It is with great sadness that I have been informed of the passing of David Gibson of Beeston Snooker Hall in Nottinghamshire aged 78. I have known Dave for many years since the 1960s aged 14, when I used to wag an afternoon French lesson at school in the winter months and go down the Billiard Hall with many of my school mates for a warm on the pipes that surrounded the hall. Little did I know back then that I would be re-covering the tables in there one day as a time served billiards fitter.
Below is a photo of Beeston Snooker Hall – notice those large warm pipes around the outside edge.
Dave was always one for inventions and gadgets, and was keen to show people what he had achieved by experimentation or manufacture. For Instance, before computer controlled lighting for snooker tables, Dave invented a timer with mechanical digital counters for hours and mins used. Many of the internal parts came from the pinball and slot machine industry. My own boss John Hopkin at Elston and Hopkin Billiards Ltd bought one in 1980 for our new 18 table Snooker Hall on Newark Street, Nottingham (now the Spot On club). We also bought a cue sanding tipping machine that Dave had made up with a sewing machine motor and rotating sanding disc.
Dave had made in perspex a special marking out device for baulklines. He experimented with heat and anti slate bow bars on his tables in the hall. I was shown on one recent visit a ball ramp with a laser attached. This ball ramp with measure of incline and adjustable incline was used to measure such things as ball travel on a cloth, rubber rebound value and distance rebounded and by using the laser light on the back of the ball as it rolled off the ramp, you could see the ball roll off due to nap or table being out of level. Dave was a very clever man and was well respected in the snooker and billiard community. He got to know many of Beeston’s Snooker and Billiards players by first name.
Dave always kept a good stock of cues and accessories at the Hall. The above photo shows his range of cues on rotating tables for easy viewing. This was another one of Dave’s inventions. The photo below has another of Dave’s gadgets at the left hand side of the display case, but don’t ask me what it is for. I think it is for some sort of game played on the table.
Dave sponsored the local snooker competitions and leagues over many years since the 1960s in and around Nottingham and Derbyshire. He also purchased many trophies, one such trophy made out of bronze was very heavy and stood 4 foot high approx.
Dave was also a Committee member of the NBSA which is the Nottinghamshire Billiards & Snooker Association of which he was a valued member.
In the 1970s Dave came over to my uncle’s firm where I was working at that time. I had just started work as a Trainee Billiards fitter back then and Dave gave me some useful information of where I was going wrong that day as I was having difficulty in recovering some cushions, so you could say he had some early input on my career as a Billiard fitter.
It was only recently (November 2012) that I jogged Dave’s memory of what he had taught me back then. I think he was a bit chuffed that he had some input and could see that I had taken my training as a billiards fitter seriously and after 37 years was still at it.
David Gibson’s funeral is to take place on the 22nd of January 2013 at 11.45am at Bramcote Crematorium (Main Chapel).
My condolences to wife Kathy and family and friends too many to mention by name.
I attended David’s funeral today and what a turn out he had , a large number of friends and relatives seated and standing at the rear , Dave would have been proud that he had so many well wishers at his funeral .
and I know Kathy would like to wish everyone who attended a big thankyou for attending the Funeral .
A great send off for Mr Snooker as many knew him .