2019 Show

2019 Charity Donation

We’re very proud to announce our charity fundraising total from this year’s show and various other activities is a massive £3,596!

Huge thanks to all of our many friends that help make this possible. From the generous members of the pinball community that bring machines to the show, or offer help and support – to the equally generous sponsors who provide valuable items to help with fundraising. Every one of you is treasured and an important part of what we do.

Our charity partner this year is Mustard Tree, based in Manchester, who help tackle the causes and consequences of homelessness. Chris and David recently had the pleasure of meeting Jack at Mustard Tree to hand over the gratefully received donation (pictured).

Our work doesn’t stop here though. You’ll see the Northern Lights team at various upcoming pinball shows this year where we continue our efforts to promote pinball and raise money for good causes.

Hopefully then we’ll see you at the shows, and also look forward to welcoming you back to Manchester in 2020 for an even bigger and better event! Join our Facebook and Twitter feeds to meet up with our friendly pinball community and stay informed of all our upcoming events.

2019 Show

Games at the 2019 Show

Here’s a quick look at some of the games you can look forward to at this weekend’s show in Manchester! With it being Star Wars day on May the 4th (be with you!) we’re hoping to bring together a good selection of all the various Star Wars pinball machines ever made.

Beyond Star Wars there’s a great range here, from some beautifully restored electro-mechanical machines of the 1960’s and 70’s, through some of the all-time classics of the 80’s and 90’s, all the way up to some of the very latest releases this year.

Once again a massive thanks to our generous friends in the pinball community who bring these games together for your enjoyment, and to help us raise funds for charity.

As always, these games are liable to change. Even at this late stage we’re still expecting a few games more than are listed here!

See you at the weekend!

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2018 Show

Games at the 2018 show

Just a few weeks to go to this years show, so it’s about time we reveal the first set of games we’re expecting to see! There is still a chance that some of these games may change between now and the day of the show, and highly likely that more will be added, so we’ll try to keep the list updated as news comes in.

The smaller venue this year means we’re more restricted in numbers, but we think we’ve got a phenomenal range of games for you to enjoy. Everything from some early electro-mechanical games, through the classics of the 80s right up to some of the very latest from Stern and Jersey Jack Pinball. There are some very rare and custom built titles in the mix too for the aficionados!

A huge thanks from us to the very generous pinball community around the UK and beyond for contributing these games

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2018 Show

Fundraising for Donna’s Dream House

Our main show this year will be supporting Donna’s Dream House, a local charity in Blackpool that supports children with serious illnesses and their families.

Once again we’ll be asking for your support in raising money for this great cause. The UK and European pinball community has been enormously generous, bringing their pinball machines to support our events, and of course we’re eternally grateful – our shows couldn’t happen without your support and the time and effort you commit to these events. Various companies worldwide have been equally generous, donating pinball related items which we auction or raffle to raise funds. We’ll publicise the list of donors this year closer to the event.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

2018 Show

2018 Show Announcement

The Northern Lights crew are delighted to announce that for the 2018 show we’re returning to where it all began – the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool!

The show will be held as part of Play Blackpool over the weekend of the 27th and 28th October 2018.

Many people have said how much they enjoyed the show when it was held in Blackpool so here, for one year only, is your chance to relive those days!

Although it will be a smaller show than last year’s in Manchester, we’re still expecting to have over 50 pinball machines available alongside 120 classic arcade cabinets and over 200 retro gaming systems. This will be the largest amount of retro gaming ever seen in the Norbreck venue and we hope many of you will continue to support us, both by coming along and by loaning games.

The slightly smaller scale of the show will allow the return of the UK Pinfest in August to take centre stage as the largest gathering of pinballs in the UK this year. It will also give the NLP crew the chance to take a bit of a breather after organising 10 consecutive shows!

More information, including news on our discounted ticket sales, to come in due course. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for further news!

