I have had the pleasure of moving a very nice carved Arts & Crafts billiard table this week to North Wales .
My Client Alan contacted me over several months to locate a table he also kept an eye out for one suitable that could be picked up between Nottingham and Wales .
this one was advertised on Ebay and was located in Knutsford in Cheshire.
so nicely placed between us .
I arrived at Knutsford to be met by Alan and the seller Jo , the home was a very nice arts and crafted designed Home .
the table was left in the house by the previous owner , and Jo and her Husband wished to use the room for another purpose .
the table was supplied by Sir William Bentley Billiards to the previous owner who paid a very large sum for it .
Alan got it at a very good price , but it has to be said selling a snooker table these days is not a very easy process and low offers or bidding is the normal process at which a table is sold
Alan won the bidding on the table so he arranged with GCL billiards to do the table dismantle move and set back up in North Wales .
the table being dismantled in Knutsford , note the arts and Crafts fireplace
the legs of the table are carved Acanthus leaf design , a common design used in Victorian time and later arts and crafts carving .
This table dates from 1910 to 1936 , that was the reign of King George V and this table sports a Thurston name plate in Ivory on one cushion .
This is also within the time period of Arts and Crafts Movement from 1880 to 1920’s .
the Name plate on one end cushion of Thurston , the time period is of course taken from the King George V statement .
note the brass billiard chalk cup under slung the cushion .
the table was transported to Penygroes north wales near llanberis , I arrived approx 1.30pm
and the table was completed and ready for play by 4.30pm .
the finished table , now located in Alan’s North wales home .
a modern Home , yet will look the part with oak flooring and skirting , the oak table although darker blends in .
a modern LED light unit clad in oak on the ceiling is being planned .
Side frame carved buttons and lower bowed frieze and knee panels with matching buttons complete the Arts and Crafts look .
note the 1/4 sawn oak grain in the side frame .
the polish of the table is in very good order , and Alan did very well for the complete package of purchase and dismantle transport and erect in North wales .
I can only see the value of this particular table increase in value in the future .
A sought after 9ft size and a collectible Arts and Crafts piece , I am sure even Drew Pritchard & T just down the road from Alan at Conwy , would appreciate this classic time piece .
Now is the time to buy these tables , antique dealers shun away from them because of the weight and time it takes to employ billiard fitters to move correctly .
It is only a matter of time before antique Billiard tables take off again and become sought after especially the 3/4 sized ones like this 9ft , and prices then will be much higher ….NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY
An unskilled move can cause damage , Alan had the foresight to contact GCL billiards to carry out this specialist work .
And also had the foresight to inquire about tables well in advance of buying one and then asking for my opinion of that table , and getting a quote to relocate it BEFORE BUYING !
GCL billiards have 41 years personal time served billiard fitter in Geoff Large .
If you have a table you wished to be moved contact the professionals at GCL billiards .
Due to my age now , we are having to turn some difficult lifting job’s down .
we will now not take tables upstairs unless a 6 man team is involved to save strain on backs arms and joint’s .
and I am afraid I only supply two men , so the other 4 men would have to be supplied by the client on their risk and insurance and not GCL billiards .
a 6 man team to bring in two vehicles is expensive so we just supply two men .
but I do have all the lifting loop straps and two piano trolleys .
A few years ago the building trade suppliers cut down the weight of a bag of concrete and sand to half bags , this was to save on damaged backs and joints within the building trade .
this was under guidelines set out by health and safety .
unfortunately Billiard slates cannot be cut down in size and I have to set out my own risk assessment these days for work like this ,
and it is becoming unsafe for an ageing fitter like myself and my mate Steve who is just a few years behind me to do this type of work now ,
Yes I have done it in the past and I am now suffering for it , in that my elbow and wrist joints are now playing up especially after lifting heavy slates upstairs .
thankfully 95% of Billiard / snooker tables are on ground floor level or have lift access to all floors .
so still plenty of work to be had moving tables without the heavy damage that can be incurred lifting slate upstairs .
I am 64 this month and would like to carry on working well past my official retirement age which is two years away , that is how much I enjoy my work ,
I plan to carry on until I am at least 70 full time then part time after , and reducing strains on the body to achieve this, is the advice of my Doctor .
I do have a slate slide to get slates downstairs which only involves a three man team , providing the stair case is suitable .
so we will take on the majority of moving tables downstairs installs and removals and delivery , but upstairs is now becoming a problem for full size snooker tables for me .
Some smaller tables as long as they are 3 to 5 sectional slate beds will also be taken on upstairs due to much lighter slates .
all ground floor relocation are always welcome , so nothing changed there .
