It is no secret that most billiard fitters do not like working on small tables that are fiddly to work on , but we do have to offer this service .
these can take much longer to re-cover than a full size snooker table , and many owners of small 6 foot tables are shocked at the labour charge for these size of tables
but I am afraid we charge the same labour rate on small tables as we do full size tables when re-covering as it take just as long and maybe even longer to complete .
Only the cloth is lower priced due to less of it it to supply .
I received a phone call the other week to give an estimate to the cost of re-covering a 6ft snooker table local to me at Derby
I asked for a photo of the table to give an accurate quote and to make sure it was a 6ft table .
once I had looked at the table I noticed it was a very well made one .
when I arrived it had a very large slash type cuts in the bed cloth , apparently a student staying at the house decide to do some craft work and used a stanley knife to cut card on the table unaware it was damaging the cloth underneath .
I noticed a Badge on one end saying Elston & Hopkin Ltd Goldsmith Street , this was the firm I used to work for until it was sold in 2004 by John hopkin who is still alive and in his 90s .
I immediately recognized it was a John Gent licensed victuallers table, and I have a photo of Burnaby hall which was a Billiard rooms in Hyson Green and John Gent tables were installed in there in the late 1890s / early 1900s .
here is that photo , click on the photo to enlarge for more detail .
They are all full size Billiard tables apart from one small table in the center of the room which is an identical model of the table I am working on at Derby
it could even be the same table , I know this 6ft table ended up in a pub in Bulwell market place and then sold on from there in the late 1980s .
John Gent was a billiard table manufacturer based in Nottingham in the 1880s onwards and had offices and billiard rooms on Broad Street , and the factory was based on Convent Street which is behind the old Palais de dance on lower Parliament Street .
John Gent passed away in the late 1920s and the firm passed over to John Elston who renamed it Elstons of Broad Street and dropped the manufacture of tables and decided to concentrate on the Billiard rooms and sales of accessories .
In 1938 Gent joined forces with another billiard hall family of Hopkin , and decided to trade from an head office Billiard rooms on Goldsmith Street , the firm was renamed Elston & Hopkin , and they had between them around 13 billiard halls and rooms .
In 1980 the premises on Goldsmith Street was demolished to make way for the new Royal concert hall and we relocated to Newark Street for office and billiard room and the workshop on Canal Street was also incorporated into Newark Street .
and by 1970s Elston and Hopkin which was by now run by John hopkin ( my old boss ) the Grandson of the original Stuart Hopkin who actually owned Burnaby billiard rooms , by the 1960’s the Elston Family had ceased having an interest in the firm
in 1980 , I joined the firm from my Uncles Billiard & Snooker -Pool firm Trent valley Leisure.
I stayed until 2004 and then moved on with the new owners who just bought the name , until 2012 when I branched out on myself to form GCL Billiards , I am the last Billiards fitter trading in nottingham to have direct links with the original Elston & hopkin .
there are two others fitters who were trained at elston & hopkin ltd , one is now retired and the other is based in Nottingham and still does a bit of work locally but has other business interests and unlike myself who is totally involved with the maintenance of Billiard snooker and pool tables .
I Visit John Hopkin every Christmas , and often remind him of tables such as these when i get the opportunity to work on them again .
the table re-covered in Strachan 6811 tournament cloth with new bag nets .
These tables are made correctly , they have cushions that are the same build quality as a full size
it also has bolts in the cushions , not low quality wood screws , the corner plates are called billiard finger top plates and have a thin strip of leather on the inside .
unlike the full leather that is on some tables , this shows this table is a very early table , made around 1890 circa .
If you look at the side frame and legs , imagine this on the end of a full size table .
those legs are full size legs , the table is made very sturdy , unlike some 6ft tables you can buy today online or at high street stores that I describe as throw away tables , this table will last for years and years .