Stan Bollom’s funeral to take place in Mumbles

17/12/2010

One of the last links with the earliest days of the UK industry, Stan Bollom, died in the early hours of Sunday, December 12, aged 92. Stan Bollom headed a family well known in the British amusement industry.

He was himself a founder member of the old BAMOS, the trade association that was eventually to become today’s BACTA. He was also a former chairman of BALPPA, the organisation for theme parks and piers.

Bollom was a very respected industry leader who spent a lifetime in the family business, Ameco (Amusement Equipment Company), which was – and remains – a significant operator of machines and leisure locations, including piers. Ameco was also a manufacturer of machines from the 1930s through to the early 1980s. He was first to manufacture the famous Skeeball game under licence. For some years it was the sole distributor of the Brenco range of AWP machines.

Stan’s son, John, has continued in the family tradition and for many years was the treasurer at BACTA.

The funeral service is set to take place on Wednesday of next week, December 22, at All Saints Church, Mumbles, Swansea, with a reception afterwards at Mumbles Pier.

Bollom started in the industry as a junior at the  Ameco company in the early 1930s. It was a large operating company in those days with extensive arcade operations throughout the UK. He moved up through the ranks and eventually bought the company with his brother Joe, who has outlived Stan.

The brothers split the company some years ago, with Bollom retaining Weston super Mare, Brixham and Mumbles piers. Joe kept Leysdown, which he eventually sold to Jim Godden three years ago, but had the Mr Bees chain of family entertainment centres before selling up and retiring. Brixham was subsequently sold by Stan, as was Weston, but Mumbles remains in the company.

Bollom was married twice, his first wife, Vanda, passing away in the 1970s. He remarried Margot who was with him when he died in hospital following complications after an operation. He also had three children, John, Edna and Susan, and eight grandchildren.

Mick Wilkins, who worked for Bollom for 58 years from a 15-year-old casual through to a full-time career with Ameco – and still works two days a week now – became general manager of the company. He said this week: “Stan Bollom was a delightful man, a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was a dedicated family man and was also a wonderful employer who took time out to involve himself in the welfare of his staff. He was a real mentor to me, advising me throughout my working life.

“He was actually a trainee solicitor before joining the army during the war. He was a prisoner of war for most of that time. Upon returning to the UK he applied for a job with AEC, which he thought was an engineering company but it was the Amusement Equipment Company. He worked his way up to director and bought the company from the original directors. Joe entered the business in the 1980s.

“The industry has lost one of the founders of the modern-day business and a friend to many within it.”

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