I am just trying to make sure I am able to commit to a job and future work without injury from lifting very heavy slates by hand to upper floors .
a typical slate slide carpet run to get slates downstairs without damage to treads .
Slate slide fitted to one section of slate ready to lower flat and slide down stairs
slate safely at the bottom and ready to load onto piano wheels .
sometimes if a local farmer is around with a tele handler extending beam fork lift we can use this to gain access to upper floors .
or the client may have a lift that can take more than the slate at 200kg plus one man
this is a disabled lift and has a capacity of 450kg
so one man and slate up and lower back out onto piano trolley will work and will not limit the lift from working as within limits .
most larger lifts will take two men and a slate and trolley , or 6 to 8 people or around 800kg .
some clients have their own machinery on site , this tele handler crane lowering slates into a basement before being capped off with floor .
In the basement and lean upright against a far wall .
well ahead planning on getting these slates into the cellar by crane rather than carry them down when finished down past a GLASS staircase rail .
when room is finished we will return to assemble the table .
And that table set up
Due to the beast from the east and clashing with a low pressure arriving from the south we are expecting some severe weather conditions to hit the UK this week .
6 inch fell last night alone where I live .
Parts of the country will be getting much more than this and main roads will become very dangerous , especially for a large van .
and having just bought a brand new van I am reluctant to risk damage to it or myself if the weather turns bad and restricts traveling .
it is also noted that any red warning area s the van insurance is null and void if I take it out on a day with a red warning in that area.
and insurance company will also frown upon amber warnings too , if they can prove I was negligent , or irresponsible of conditions .
I have had to cancel a few local job’s this week , just a few miles up the road Eastwards from Nottingham towards Lincoln and it get’s very scary to travel .
So if you have a job booked in with us for next week , it may be OK and still on , but then again it may be cancelled , we can only go day by day to see if things get better .
IF cancelled this is where it gets tricky to get you booked back in as we are booked out until mid April .
People who have booked are very reluctant to move over to let a cancelled job back in quick .
I will of course try and rework you in as quick as possible , if you are unfortunate that the weather and travel conditions meant a cancellation .
Weather and Sickness are out of my control I’m afraid .
NBSA approved billiards fitter
I have Been over to Derby this week to a clients house .
My client bought a table and had it installed around two years ago .
although he did not complain about the match pockets being tight , his guests who played there often did .
so he contacted GCL billiards to open the pockets up and at the same time refresh the playing surface .
As you can see it is a genuine two bolt hole per leg face Riley Aristocrat , but it did not have adjustable slate bearers .
this is what we retro fitted to the underside of the table to make sure we could adjust the centre of the slate and get any slate bowing or dipping out .
Bed cloth fitted , a lightweight 29oz version of the popular Strachan 6811 tournament .
we had spent a bit of time making sure the table was level and the slate joints where skimmed and blended in .
our client was complaining that the joints where showing through the old cloth , we did not wish this to happen to the new fitted cloth .
we reshaped the corner pocket openings from tight WPBSA template size to Snooker Control council size , around 1/8th opened up .
note this is a steel cushioned professional standard table .
my client had made some WPBSA templates out of soft wood , as you can see we have altered the angle into the corner slightly each side
the older Billiards snooker control council templates ( B&SCC ) where used to make the pockets more approachable for the average to good player
these are not club Bucket sized pockets and they still measured around 3.5 inch at the fall , and these B&SCC templates date from June 1990 .
As you can see the template fits nice and snug , we kept the flat profile in place when cutting back the rubber , and there is minimal undercut .
the undercut template fitted snug against the flat face of the corner and aligned perfectly with the 3.5 radius cut falls of the slate .
the middles where also brought in line with the older B&SCC templates
as you can see we also fitted new Riley match pocket leathers and superior grade nets , and we fitted plastic ring ball rails and removed the old brass ones which where splitting the nets .
I always recommend to Snooker club owners to remove all metal ring ball rails and replace with lower cost option plastic ring ball rails as the nets last much longer .
and it is the same in Private houses , my client also sanded a round nose to the ring net plastic to make even more kind to the ring nets .
they also hang at the correct angle when a ball falls into the net then through the net ring hole and into the correct angle of slope , this is crucial to a longer lasting net .
the finished table
the plastic ring ball rails .
I feel we have solved our clients needs and not ruined his table by putting large bucket club pockets on there , they are still 3.5 inch at the fall ,
but they will take a ball much better in all 6 pockets .
