I will not be available to answer any phone calls or emails until next tuesday
I have a very busy weekend ahead of me and therefore cannot attend to the firms phones or PC.
Did you know GCL billiards rent pool tables out to pub’s clubs and staff canteens on full maintenance contracts .
We have many tables now in a few club’s and pubs around the midlands area mainly East midlands , and we also have a major supermarket chain that uses GCL billiards
to supply their new supreme winner pool tables in their staff room / canteens on a rolling contract which we carry out a 6 monthly re-cloth service .
In fact we carry out two re-cloths every year on our tables included in the rental price of £80 per month and no VAT to pay !
We know of no other firm that offers this high maintenance service .
We only wish to cater for a nominal amount of sited rental tables so get on our books while you can , as we also have a full billiards firm carrying out re-covering and maintenance not only to pool tables but to snooker tables too .
we therefore only wish to have around 40 to 50 machines sited to run alongside our full maintenance billiards firm .
May we point out we are fully qualified billiards fitters and not a fruit machine mechanic who will be maintaining your rental table .
We are 100% cue sports people who understand cue sport players requirements to play on good maintained tables .
we are focused on cue sports rather than coin slot machines in general .
we therefore offer you a better more professional approach to having a fully maintained machine on your premises rather than a poorly maintained one .
initial contract is for 12 month and after that .
we carry out a 6 month rolling contract renewed at each re-cloth stage .
we change the balls every year , and supply two sets of balls from new .
you have the keys and all that goes in the cash box is yours .
all we ask is you keep to our contract agreement and pay each monthly the rental payment without missing any payments .
So good is this deal that we have two club’s one with three table’s installed and one with 4 table’s installed , as they worked it out that with tax relief it was better to rent than buy .
and not have to worry about paying expensive re-cloth or new cushions or new coin mech .
they just sit back and take the takings from the machine pay the rental each month and have no worries of breakdown costs or maintenance costs ,
and their table always look good with a new re-cloth every 6 months .
we only use top rated cloth Strachan 6811 tournament as our standard cloth and if you pay a little extra each month you can upgrade to Hainsworth Match cloth .
Tables are cleaned out too so no dusty balls or sticking balls on dirty rail system
we buy the latest green badge tables , so you know you are not playing on a reconditioned 10 year old machine .
the latest tables come with cast metal corners rather than the older plastic chrome corners of the old model .
and the wood finish of all our tables are Black Pearl .
Get in touch with Carol or Geoff Large at GCL billiards to order your new rental supreme winner coin op table and start making money from your new table as soon as it is installed .
We would like more sites in the Nottingham Derby Beeston Stapleford Long Eaton area especially , but we do have sites as far as Matlock , Lincoln , Nuneaton and Coventry .
WE HAVE TWO TABLES IN STOCK READY TO GO OUT ON SITE .
*** we would like to point out that your pool table in order to make it pay for your rental site , it must take at least £20 per week or £3 per day ,
that’s 40 games a week 0r 6 games a day at 50p per go .
if you rental site does not make this amount your commitment for the first 12 months is still £80 per month , we do not do 50% split taking site rentals .
and after all many tables take at least £60 to £100 per week what would you rather pay per month £200 split out of £400 takings or £80 per month ?
also do not forget if you attract pool players into your pub they also buy drinks .
As they say if you provide a better maintained new table you will attract more custom to your pub or club as the word gets around you have a good maintained table .
Maintained by GCL billiards
I came out of the Army in the year of 1976 , and started to work for my uncle’s firm Trent Valley Pool & Snooker tables Leisure firm in Chettles industrial Estate and office on lincoln Street basford .
I worked alongside my cousin Gary Hume and A sub contract billiard fitter called Mick Robb who had a firm called Belvoir billiards .
I stayed at Trent Valley Leisure for 4 years , then on advice from Mick Robb , I left and moved to Elston & Hopkin of Goldsmith Street Nottingham .
although I still did a bit of work for my Uncle Ron and cousin Gary over the years while I worked for Elston & Hopkin , mainly at weekends or evenings
and my boss at Elston & Hopkin did knew that I helped them out now and again . although their work and sales where nationwide and E&H where local east midlands mainly very little outside a 50 to 80 mile radius
.so no conflict of interest .
