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A ship abandoned for 30 years harbors an incredible gaming treasure: 50 old arcade machines seem to have fallen out of time

a ship abandoned for 30 years harbors an incredible gaming

Here is only a tiny part of what was waiting in the abandoned ship.

So-called Lost Places, i.e. deserted and forgotten places, often hold exciting secrets inside, which seem to have fallen out of time. This includes toys, photos, documents… real gaming treasures but rather rarely.

It was very different with the Duke of Lancaster, a Esports Extrasntic old cruise ship. Here a collector discovered a proud 50 arcade machines that were vegetating lonely. What followed was a desperate and quite unbelievable rescue operation.


Amazing find on abandoned ship in Wales

The Duke of Lancaster is a popular sight in Wales, but one that most people have only seen from the outside for many years. The mighty ship, which set sail for the first time in 1956, makes a good impression.

It has been in port at Llanerch-y-Mor (Flintshire) since 1978. It was then open for a few more years as a “fun ship”, i.e. a local attraction, but officially closed in the mid-80s. Plans to continue using it fell through (via DailyPost).

27 years later, namely in 2009, then suddenly quite surprising pictures from the inside of the ship appeared online on an urbex site (Urban Exploring – refers to the hobby of exploring abandoned places) (via They displayed an impressive collection of cool vintage arcade slots.


The pictures obviously made the heart of Oliver Moazzezi, a well-known arcade collector, beat faster. Or rather, it gave his collector’s heart a pang that these treasures were stored there lonely and abandoned. He wanted to change that. Arcadeblogger quotes him as saying:

For eight months I tried to contact the owners of the place where I saw the slot machines. I called the church, I called the post office (yes, I really did!), called town, and called everywhere. Each time I got another clue and finally they led me to the owners of the place where the slot machines were located.

Moazzezi was then able to find out that they were for sale. During the on-site visit, he found some rare pieces, including some exciting bootlegs. All completely forgotten since the ship closed in the 1980s.


Here the Collector and his team captured their first exploration:

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Chaotic rescue operation

This is by no means the end of the story. Moazzezi wanted to buy and salvage the machines, but another very chaotic few months followed. Among other things, the negotiations failed due to unrealistic price estimates, other parties got involved and the seller also lost the collector’s phone number.

Eventually the deal went through, but when Moazzezi double-checked that the Arcades were still there, he was in for another nasty surprise: Water had entered the ship. “Poison” for the automatons. Because the Duke of Lancaster needed maintenance, the owner gave him and his team just 10 days to salvage everything.


The impossible was made possible: some of the slot machines were lifted off board with a crane and transported away in vans – a really strong achievement and a joint effort that brought together 15 enthusiastic collectors from all over Europe.

Meanwhile, the slot machines, all dating from 1981 or earlier, have all found new homes.

What do you think of this unusual story? Do you also dream of such a chic arcade collection?