The old Mill Social Club holds some fond memories for me. As very young boy aged 7 to 9, I used to play around the fields, Smedleys farm, canal and railway bridge that surround the club. So getting the nod to renovate the old Riley Imperial square leg brought some memories back.
The Old Mill Social Club is tucked away down a small dead end road. ( Dirt road Track ) It has a car park next to open fields and a public footpath. Inside the club they have a bar, function room area and a pool table (they already have a pool team).
Upstairs they have a full sized snooker table which is only getting moderate use, so it was decided by the Committee to refurbish the table with new Northern Rubber and a re-cover in Strachan West of England 6811 Tournament cloth.
I re-cut the rubber to its original pocket openings of 3 and 5/8ths of an inch at the fall, tapering to 3 inch at the rear. The centre openings where cut odd though so I used my wood templates to form the correct size for the table.
First photo is of the table after re-rubbering the cushions. It looks a mess with all the old rubber and cloth off the cushions in the middle of the table.
The old rubber was dated 13th February 1979. This was how the Northern Rubber was dated with just the NRC for Northern Rubber Company written on the rubber, then the date. The FSM means Full Sized Match.
Below after the rubber was fitted and taped over to help prevent cloth slip due to players sitting on cushions. The cushions were treated to new cloth retaining slips because it had the old thick no 6 cloth on it. The new 6811 grade is thinner and the slips were too loose to use. The arrow is to inform me of cloth nap direction on this cushion, no 3 cushion is to the left.
No 6 grade is not used much and it is now special order only. It was as thick as carpet tiles and lasted forever, but was slow to play on. Club Secretaries loved it, players hated it.
The old stamp on the No 6 Strachan cloth. The table had not been re-covered for over 10 to 12 years at least. Where No 6 was the norm for club tables back in the 60s, as the game became more popular in the 1980s they brought out the 6811 grade of cloth, which is now the standard for a good speed of table with moderate wear.
Below the new cloth 6811 Tournament. They sometimes refer to this as 6811 Gold which was the old name for it. Gold and Silver is now Tournament and Club.
Below the finished table, ready for play, fully levelled, a couple of nets fitted. I have recommended that they change the old coffin shade to the modern lighting, the twin tubed high frequency soft white light tubes, but one step at a time. They will also look to put new leathers and nets on, when the cloth is due to be stretched. The important thing was to bring the table up to a good playing standard and the rubber and the cloth was the first to be replaced and upgraded for match use.
The corner pocket opening which is 3 and 5/8ths at the drop, a little wider than match play but not buckets as some tables are cut.
The table is now ready for a new team to play on. The room is very private and there is plenty of cue room around the table. If any players in the Nottingham and Derbyshire areas wish to sign on for the winter league start, then please phone the club and ask to speak to a member of the Committee. They are looking for a whole team, who will have a team captain who will contact the league themselves to join. The club will offer support in providing the room and table. All the contacts for the league is there. There is a chance that two teams could play from this venue if enough interest was met on a home and away basis, i.e when one is at home the other is away. I am sure Steve Bulter of the NBSA will welcome any team to join the NBSA league as the table is now at an acceptable level.
Contact details of the Old Mill Social Club – Phone number 0115 939 0501, evenings and weekends during opening hours.
The Old Mill Social Club
This is a forward thinking move by the Committee. Where snooker clubs have closed in the past and recently, there is now a demand for smaller venues to support the people who are interested in playing for a team in a snooker league.
Snooker had its boom years in the 1980s/90s, but has been on the decline in the past decade. But now it has levelled off and the interest is back. GCL Billiards is getting more enquiries for tables to be renovated due to new teams being formed at old pub and club venues who had let the table get into disrepair through lack of use. This was no fault of the Committee, but just a trend that all clubs and pubs went through. Some had the table removed, lucky for the team that decides to play from the Old Mill, they retained theirs and it is a good table, great slates that have levelled up well, made from the finest Welsh slate 2 inch thick.
Below the rest heads with the feet missing. Always keep a look out for the black feet breaking off. If that brass is dropped onto the bed cloth it will cutt small half circle holes into the brand new cloth. I checked the rests and replaced 4 missing rest feet from two rests.
and new feet fitted