I do not like being ill and having to rearrange work especially if it affects others timings too .
thankfully the work that was affected did not mean any major disruption , and I thank all those affected for their cooperation in resolving this issue .
but now after a few days recovery I seem to be over the illness , let’s hope it has gone for good this time .
It has been lingering and coming and going since January , not sure it is all related to the same illness or I have been unlucky enough just to get the next bug that is going around .
but I am pleased to say I am back at what I like doing best and that is working on cue sports tables .
Running a small company like GCL billiards is not easy to do if illness is involved , I do have extra help with labour to help lifting ,
but I do not have anyone else to cover for me if I am off for the skilled fitting work .
When people look at our website they think we are a large multi workforce billiards firm , I am afraid those days of large billiard firms with 3 or 4 experienced fitters are long gone ,
and the two or three firms left that have more than one fitter are either fully booked out doing world snooker work or have enough work to keep their fitters busy , but most billiard firms are just one fitter and the odd labour help ,
when I first started at Elston & hopkin in 1980 we had 4 Billiard fitting staff , 3 office staff , 4 billiard hall staff plus cleaners , plus a removals firm as back up if we required extra labour .
How things have changed over the years and that is just one small Billiard firm that was established from 1938 who at one time had 13 billiard halls at its peak time of trading as well as the fitting side .
Above a photo from around 1936 Burnaby hall Hopkin Billiard hall Hyson Green . ( before it became elston & hopkin )
over the years the Billiard ( Snooker Industry ) is shrinking in man power , due to more and more tables being made abroad mostly China .
and with it the Experienced billiard fitter is also disappearing , more importantly no apprenticeships are being offered .
I am 65 on Friday 29th March , and I am now thinking about an ideal age to retire ,
I have set my goal at 70 years old which is only 4 years past my Government official retirement age of 66 .
Until then Health permitting I hope to carry on the art of billiard fitting , after my retirement age I may work part time and train someone up into the job to take over GCL billiards .
I would like to think with the successions of firms from John Gent Billiards started around 1880 to Elston’s 1932 then elston & Hopkin 1938 who then split to around three firms and GCL billiards was one of those firms , i would like to think GCL billiards could still be trading after I am gone .
From John Gent circa 1880 to present day there has been a fitter handing down their knowledge from fitter to fitter , it would be a shame to stop at GCL billiards .
One word of warning it is hard work having to lug around 1 ton of heavy slate even on a level ground never mind up or down stairs .
so who ever I take on in 4 or 5 years time to learn this trade would have to expect a lot of that .
But hey working for yourself is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do , you get a lot of self satisfaction and you are only answerable to your clients and of course the tax man .