2017 Show

Games at the 2017 Show

We can now reveal the list of games we’re expecting for our 2017 show! Usual disclaimer of course – there is a chance that some of these games may change between now and the day of the show, but we’ll try and keep the list updated as any changes occur.

Once again it’s a phenomenal range of games from some classic early 1970 titles, through to the very latest titles from Stern and Jersey Jack Pinball. The range and depth of games here wouldn’t be possible without the support of our many friends in the pinball community around the UK, so a sincere thanks to everyone who has generously pledged a table.

Some of the games in our list will be selected for our new tournament! Time to start researching your strategies then perhaps?! Get some game tips from these great internet resources:

Follow our updates on Facebook for further exciting announcements as the show draws closer!

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Pinball at Christies Hospital

We’re enormously proud to announce that we’ve helped bring a new pinball machine into the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Christies Hospital in Manchester!

The Christies NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest hospitals in Europe that specialises in treatment for those suffering with cancer, helping around 40,000 patients a year. It was also the location of one of the very first Teenage Cancer Trust units, which delivers a nursing and support service for young people who are being treated in hospitals in the area.

We’d like to send a huge thanks to our friend Erd at The Pinball Mill, and everyone at Teenage Cancer Trust who has helped make this possible. We’re sure this new pinball machine will help bring some smiles to the young patients.



Charity Cheque Presentation 2016

Those that came to our show in October may have bumped into Michelle, who was one of the volunteers at the Teenage Cancer Trust stall. Mark had the pleasure of catching up with her recently, and a chance to hand over our latest charity donation of £6,950.40 (which now takes the lifetime donations to comfortably over £20,000)


Mark Robinson hands cheque to Michelle White of TCT

An enormous thanks once again to everyone who has helped make this possible. These charity donations go a long way to helping children struck down at a most vulnerable time, and provides them with much needed support on their path to recovery.

Visit the Teenage Cancer Trust site for more information on the worthy services they provide
Teenage Cancer Trust

2016 Show

Survey Feedback

Thanks to everyone that took a few minutes to complete our feedback survey from the recent show. We do read through each and every one, and your input helps shape decisions on our future events. (And it’s never too late to send your thoughts)

Happily, it was mostly all very positive feedback from what we also thought was a great show. Of course, much of what makes our show great wouldn’t be possible without significant help.

[pullquote class=”left”]Great to see Pinball Heaven had an excellent stand. Thanks to Phil Palmer for bringing several brand new machines for everyone to play.[/pullquote]
What was perhaps surprising is that the range of older games at the show gained slightly more positive votes than the new machines. I guess it goes to show that there are some real classics from the past that will always be popular. We do our best to source some of these classic titles, though have to acknowledge that it isn’t always possible to please everyone. There were a few people that let us know they would have loved to see Monster Bash or The Simpsons Pinball Party at the show. Sorry they were missing, perhaps next year?! Of course the newer machines had a massive amount of positive votes and comments too, with Wizard of Oz seeming to be the most popular modern machine named in the survey.

[pullquote]Jim Askey’s bit was excellent, Steve’s tombola never gets the recognition it deserves. The NLP pin-fixing crew were superb[/pullquote]
We always enjoy the special areas at the show, and it seems you share that enjoyment too. The Addams Family Chair proved popular again, re-appearing this year with a few tweaks since we last saw it, and the shrieks of fun could be heard from quite a distance! A few respondents thought the selection of pinball parts was great, but would like to see that expanded on at future events. Jim Askey’s ‘MyPinballs’ section had a number of positive comments, as did Tim ‘Strobey’s Live Streaming rig which was broadcasting to Twitch.

[pullquote class=”left”]The whole event was well put together. Only comments would be in future they need more refreshment facilities. Hopefully it will continue to grow each year.[/pullquote]
Most of the negative feedback was unfortunately regarding aspects of the wider Play Expo show which we have little direct control over, but will pass along your comments. Many thought a wider range of refreshment stalls would be welcome, and the queuing system always picks up a few criticisms, but in general it seems to be something that is getting better year on year.

