I am sorry to say this , but because we are very popular within the Snooker and pool community
we are again fully booked out on our run up to Christmas .
There may be a chance of pulling a small job in like a pool table re-cover if we are passing , but to be honest these would have to be close to Nottingham or Derby to do this .
GCL billiards has built up a good reputation within our local area and much further around the UK .
I have had to drop some types of work off our radar since March 2018 , things like abroad work which takes too much traveling time and eats into our work back here in the UK
and because I am now getting on in age upstairs or downstairs basement installs of snooker tables has been limited too .
so please mention if you have stair work involved or many steps , even some outside step staircases we have to refuse .
I am of course fully capable of all ground work installs and removals of full size snooker tables , as you only pivot the weight of the slate on level ground of and onto piano wheels trolley .
and do not actually lift it up or down .
I used to wonder why I got so many referrals for upstairs work , from other firms , now it all makes sense , I was the only one daft enough to take it all on , resulting in some serious muscle and joint wear over the 43 years I have been fitting tables .
I am willing to travel anywhere in the UK within reason and if the payment of this work is equal to the man hours away from Home and B&B or hotel charges are met,
then I am willing to take this work on
Most of my work is the Recovering and Re-rubber of all cue sports tables .
Leveling WITHIN PRODUCTION SPEC OF SLATE !
and then sitting back and admiring my finished work .
I may even get chance to knock a few balls around with my clients .
There are not many Old school Time served Billiard table fitters left working in the UK
The large firms have disappeared and their apprenticeships have gone with them .
Try finding a good billiard table fitter who is free within a few days and I would say this would be an impossible task ,
most are like myself and busy 6 to 8 weeks booked up in advance most months .
from this dry and hard cracked rubber on a 7ft riley diner
plane new rebate shelf for larger rubber
to larger rubber fitted for better bounce and perfect angle cut
To my knowledge there are a few good fitters around Liverpool / Sheffield / Scotland / one in Bournemouth / Bristol maybe Birmingham and that is about it .
Many tables have been scrapped over time , but there are Thousands out there requiring work on them ,
yet only a few fitters left in the UK that are capable of doing the Work to an acceptable level , so please do your home work on any of the firms you choose to make sure they are not speed fitters , who only hit and run and never take their time .
Where the Chinese looked up to the UK fitters to train them from around 1980s , in the future it will be Chinese fitters coming over to the UK to show UK fitters how to do the job .
Billiard and pool table work is a specialist time served job , I do not plan to retire anytime in the near future , I like my work that much , I have just got back from Butlins Skegness where I had to dismantle two full size tables and scrap them , then dismantle 6 Brunswick 9ft american pool tables .
I then relocate three of these over to the Green baize snooker room , and recovered them in Butlins red cloth , store one on site and keep some spares from the two others , and then scrap / recycle what is left of two of these two pool tables .
scrapped or should I say recycled slate and solid oak woodwork .
install american Brunswick gold crown pool tables with red Strachan super pro speed cloth , in Green Baize club
I am sorry to say the Free to play snooker tables at Butlins is about to stop in the New year , from January 2019 all tables in the Green Baize will be around £6 per hour.
Skegness was the only Butlins left doing free snooker the other two camps in Minehead and Bognor charged for playing snooker .
Skegness is now being brought into line and I have been informed they require me every three or four months from now on to keep their tables playing well to warrant the charging of the free table time , I have been calling twice year in the past .
Hot Shots pool area is now an Entertainment Venue .
all pool tables have been removed from this area .
We have a client who is converting a room for a full size snooker table
this room will be ready for a table around February 2019
below we have two Aristocrat tables that have been advertised and sold on GCL Billiards web site by private sellers .
Our client would like one in pristine wood work condition , rubber cloth and nets and leathers are not too important
but we are looking for the best available out there that is being privately sold and in home use only .
this one was sold and installed in France last year .
this one was sold and installed in Lougborough two years ago .
both in very good order woodwork wise and only had private use .
ideally we are looking for a Made in UK model .
slates have to be in good order too and level and not dished .
if you have a Riley Aristocrat or a good Karnehm and Hillman Buckingham model table in unmarked polish condition then please contact Geoff at GCL billiards .
we have a cash buyer lined up for the right table .
