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Geoff Harvey Biography – Geoff Harvey Wiki
Geoff Harvey, also known as Pinball Geoff, is a pinball machine wizard and expert on BBC’s The Repair Shop. He’s lived in Stoke Newington for more than 25 years. When he’s not at the flippers he can often be seen in local pubs playing the drums with the Bikini Beach Band.
Geoff fell in love with the arcade game at a young age, and his fascination has never tilted. “It all started when I went to Jersey and I played pinball for the first time,” he told Hackney Gazette. “When I got back I was telling a friend and he said he knew someone who was giving away a load.
“I got 10 or so – my parents were away and when they came back they couldn’t get in the front door. They were in the hall, up the stairs, in their bedroom.
“They said to me: ‘You can have as many as you like, Geoffrey, but they will have to be in your room.’ So I got rid of my furniture and my bed.”
Geoff was 14 years old. He didn’t have a bed again until he went to university years later.
Geoff went to university to study law but became interested in Sociology and transferred. This led to a career as a psychiatric social worker, which meant the Pinball became more of a hobby.
Despite training to be a psychiatric nurse, Geoff initially took up a career hustling – Paul Newman style – in Leicester Square’s Golden Goose.
“I made my living doing that,” he said. “It was only pocket money but I got to play pinball for free. I ended up getting a job working for a pinball company, fixing them.
“It was a little bit shady. I was working for a really nice crook. He was an incredibly honourable man though – I had a great time.”
Geoff became fascinated with the history and the mechanics of the machines – which were born out of table-top game bagatelle, in which the aim was to get into holes by ricochetting them off wooden pins.
The 1930s saw the introduction of electrification. In 1933 LA firm Pacific Amusements produced a game called Contact that had an electrically powered magnet to propel the ball out of a bonus hole in the middle of the playfield, and another rang a bell to reward the player.
“Pinball as we know it came in the late ’40s and ’50s,” Geoff explained. “And in England we got it in the late ’70s. It’s always been an innovative game in terms of design, you know. They are these industrial machines that have to be made to last with a big metal ball flying around at 30mph, but they have these beautiful designs.
“Before they were film-themed they were cowboys and space, stuff like that. They were very much made to be on site for ages. We used to think of a machine being old after 20 years, but now with the film themes they are outdated a lot sooner.”
Geoff now owns close to 300 machines. About 30 or 40 are in pubs around London – the oldest of which, from the ’70s, sits in Walthamstow’s Mirth, Marvel and Maud. Margate’s hipster funfair Dreamland has 12. Geoff also ran a now-closed museum called Pinball Parlour in Ramsgate.
As well as playing pinball machines, Geoff is a renowned drummer for The Bikini Beach Band, who can be seen playing regularly in venues around Hackney sporting their distinctive fezzes. One of his first gigs was supporting the legendary Hawkwind at Glastonbury in ’75. Geoff is the longest serving member of the band.
Geoff Harvey Age
He was born Geoffrey Harvey in North London in the late 1950s.
Geoff Harvey Family
Geoff Harvey is a grandson of the Raj. His parents were brought up in Burma.
Geoff Harvey Wife
Is ‘Pinball’ Geoff Harvey married? He is reportedly unmarried.
Geoff Harvey The Repair Shop
Pinball wizard Geoff Harvey is an expert on BBC’s The Repair Shop.
Geoff Harvey Instagram
Geoff Harvey’s Instagram is @alleypinball.