Photographic Shooting Ranges and two Dart Stalls.

In 1922, Tonner set up an extremely successful Skee Ball competition inviting large numbers of competitors, offering a seasonal prize, those with the highest score by the end of the season came to Blackpool for a final shoot-out, a good catch for trade. The winner in 1922 went home with a motorcycle, in 1923 an Austin Seven given as the prize to the winning contestant. In 1928, the only winner out of 417 finalists accepted the cash alternative of £200.00 for the top prize, as the man was unemployed.

Tonner made a worthy success of his concessions at the Pleasure Beach, so much so he should have been a millionaire. His problem - any number of 'white elephants', ideas that went nowhere, too many crippling ventures, such as attempting to introduce the French to dog racing in Paris owning and running 168 dogs, backing pantomimes without success, a licensee to some public houses. Tonner lost everything and headed back to the Pleasure Beach as the concessionaire of the Kentucky Derby until his death in 1958.
From.  Blackpool 100yrs of Fun

[from my own web page]

See also The Kentucky Derby

Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


Just received another Elton token that has, this time, been counter-marked for use in Leisure Island.

The only Leisure Island that Google can find here is that in Cairns, Queensland. They use an entirely different token [shown below]

The figure 1 motif is that used by First Leisure.

First Leisure Corporation plc was a leisure operator in the United Kingdom between the years 1981 and 2004. Its operations included Blackpool Tower, the Winter Gardens and all three of Blackpool's piers, as well as five other piers, health and fitness clubs, nightclubs and bars, tenpin bowling centres and other mainstream UK high street entertainment venues.The company was subject to a Winding Up Order by a trade creditor and hence placed into Compulsory Liquidation by the Official Receiver.

Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


Later I found Leisure Island, Southsea, Portsmouth, listed in a supplement to British Machine Tokens where previously I had missed it. Hayes 230E. light green plastic, 26mm.     
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


Elton® No Cash Value. both sides red plastic 26mm

An unlisted colour but similar to that overprinted for MR B's Amusements.
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.