Please be realistic with your expectations of price , it is a buyer market .
things like cost of dismantle and deliver and set up plus any cloth or rubber reconditioning will have to be taken into account on price given for a basic Aristocrat table .
we can discuss values by sending a photo to Geoff or Carol Large at GCL billiards email address
the only other full size snooker table our client may be interested in is a Karnehm and Hillman Buckingham table like this one
*** please note
Dealers need not contact , we are looking for a Private seller for our client
Many of the advertisements that you see on search engines are not what they appear to be , many claiming to be experienced in the art of billiard fitting for snooker and pool tables are just agents passing on work to qualified people , they then take a commission out of the price for passing on this work . this applies mainly to Pool table operators who recover pool tables passing on information to proper time served billiard fitters who are then hit with a commission fee or sub contract to the middleman for a fixed labour fee.
When looking for experienced people to work on youre cue sports table , always do some home work , ask if they or an EMPLOYEE ( not subcontractor ) will be doing the work or passing the information onto a third party .
At GCL BILLIARDS we are fully experienced billiard fitters for working on any cue-sports table , UK POOL , AMERICAN POOL , OLD BILLIARD TABLES , and modern SNOOKER TABLES , BAGATELLE AND BAR BILLIARDS , the best way to find out if the person you are talking to is fully qualified in the art of Billiard fitting , is to ask technical questions , such things as pocket sizes and cushion rubber height , table height , History of tables etc , difference between tables made in periods significant changes where made such as pocket plate design , slate first used , what was used before rubber etc .
GCL BILLIARDS will not overcharge for their service , a pool table recover starts at £185 , a Full size snooker table £430 club cloth £450 Tournament cloth , and we only use top graded strachan cloth unless the customer prefers another choice .
we will point out we are not the lowest price , yet we are also not the dearest price , we try and stay within £20 of our equal competition , that extra £20 is for Experience , and safe in the knowledge that your table is in safe hands and that we are using top quality materials not seconds as some do .
And you can be assured you will have the work carried out by a TIME SERVED billiards fitter . *** with no added commission or middlemen charges.***
GCL billiards do not subcontract to other firms and we do not use sub contract fitters , we have our own identity and our own fitting standards based on 42 years experience , we do not want to assist another firm who do not have the same experience have that skill and compete against us in our market sector , it would be like letting someone in on our area and helping them establish themselves using our 40 year experience and skills as a spring board ,
and say to them HERE YOU ARE TAKE OUR WORK AND WE WILL WORK FOR YOU !
Our main area covers from Sheffield to Northampton and East coast to Stoke on Trent , we do further than this but we like to remain a Billiards firm that concentrates at least 90% of its clientele in the midlands .
I am constantly refusing subcontract work for other firms on a monthly basis as they try to muscle in on our area .
Most of these firms that contact us are just keyboard firms using subcontractors around the UK to form a business of which they pay peanuts to the firm and pocket a good percentage for themselves .
they have no experience in Billiards / Snooker & pool table fitting apart from what they have read on the internet or from books .
I do take on the odd table sale from other firms say from Scotland , that require a fitting service if they have sold to a client in my area , but that is about as far as I will let other firms into my area and to compete against us .
My advice to anyone seeking a skilled firm for their snooker or pool table re-cover is to look at that firms past work and standing within the Billiards fitting community .
Geoff Large of GCL Billiards has over 42 years personal experience of Billiards fitting from early antique Billiard tables to modern day Billiard tables that are mainly designed for the game of Snooker .
We also have a vast experience on Pool tables renovation , from UK pub type tables to 9ft american pool tables .
Brunswick 9ft pool tables at Butlins Skegness maintained by GCL billiards
Sam american K steel pool tables installed by GCL billiards .
We have a client who wishes to sell their nice looking Birmingham billiards 10ft table
The table will require 4 adjustable slate supports brackets and support beams modification as this is something that Birmingham billiards often miss out .
They should fit them but they just do not for some reason .
If you have GCL billiards quote to move the table for you and employ them , we can also arrange to have these fitted at extra cost
The table itself is £500 as it is on site , any dismantle loading removal delivery unloading setting up and modifications work , will be charged extra , please get in touch with GCL billiards for a quote to do this .
The £500 asking price is a very good price for one of these .
Originally this table would be around £3000 to £3500 when new ., and the owner did say they paid £3300 for it .
The table is situated in Ettington near Stratford on Avon .
the 10ft table comes with the lights and matching scoreboard , cue rack cues and balls .
