Riley Billiard / Snooker diner , a pleasure to work on this rare Barley twist oak snooker table . circa 1930 / 50

Today I have been over to Lincoln to finish off the renovation of the playing surface and remodeling of the cushion rubber of this very nice E.J Riley Billiards dining table with dual height position of playing surface and dining height
I dismantled this table around two weeks ago and transported the table over to Lincoln for my clients Mark and Heather who had just downsized and moved into a very nice retirement lakeside Log Cabin Lodge, and to be more local to their Canal barge moored close by and fishing lakes of which Mark is a very keen Angler .
Heathers riley barley leg 1
The table fully re-covered in Strachan 6811 tournament cloth .
heather riely new leathers and bag nets 6
We also replaced the bag nets and fitted new broad bow leathers , this was not a low cost option leather but a full size set cut down with thick leather for long lasting years of play .
heathers riley adjuster shot 2
this is the part that makes these Riley dining tables such a unique piece of equipment , a three part brass lifter with dual position settings allow the table to be lifted upwards to play snooker on.
and then to lower for the dining boards to go on for sitting at for an evening meal.
You can also see the knurled round screw part , this allows for easy level of the table , a simple twist up or down to adjust the level.
The vertical beam of wood , there are two of these that are under the slate to stop the slate bowing , we refer to these as the anti bow beams , some poor quality designed tables do not have these and those tables sag in the middle and the balls all end up in the center of the table , these Riley Billiards diners are made with anti bow beams to remedy this .
Heather Riley Barley twist tops on 4
This is the Dining table with the top leafs fitted , this table is solid Oak finished in a medium oak stain , the table was already in this condition when I moved it , but the cloth was faded and the cushions had very poor Bounce.
We rectified this for our clients , the original rubber on these small 6ft tables are nothing more than   larger version of Catapult elastic , there is not much bounce from the cushions even when this table was new.
I removed the small 1/2 inch L shape rubber , which was still in very good condition , but with poor bounce from it being too small and not really fit for purpose.
I replaced it with a larger version of the L shape rubber this being 5/8th by 5/8th . the balls now rebound 4. to 5 runs up and down the table and around the table off 7 cushions when hit hard .
the rebound value will also increase as the new rubber is bruised in , and the cushion cloth gives  a little .
I also allowed more pocket opening to offset the more overhang of the new rubber , my client is very happy with these new larger openings as he was struggling to pocket balls on the tight openings it used to have .
and admits the bounce is very good now .
Heather barley twist leg balls set up 7
The balls set up for the first game .
My clients added the following quote in an Email to me .

Dear Geoff

Please find some pictures of our Riley Dining snooker table that you completed the renovation of the playing surface today.

It is Really Lovely now and Mark is Practicing hard with a 37 Clearance on the first game.

” The Transformation of my Table has been amazing from a lifeless faded green cloth to a joy to play on, The whole Experience of Dealing with Geoff has been superb. He dismantled the table in my old home , and then moved it to our new Home and set it back up again . He Recovered the table slate bed and worked on the cushions in his workshop . He has returned today and put it all back together again and it is stunning once again .

Please use this quote if you want to Geoff.


Mark and Heather Dawes .


thank you Mark and Heather

It was a pleasure to work on this table , it was in very good order woodwork and polish wise , it only required some forward thinking of the larger rubber and pocket openings and the new cloth and pockets to make this table far better than it originally was .
With over 40 years as a Billiards fitter , I find it second nature to do this now , I am always looking to improve a table to make it play better , and for the client to be satisfied that they could not get a better job done elsewhere .
these Riley Dining Billiards tables where made from the early 1900’s to the 1960’s by E.J Riley .
they come in different leg designs and there are a couple of rare ones , one being the Oak Barley twist , the other being the serpentine top version .

here are a few other designs of this table .

serpintine riley diner 6x3
The very rare Serpentine top with cabriolet legs , look closely at the cushions the surround is curved in a serpent style hence the name serpentine . the wood tops match this .
This one is for sale in our for sale section and  a very low cost which is a bargain for someone although there is woodwork damage and it require a full renovation

Brians Billiard diner8ft
An 8ft version with the swing out lifting solid cast iron handles , this is the turned fluted leg style
jelks oak 7ft diner board off one end
The square fluted leg style , this and the fluted turned leg where made in their thousands
Can you spot what is wrong with this Table above ?
the pocket plates are very cheap and nasty top plate with screws , these should not be on a Riley diner , the tops will not rest on the cushions even and will rock
The problem with owners lifting the playing surface up with the pocket plates damages them and makes them loose , people fit these nasty low cost option pocket plates to try and fix it , they are just making it worse ,
NEVER lift the table to playing height or lower it by grabing hold of the pocket plate all ways lift under the cushions
riley diner Derby 1
a 5ft version , some think these too small to play on , but the old gentleman who had this renovated thought very highly of it.
M.Barnes riley diner
this is the modern version of the Riley diner , later versions with reeded legs where imported from china , these are no where near as desirable as an original Riley diner circa 1900 to 1950 .
Riley diner Derby leafs
the dining tops of these Riley dining table are normally in 4 section all though on the 8 ft version they can be 5 sections .
Note the green strips of cloth , this is to protect the polish of the cushion capping when placed on top .
a photo of a renovated rare 7 ft version of the Serpentine Riley dining billiards table with cabriolet legs with tapered ends to legs rather than ball and claw or pad feet which where also available .
ball and claw diner
the cabriolet ball and claw version .
If anyone is interested in a renovated 6 ft mahogany Riley diner with Cabriolet legs with tapered ends  we have one in store ready to renovate , ask Geoff for a price for this table fully renovated polished new rubber and cloth balls and cues and delivered and set up .
Price dependent on distance to travel .
cabreolet diner mahogany