John hopkin was a very good Employer and Boss .
In 1980 Elston & hopkin where just being relocated from the very old Empire Theatre Building on goldsmith Street Nottingham where they had a billiard hall and a very fine fitted out Solid Mahogany sales counter for billiard table spares . cue sales and so on .
I also got married in 1980 to my Wife Carol , who I am happy to say we are still together after 39 years of marriage and have two Daughters Helen and Kimberley and in 2018 our first Grand child Emily arrived .~
Sorry no Boys to carry on the business .
Elston & hopkin moved into a workshop on Canal Street , also now demolished , and then into the Newark Street premises from 1980 .
having a 18 table billiard hall , office and workshop on the top floor .
of Davisella house right on the corner of Newark street & Manvers Street .
Elston & hopkin moved out in the early 2000s and sold out to Universal logic in 2004 , I went with the firm to work out of a warehouse in Gainsborough Lincolnshire for the next 7 years .
I look back on the 43 years I have been working as a Billiards fitter .
I have learnt from everyone around me from my Uncles firm and Gary Hume to Mick Robb who was a big influence in my work , to Roger Perczynski and Alan Pykett at Elston & hopkin .
I also learnt a bit of Computer presentation and promotion from my last boss Ted Roberts .
I have had my ups and downs , but became self employed in May 2012 when I had started GCL billiards .
I have met some characters , and worked for some very famous people , as you can imagine it is not everyone who has a room for a full size billiard table , and most celebs and sports personalities do at sometime in their life have ownership or inherit through a house sale a full size table .
But I get as much satisfaction working for normal working folk like myself as I do the high society and famous clientele .
I look upon myself as the Caretaker in my time period of the billiard tables I work on .
I am now approaching 65 years of age , and starting to feel the aches and pains of fitting such heavy tables .
a bit of arthritis , a bad knee joint from my football days , and the normal getting old feeling that you feel creeping up on you .
To the point that upstairs locations are now null and void and no go areas .
let the younger fitters lift slate upstairs or into a basement .
So I do not do this type of heavy lifting anymore , one bad job could put me off work for a long time so why risk it , just ground floor to ground floor locations and the van loading if I wish to carry on to my 70’s
I do not know how long I will be doing this line of work , but I do aim to get to 70 years old at least full time .
So at least another 5 years and two months to go yet .
HEALTH PERMITTING of course .
and maybe do 3 days a week then 2 days a week until retirement , but it is not unusual for 80 year old fitters to still be fitting tables and doing Re-cloths , At Elston and Hopkin they had an old fitter called Joe doing it until he was 80 odd years old .
he fully retired just before I started there .
We do not own a snooker or pool club , but if you do require to find a club to play local to us , try Stapleford cue Club they are the closest snooker club to me 2 mile down the road .
Stapleford Cue club is situated at
148 Derby Road behind the pizza hut take away .
tel 01159 394 504
if you are very close to Derby then try
under rollerworld access to right in carpark
Derby DE21 4AW
tel 01332 360924
other side of Nottingham then try
Newark cue club
41 Barker Gate
tel 01636 612030
I get many phone calls asking if we are open to book a table to play on ?
We are not advertised as a snooker club , we are a Billiards /Snooker / Pool table or as a collective a Cue sports table MAINTENANCE company
This means we work on tables repairing or maintaining them .
our other business is long term contract of coin operated pool table hire to pubs and clubs we do not own our own club .
I am sorry to say it is getting beyond a joke at how many people phone us up sometimes at 12 to 2am in the morning and Today ( Christmas Day ) of all days to ask what time we shut or are we open today.
we suspect these are Taxi Drivers knocking off work or taking a break and wanting somewhere to play snooker or pool .
I do not know of any all nighter snooker clubs most close at 12pm at the latest .
but just to refresh what we are about .
