Have Ivor Thomas Amusements gone bananas?

Paul Thomas (right) with landlord Keith Clark from Ramsgate

A visit to your local pub is about to become even more ap-peal-ing, thanks to an innovative new idea from Ivor Thomas Amusements.

Ivor Thomas have been supplying fruit machines to pubs for the past 40 years and are now helping boozers battle the bulge with a gaming machine that rewards punters with… wait for it… real fruit.

To some, the idea may sound bananas, but for Managing Director Paul Thomas, who dreamed up the invention while having a drink with pal Keith Clark, who used to run a fruit and veg shop, ‘it was a light bulb moment’.

‘Lifestyle changes have meant pubs are now serving healthy food. I suddenly thought, why not adapt our old fruit machines to vend real fruit and go with the trend?’ explains Paul. ‘We decided to tweak the old Jennings one-armed bandits to add a bit of nostalgia and create a focal point in pubs. Its taken nearly six months, but we’ve finally managed to get them to work. They take 10p coins and vend oranges, lemons, pears and cherries.’

Keith, who now runs several pubs in the Ramsgate area, says it’s been a real hit with his locals. ‘When Paul said he was going to convert an old one-armed bandit, I didn’t think for a moment he was serious – I thought it was the beer talking!’

Obviously not. And through word of mouth, Ivor Thomas Amusements has already taken more than 40 orders for its latest offering.

So it looks like this fruity pair may have hit the jackpot after all!