Colin sells a locked room!


Here is another great story from Colin Mallery at Harry Levy Amusements about the day he sold two guys a locked room. Yes, Steve Robbins and Bob Hepworth of Infogame – this old classic from about 25 years ago – we are talking about you!

It dates back to the time when young Colin was working for Deith Leisure in Hartlepool. They had an old warehouse which they used for storage and which was also used by the local brewery. In this warehouse was a room full of old machines and bits and pieces. It was a typical store room, dirty and a mess and Colin wasn’t keen on the idea of clearing it out.

One day, two young guys, Steve and Bob, turned up and they asked Colin about this room. They wanted to take a look and perhaps buy a few things. But Colin had a better idea. “I am not going down there and rooting around in that mess,” he said. “If you want anything in there – you can buy the room – site unseen. Once you have emptied it, you can give the room back.”

Steve and Bob paced up and down thinking about what could be behind the locked door. They begged Colin for a peek, but he wasn’t having it. They asked how much.

“Three grand,” said Colin

But Steve and Bob got him down to about £1700 and Colin gave them the key.

Apparently it took them six months to clear the room out and they did make a profit in the end. But we are sure it is the only time anyone in the industry has bought a locked room – certainly from Colin Mallery!

Comments (3)

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I have just read the story from Colin Mallery about the locked room. I remember the incident well as I was Managing Director of Alca Electronics in those days based in Oldham. I used to see Colin frequently when he was in Hartlepool. In fact Colin and I have been friends since 1960, when he worked for Ruffler and Walker, I worked for Phonographic Equipment. Our friendship has lasted all these years and is truly I think quite a record for the Industry.

Between us Colin and I have many amusing stories and I think it would be good to regularly feature them.

Michael Green
30/03/2011, 14:44

Enjoyed reading about the time we bought a locked room from Colin! I can confirm that we did a lot better out of it than we ever told him!

I first met Colin when I worked as assistant manager in a furniture store in Wandsworth just over the road from Ruffler and Deith aged 18. I had a van and a visit planned to Leeds so I went in to Rufflers to ask if I could deliver a machine for them in Leeds to help pay for the petrol. I was introduced to Colin and after a brief chat it turned out that Colin not only knew my family in Leeds but he used to stay overnight with them as my uncle was a Jukebox and One Armed Bandit operator around Yorkshire during the 60’s and 70’s. Colin let me have a machine to be delivered to Tic Tac Toe in Leeds and paid me £10 which was fortunate because approaching Leeds I broke down and it cost me £10 for a call out and repair.

That was the first deal with Colin but not the last. After I moved to Leeds at 21 I entered the industry and over the following 30 years I dealt with Colin on a regular basis until his semi retirement at Harry Levy. I can tell you that everyone was a joy.

Stephen Robins
11/05/2011, 11:02

Hi all,

Bit of a bump to an old post but I am looking to buy an Atari TX1 – I have seen pictures of this room and can see there were three in there!

Oliver Moazzezi
Portsmouth, UK
05/10/2015, 09:17

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