This is what we do
If you require to book a table try Stapleford cue club they are the closest snooker/pool club to me
AND THIS WHAT A SNOOKER CLUB LOOKS LIKE
stapleford cue club
Cueball in Derby pool room and plenty of full size snooker tables
Newark cue club 41 Carter gate Newark Nottinghamshire NG24 1UA ………….tel 01636 612030 for booking to play on pool and snooker tables .
Hunters Bar Grantham 1 Union Street , Grantham next to lidl’s , NG31 6NZ……………… tel 01476 579493
Hunters bar has 7 UK pool , 4 american pool , and 6 full size snooker tables to play on .
I have been asked to visit a client near Northampton .
I was recommended to this client from one of my regular clients in the same area .
The main problem was this badly cracked bolt hole , a bolt lug had been forced and spun around inside the slate and shattered this bolt hole .
not a lot we could do with this , if I had tried to mess with it we could have made it much worse , so in this scenario it was better to leave the bolt out of the table .
the cushions where made from very heavy Cuban Mahogany and weighed as much as steel cushions so the bounce would not be affected by leaving one bolt out of the cushion .
the hairline crack had also spread above the slate bed along the dotted lines and the first slate joint was raised slightly , this could be frost damage if the slate was stored outside in winter .
My solution to the raised joint was not to mess with the cracked slate or disturb it , just in case it just fell apart , and made matters worse
The joint that was bad could be felt when ironing the table , so I filled all slate joints and feathered this joint in with soft sand car body filler , result is no bad joint anymore .
now one other problem that is is very noticable on old burroughs and watts tables is the centre pocket bounce back of ball back onto the table ,
after hitting the pocket plate leather , this is because there is very little distance between the bolted cushion pocket plate and the slate fall .
and is a very common problem on old B&W tables that a lot of people have an issue with .
on this table the slate fall did not align to the nose of the cushion so I was able to add a further 1/8th of slate fall into the table by rasping the slate away , on this table all 4 corners had already been done like this , but they did not touch the middle slate falls , now the owner has a bit more distance to the pocket plate .
note that this slate also has an airline crack in it , I have filled it with isopan car body filler soft sand type , just in case it could show through the cloth .
I think at some point the table slates has had some rough handling or maybe frost damage if slate was wet and stored outside . frost gets into slight hairline cracks and freezes resulting in expanding and making the crack worse .
But all is ok now .
cushions where made from a very heavy Cuban Mahogany , very rare to find this and a costly improvement from standard mahogany when new .
they will bounce as good as Steel cushions , they are that heavy .
A previous fitter had fitted Barton White rubber to this table in the past , I would have used northern Rubber myself .
but the ball bounce was very good from them , so they are OK .
The Finished table , Re-cloth in Strachan 6811 tournament 30 oz , my client had a Hainsworth match cloth fitted on it last time , but he was not happy with it , the fibers of the cloth was shedding and the white balls was covered in fibres .
The lighting shade is due to be replaced for twin tube high frequency white light units , but these old metal shades where the rolls royce of billiard shades back in the day .
The Hartley Engineering metal shade , to the exact requirements of Joe Davies spec .
not many of these around anymore as they often get scrapped for modern lighting .
Modern lighting is the way to go , the game is so much better with white light high frequency tube lights or LED lighting panels .
and I got excellent recommendation from this client , thank you Dave
Yes Geoff arrived 10:30 and was still working at 5 o’clock no 2 hour quickly with this man, all the table problems sorted in a very high professional high standard workmanship to match. I was over the moon with the finished job, most highly recommended
We have a client who wishes to sell on their 9ft snooker table
at a very reasonable cost of £500 with cue rack and cues .