The WPBSA plates are very unforgiving to most players , and you can soon lose interest in playing on a table with tight pockets .
there is a reason the pro players have that tight pocket , they can through years of practice and commitment play at a high level on these tight pockets , but the average to good player would be much better off with the older pre 1990 B&SCC template size .
A story I do like to tell now and again is in 1982 I was watching a young player on the next table I was working on , playing on pockets that where nearly 4 inch wide at the fall in a club in Kirkby in Ashfield Nottinghamshire .
I said you would never make it as a pro playing on such large buckets for pockets .
That young man was a 16 year old just left School Gary Wilkinson and he was ranked at world No5 in 1991/92 season
Gary became a pro 5 years after I said he would not make the grade , just goes to show that bigger pockets do give confidence in playing and keeping a young man that interested , that he went on to play on tournament pockets that where in those days sized by the same B&SCC templates I am still using today .
From 1990 onward’s the pockets where closed up a bit to around 3.3/8ths at the drop and a new governing body took control of the pocket size this is the WPBSA templates .
IF you are having problems with pocket openings you may decide to go through what a few people are doing and actually open them up a touch .
I have done many job’s like this over 42 the years I have been fitting tables .
A standard none steel cushion opening up of pocket
A burroughs and watts steel cushion set what it looks like under the cloth
and the same Burroughs and watts after I had completed the table alterations of pocket size .
trimming rubber back to alter pocket size .
sometimes I can just peel back the cushion cloth alter the pocket opening and put the cloth back on , but only if the fitter before did a decent enough job on the re-cover
if not you would probably have to have the cushions re-covered .
it is really best to have this work done at the same time as a re-cover .
as I have said 3.5 inch or even 3.7/8ths of an inch at the fall is not large club pockets .
this is what I call bucket pockets , at nearly 4 inch at the fall !
3.5 inch at the fall for comparison
NOW SOLD AND COLLECTED .
as from March 6th 2018
We have a client who wishes to sell their 8ft three section slate bed with bolted into slate cushion and 6 legs Snooker table
offers around £500 is what he is looking for .
Aylesbury area is the location of the table .
the table looks like it could do with a re-cover and maybe new set of pockets nets and leathers to bring up to date .
I can vouch that K&H is a very good make , one alteration i would recommend is that it is fitted with a set of adjustable slate supports as it is lacking these .
cloth faded and pockets discolored but is it is playable as it is .
and worth the money being asked .
a photo of underside , three section slate but could do with some adjustable slate supports to make much better for keeping level .
this is the improvement of what I mean about adjustable slate supports or muntins .
these wind up to and support the slate from sagging and recommended to have fitted if you have the table moved and set up again .
bolted cushions into slate make for a much better firmer cushion and good bounce .
this table is made just alike a full size table and build quality is very good .
all inquiries to Geoff Large at GCL billiards
TABLE IS SOLD SOLD SOLD
I did have a few interested in this table
which for some would be a fantastic buy with the cloth refitted , but the buyer who is negotiating the sale at the moment is going to have to upgrade it with new rubber and new match cloth and match openings to current professional WPBSA templates .
around 6 people where inquiring about the table but only one firm offer was made last week and my seller client has accepted .
I still have one person who is looking for one and lives in Bali , but they will arrange dismantle and shipping
is there another one out there in as good condition ?
Offers please to
We have a client who wishes to sell their fathers BCE Westbury in the Basildon area .
we can only describe from the photo’s supplied that the table is in fantastic almost unused condition .
as can be seen from the following photo’s .
superb condition cloth and polish of woodwork .
the corner pocket opening of steel cushions .
Can you see any ball track marks in the corner of the pocket opening ….so little used they have not had chance to wear in yet !
if you look closely you can just see them starting to appear.
Table will come with all accessories , including heavy duty fitted dust cover light fitting and scoreboard .
long tackle and cues in round rack
there area few BCE copies around , but this one is genuine top of the range Westbury with those all important Steel cushions .
all inquiries to Geoff Large at GCL billiards
I have had an inquiry for a BCE Westbury full size steel cushioned table at a reasonable price .
if anyone has one for sale , then please contact me so I can pass on the information to my Client .
Genuine BCE westbury only please .
Condition of woodwork is important , but things like rubber cloth nets and leathers could be replaced , the polish however and condition of woodwork should be good .
also slates have to be in good order and not dished or broken and all bolts inserts in slate present and good to go .
also frieze bolts and slot plates present and correct and all pocket plate bolts .
These BCE westbury tables where very popular in the 1980’s and 90’s ,
they where made in their thousands so someone should have one for sale ,
But condition and location is everything .
There are some copies around but my client is after a genuine one .