The past two days have been spent up in Clitheroe in Lancashire .
My client Mark has been working on the woodwork of the table for a few months and was waiting for a relocation of his family business to incorporate an upstairs area for his full size snooker table.
Mark was looking for a table back in February of this year and just happened to view my web site and one took his fancy from the for sale section which links sellers to buyers direct with no middle men fees .
the table had just been placed up for sale when Mark spotted it and he knew it was the table for him , here is a link to that original listing .
Mark purchased the table direct from the seller , no middle men fees where added, it was a direct no fuss sale.
Mark then used GCL billiards to collect the table for him and deliver it to Clitheroe .
we where instructed to re-rubber the cushions and return them so that Mark could sympathetically restore the table’s woodwork.
when Mark had relocated the family business we where instructed to return to erect the table and re-cover it in Strachan 6811 tournament cloth .
and here are a few photo’s of that work .
With the frame put together and level ready for the slates which where leaning up against the far wall ready to go on .
the 5 slates being placed onto the frame , we center the center slate up on the frame and then pin together the slates making sure we keep the overhang equal on both side and ends
The 5 slates all located together , the cloth tack lining is screwed around the outside edge , and the fine level of the table is done , the slate joints have had a skim of car body filler to make the 5 section bed a seamless 12ft long bed of slate.
there will be no slate joints showing through the cloth on this table.
the slate is 2 inch thick welsh slate and the table is of Thurston manufacture circa 1896 . one of the first concealed pocket plated tables when all Billiards firms moved from top plate pockets to concealed plate pocket fixings.
This early concealed pocket plate had an unusual fixing method where one end of the plate screws into the end cushion and the side cushion is a square lug push in fixing , the center pockets are square lug fixing on both sides .
This makes for a tricky screwing up of pocket with the ball rail attached , but back when this table was made it would have had just ball bags on for Billiards not ball rails for snooker , snooker was not the main game until after the 1930s.
it was all billiards back in the early days , and is why all tables should be called A Billiards Table and not Snooker tables .
and my job title is billiards fitter .
the bed cloth fitted to the now level table
the cloth of my choice and of most of the UK’s clubs , the very popular for wear yet speedy 6811 Tournament Strachan 30 oz all wool cloth
I often get asked why not thinner match play cloth a used on TV or other companies equivalent like Hainsworth Precision or Match cloth
the brand that is used on TV is Strachan and it is an all wool cloth with no man made fibers that are supposed to make a cloth last longer, but in my opinion will not .
This 6811 30 oz has been the main cloth used in clubs up and down the UK since the 1980’s / 90’s , it is not thick but then is not too thin , if you use a thin cloth then expect it to wear out in under a year even in home use.
this 6811 tournament will last a minimum of 2 years and maybe up to 10 years depending on how much it is used in home use , in a club around 18 months to 2 years is the norm .
Be aware of inferior cloths , GCL Billiards do not fit sub standard or low grade cloths .
the main design that attracted Mark to this table where the very solid large turned legs , We both thought these where mahogany when we picked the table up .
Mark got in touch with Peter Clare at Thurston to see if he could delve into the firms records of Thurston’s and see if they have any information about the table from the serial number stamped into the frame
Peter informed mark that it had Walnut legs and the table was made circa 1895/6 , but I can see a flame in the side wood that must make the frame wood used a flame mahogany like what you would get on say the back of violins
some times referred to as fiddle back mahogany .
The Walnut legs where extremely heavy , you may also note the key slots in the legs located near the frame bolts , this is for the cover plates called Knee panels to us billiard fitters , they simply just slot onto these key slots .
the finished table , ready for play , originally this table would have had buttons over the bolt holes in the cushion
when we picked the table up , someone had screwed flat panels over the bolt holes you can see these in the first photo in our selling clients house before Mark bought the table ,
Mark is having new buttons made for this table to return it back to it’s original looks.
and what the player sees when he is down taking a shot , these old Thurston tables if found in good condition like this are very sought after , they where made in a time when money was no object , I doubt you will find craftsmanship like this in china where most of the worlds cue sports tables are now made , solid Walnut legs , top quality flame mahogany , double bolted frame , high quality Welsh slate , the Chinese may copy us but they cannot produce quality like this .
and what makes it even better , these tables can be picked up at very keen prices at the moment , but finding the right one is the key to a trouble free purchase .
we actually have one of these type Thurston tables up on our for sale web site for FREE yes FREE , and here is a link to it
not as good woodwork wise as Mark’s table but for Free you cannot complain , if any one is interested in this old table then click on our for sale section for more details , get in touch with Geoff at GCL Billiards and he will pass on the details of the seller to you
the only part that is missing off Marks table is the original Ivory name plate , if any one has one please let Geoff know and Mark will be happy to pay you for this .
it should look something like this photo below , but in better condition . and maybe have a Victorian name instead of Edward V11 as she would have still been on the throne when Marks table was made.