Both snooker and pool ball sets .
the spots on the table is the reflection of the light bulbs , these lights do this and I do not really recommend these type of lights for tables , best to use twin tube or LED panel lighting .
but it may be a simple change of bulbs from clear glass to frosted ones to sort the spot problem out .
as you can see the cloth is pretty decent and has some life left in it , so this will save you a re-cover
Nest and leathers are as new and the light Oak wood work is really good condition too .
Photo close up from one end .
Cloth has a few stab marks , but in my opinion is OK for a year or so as it has plenty of nap left on it ,
it will of course brush and iron up better when refitted .
Or if you prefer pay extra and have it re-covered with brand new cloth .
As stated all removal and delivery and set up costing is separate from the £500 asking price .
All inquiries to Geoff or Carol at GCL billiards at
Snooker and pool table work used to be a seasonal thing a few years ago
we used to experience a lull or a slack period mid summer and just after Christmas and New year
but if recent years are anything to go by and the fact that Pool is now our number one sport over Snooker in cue sports pastimes .
Then it is no surprise work coming in has no high or low spots , we are not experiencing any lull or slack period in work .
and I give full warning that we cannot take anymore work on until September and that month is starting to fill in as we speak
On the snooker side we have our regular clients and on average visit clubs every year for either a re-stretch of bed cloths or re-covers .
our private home clients we average a visit every 5 years , for service re-level , re-stretch work or major work like re-rubber and re-cover or house move and the table goes too .
We get some tough job’s too like fitting abnormal rubber size due to clients requirements to unconventional block work
We are often re-rubbering and opening or closing up pocket openings in the process of a re-rubber
but a lot of our work is now taken up with the popular sport of Pool
many club’s have extended their pool lounges , and installed more pool tables than snooker tables these days .
some have a few American 9ft 9 ball tables too
We do a high volume of pool table maintenance these days .
and when it comes to pool tables , the lower cost in cloth and labour per full size mean they have work done in large quantities , and more regular .
sometimes all the tables in the room are re-covered in one go .
some club’s have a more balanced view and ratio of pool to snooker is pretty even
This club used to have all snooker now they just have three , and 7 uk pool , and one Chinese 9 ball table .
their is always the exception when it is FREE to play in with your Holiday fee at Butlins .
But since this photo 2 have gone and two more are in the pipe line to go , as improvements to form a sports lounge is implimented
we may see some American pool tables in the future as they look to improve the different venues in Butlins .
I am informed they may have plans to turn this American 9 ball hall into a 9 table UK pool hall .
and move some of these tables over to the Sports bar / Snooker room part .
they say this at Butlins every year for the last 10 years , but the time will come that it will happen .
now and again we get one of these to renovate , not so easy to work on as it is all in miniature
some cushions come like this
we refurb to this , using larger rubber .
and the end result after a re-rubber , see we really know our stuff !
after 42 years personal experience Geoff Large of GCL billiards is one of the best fitters in the country , not that there are a lot of experienced fitters about these days .
due to none training up and retirement , the specialist fitters are more hard to find .
and it is going to get worse as in 6 years time I may even retire .
Below is a few photos of the type of work that we come across .
just some of the bad workmanship I come across in the next few photo’s
these are typical bad workmanship that I come across .
as I have said I am now taking bookings for September , I am worth waiting for , all I can say is the above bad workmanship is still being done out there ,
it is pot luck if you get a fitter with high standards and the ethics that have been passed down from fitter to fitter in my history .
so please wait for us to become available and book early for work .
Today I have been over to Beeston in Nottingham to a club that I have been working on their tables for over 38 years .
They relocated to an old building in the town when they built the new Tesco’s around 12 to 14 years ago .
both tables are Burroughs and watts steel match cushioned circa 1920s ,
Rigidus frame model where the centre legs are closer together and not equal spacing with end legs .
Both tables will be re-covered in Strachan 6811 tournament 30 oz cloth .
the last time I did them was in 2013 so they have lasted close on 5 years .
this club does not get as much use as other club’s , the relocation took them from a prime spot near the high Road to the outskirts of town .
and the car park is now very small compared to the old club , where you could park up let the Wife go shopping while you have a frame or two of snooker .
you may note all the cue cases on the wall ,Not many club’s do this now .
Members have a hook and sometimes a chain they can interlink each case and padlock it to the chain .
Many club’s do not like their walls cluttered like this , but this club still has this facility for members to store their cues on the club premises .