Another criticism that we’re well familiar with is people finding it frustrating to see so many pinball machines on four player games (often with only a single player present). This is something we’ve tried to address with signage in the past, but ultimately is down to the audience at our events, who are largely people with little experience in pinball. Frequently we find younger players walking up to a machine and pressing the start button. They see a ball pop in to the shooter lane and start playing. As soon as the ball drains they press start again, thinking that’s how they get another ball (but in reality of course it adds another player). On the flip side (aha) of that though, we have also seen groups of people taking it in turns to play single player games, unaware that multiplayer games can be set-up.

So we’re asking you, the knowledgeable pinheads of our community, to help us solve these problems by chatting to people at the events and explaining how this all works. We also put some effort in this year to try and enable ‘slow restart’ on the modern games, which means that holding down the start button will frequently reset games back to single player. It’s going to be a long battle, but we look forward to that day where we don’t see any games abandoned partway through a four player game!

[pullquote]Run a proper competition (like UK Pinball Party)[/pullquote]
We only had a couple of small pinball competitions at this years show. The linked up NBA Fastbreak competition was missing for the first time in our show’s history, and its absence certainly raised a few comments! The competition side is always something that raises interesting feedback, and we’re happy to hear your thoughts.[pullquote]Competition(s) are a nice extra on the side but certainly not the important part[/pullquote] A few commented there should be more/bigger competitions, and equally a few thought they would prefer not to see machines taken away by running those big competitions. The balance from expanding the competitions is something that we’re aware would be difficult to get right, but it remains to be something that we’ll consider in future events.

There were plenty of other great ideas that we’ll consider in the future too. More seating areas, and a better way to help people find the machines they love, or explain the history of particular games were amongst some of the ideas we’re now considering.

Thanks again to everyone who provided feedback. There are plenty of ways to get in touch, and if you have further thoughts we’d love to hear them. Contact us on Facebook, email or even in person at one of the shows. Because as one kind person explained – the best part of the show? … [pullquote class=”left”]The lovely staff[/pullquote]
…and who are we to argue with that 🙂



Thanks from us, to you

It’s a few weeks now since we wrapped up our last big event. There seems to be a tremendous amount of positive feedback from those that attended, and we’re also checking through the responses to our survey. (If you haven’t yet sent us your thoughts and suggestions, please consider completing our short survey)

There is of course a huge amount of work to bring an event like this together. Our most sincere thanks to…

ALL the many machine loaners, we literally could not do this without you. Your effort in preparing and generously donating machines is appreciated by thousands of people over the weekend, and we hope you share our enthusiasm that events like this introduce a new generation of people to the hobby.

Our sponsors who generously support the show with promotional prizes and items that help generate charity funding

Cliffy's Pinball Innovations



Pinball Heaven

Our tireless crew who dedicate their time, expertise, effort and more at their own expense to help us in various ways throughout the event. From machine repairs, setup/breakdown, transport and overseeing a dozen other things – your help is invaluable:
Andre ‘Onze’
Ian ‘Windoesnot’
Gary ‘Mooseman’
John ‘JMP’
Roger ‘RGV’
Simon Hook

An extra special thanks to Steve who once again raised a huge amount for our charity partner, the Teenage Cancer Trust, at his busy tombola stall. Our visitors may only see him for the weekend of the show, but the effort put in to organise for an event of this magnitude spans far beyond those two days. His team of helpers this year included: Jasmine, Nicola, Sandra, Gary, Jake, Lynn, Madison, Simon H & family and Thin

There will no doubt be others we have missed. Making a list like this always runs that risk – our sincere apologies, please get in touch

To all those that attended, joined in the fun or supported our charity fundraising efforts – a massive thank you, from all on the NLP team


Pictured left to right: Chloe, Dave, Paul, David, Mark, Simon L, Dan, Chris ‘Poibug’, Nigel.

Absent from photo: Darren and Simon W