From one end , my client has measured the table from nose of cushion to nose of cushion and added the 2 inch each end of cushion overhang
this makes this table a 9ft slate bed table with three section slate bed . circa 1980’s /90’s
a very nice turned leg
the cloth looks faded and worn so any buyer may wish to have the table re-clothed
costs for removal delivery and set up plus a re-cloth could be arranged through GCL billiards .
please ask for a quote .
the table comes with a modern 1980s fixed none turn cue rack
GCL Billiards advertise all tables on our site as Private sales , they do not include a collection dismantle load unload and set back up price in the listing
any quote has to be done on distance to travel and number of days to complete because of distance , plus any re-cloth or maintenance issues that have to be put right .
this table in our opinion requires a re-cloth in strachan 6811 tournament cloth 30 oz .
if you would like a quote before you buy the table ( Advised ) for this work , please supply post code and if the table is to be set up on ground floor or if any stair issues are involved or many steps .
I will not be available to answer any phone calls or emails until next tuesday
I have a very busy weekend ahead of me and therefore cannot attend to the firms phones or PC.
I have been over to Beeston the next main town from me to re-cloth a table I put in two years ago at the start of this man cave , I also supplied the supreme Prince pool table to him as well as the Riley Aristocrat pro steel cushioned full size snooker table , located through our private sales program and this web site .
This full size table is located in a warehouse upper floor area where the owner has created a very enviable Man cave ,
together with Pool table air hockey football table and table tennis table , a gym weights , video machines with twin seats pinball , table tennis and a very impressive golf range video range game using real clubs and balls .
I am not going to say where the warehouse is located for security and customer client confidentiality .
but just look at the photo’s who would not want something like this .
First of all how the table was re-clothed
Steel cushions on the this top of the range riley Aristocrat , cushions being stripped and re-clothed .
the bed cloth off to reveal the slate bed sections 5 in total , and a taster to the games my client has to choose from in his man cave is in the background .
cloth of choice for our client is the expensive top of the range Hainsworth match on the bed with Hainsworth smart on the cushions for best ware and tear .
not the best cloth to fit for inexperienced people you can rip it easy if you are not careful ,
you have to be very careful especially around the centre slate falls and use G clamps on this cloth .
Bed cloth marked out with D and baulk line and spotted , Ironed and now the cushions being aligned back up before torque tightening of bolts .
the finished table , level checked and one net replaced .
and just some photos of the other games on offer in this man cave .
a Genuine Brunswick Shuffleboard around 12 to 14 foot long , I did not measure it .
Sam Air Hockey table .
Sega multi game video in foreground , Pinball and twin race video games in corner
and an impressive Driving range with large video projector above .
Add to this a table tennis table and a 7ft pro series Supreme Prince pool table
and as you can see a really enviable Man Cave has been produced here by the owner .
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 .
I seem to have a bug or virus that keeps coming and going .
and this last week it has hit me again to the point that I am just not upto Driving or doing any work and have been in bed this last 48 hours .
just got up to make this blog news , so that everyone knows the situation and I will be getting in touch to make a new appointment for work that I have not been well enough to carry out
I’m afraid I am a one man operation when it comes to re-cloths or normal work and I do have one other part skilled man to work with me on any table moves .
unfortunately I would not send out anyone that could not do the work 100% , so anyone who is due work and has been informed I will not be coming and have to make an arrangement to come and do the work at a later date .
For all those who have booked work in and you have not received any phone call cancelling the work then expect me as normal .
my mobile is now switched off I need the rest away from work to get over this illness , if you phone the home phone number my wife may answer or she may not as she does work part time for another firm .
but she will not be able to quote or take any bookings for work , I am afraid you will have to wait until I am well enough to resume this .
I have been over to Derby this week to the Cueball club .
On this visit my instructions where to re-cloth bed and cushions on two of their tables .
The cloth used is Hainsworth MATCH on the bed and Hainsworth SMART on the cushions.
This combination of a thin fast bed cloth and slightly thicker cushions cloth to take the wear and tare of ball bounce around the nose of the cushions.
Start of the work , strip down cushion cloth off the cushions .
I fitted new rubber last November to this table , the table has had some misuse and had several holes in the bed cloth and one on the cushions cloth
So because of misuse the table to be reclothed.
Hainsworth Match is a difficult cloth to fit , so it has to have clamps put on around the centre pockets when pulling the 4 corners out and tacking bed cloth on nice and tight .
The finished table , hopefully the people using it will not repeat the misuse , Danny who runs the club is on the ball when it comes to keeping up appearances .
a scruffy torn bed cloth is not a good advertisement so he is now keeping an eye on this more popular overused table to see that the misuse is not repeated .
the second table to get the refresh treatment is an old Orme and Sons table with modern slates and cushions .
This is a very nice table to work on , just a couple of nets to replace as well and it is now back up to pristine playing condition .
The Cueball Club at Derby is a well run club that really goes the extra mile where Customers are concerned
place is clean and tidy and many improvements have been carried out since Rileys owned the place , it is now run by Owner Danny for the past 7 years .
and every year he has improved and moved the place forward .
Danny keeps a tight ship , staff always polite , toilets nice and clean , Food Drink selection good , and they sell Accessories and Cues too .
and more importantly all tables kept to a good playing condition .
an important Client of GCL billiards with 12 full size snooker tables and over 8 pool tables .
We have due to HS2 Rail track going right through the property a table to sell for a client
The table is not your usual type that you see for sale , this one is Steel cushions and carved and you may wish to choose what you would like added to the table from the excellent top end accessories .
I am going to let the photos do the talking here and you’ll see what I mean , there will be sale options of all the items as a job lot .
or the table only or the table scoreboard and cue rack only , and the excellent billiards raised bench seat only .
the Burroughs and Watts full size table may require a new cloth , but this is a burroughs and watts steel cushioned table in oak .
the last one I worked on that looked like this belonged to the late Maurice gibb of the Bee Gees , but that one had standard cushions on it .
Very ornate carved leg table in what is known as Arts and crafts period , circa around 1920’s /30’s
very deep sided table depth of side frame and arches , make this table look more substantial than a normal table .
The original long rests and cues are with the table .
as can be seen the original badge is till on the end of the cushion , Patent Burwatt steel vacuum cushions
by Burroughs & watts , this is a very old firm and one of the best firms and tables when built , do not confuse the modern Burroughs and watts firm with this firm they have no history with this old firm .
This is an original Burroughs and watts steel cushioned table .
the fantastic original scoreboard , there may have been a barometer or clock in the round section
this board is often referred to as a Life pool scoreboard or Pyramid scoreboard .
the below ball display storage box is not seen on all of these boards but with this board it comes complete with it .
Ivory or bone turn knobs and score sliders are original tot he board .
The life pool slide out panels in the out position showing the three mother of pearl life markers
the object of the game is you have three lives , slide the panel over a life if you lose a life ,
and there is a slide out star if you wish to buy an extra life incorporated just under the upright panel where the clock is , this is slid out if you buy a life back to show a star .
some boards have penny life slots , this board does not have that feature .
an original period rotating cue rack and cues complete the added accessories .
This is a very rare to find Billiards viewing bench seat with storage
I would say this is an Extra to the table , because of size it needs a very large van to move it
roughly just under 12 foot long 40 inch high and 35 inch depth . to edge of plinth
the plinth comes off and separates
Bonus to the buyer is the seat has just had an expensive reupholster .
make sure if you buy this seat you have the access to get it through doors without turns being tight remember it is nearly 12 foot long .
and would have to be separately transported if you bought the complete package as too large and heavy to load on with a table , and would not fit on my van .
or maybe use a large removals van to collect the entire complete package would be the sensible way but that could prove costly to do .
I do have another alternative to have the seat only moved in an open backed wagon if route is acceptable to the driver of the wagon , but at buyer’s risk of weather .
Right I am awaiting a price indication from our selling clients for each item or as part package entire package .
We have already had a discussion about possible values , but if you would like to make an offer in the meantime while we work out the prices then please do so .
Fixed Prices will be going up on this site by the end of the week .
A Unique opportunity to acquire a very substantial piece of Historic billiards collection at a reasonable price .
Direct from the seller with no middlemen fees .
All inquiries to Carol or Geoff Large by email to
we will pass on any genuine offers for this table to our client and if you wish to have a quote for removal and delivery and set up we can quote you for this .