To add to our recent work in November and December 2012 at Butlins in Skegness, we contacted Butlins to see if they would consider us to carry out any snooker table re-covering in their Green Baize club which has 16 full size snooker tables. We were successful in our bid for GCL Billiards to be selected to do this work.
I had a conversation with one of the management at Butlins about some of the tables they have located in the Green Baize and he was a bit surprised that one of the tables was circa 1870 in age of which I think is a Thurston make. The table in question is the one on the left of the photo where I have the cushions off on the bed which is no 1 table. You may note that this Victorian table has slender legs and a high table skirt when compared to the right hand Edwardian table which is circa 1910. This is a sign of early Victorian furniture as when Edward came to the throne in the early 1900s the legs got thicker like the one on the right.
I was asked to write down the history of some of the tables as they are thinking of adding a small plaque to each shade with the maker’s name and history and circa year of each table. This I will be doing on my next visit, but just as an insight, the table on the right no 14 is a Burroughs and Watts steel block table, the first to be manufactured with steel cushions which where invented around 1890 give or take 2 or 3 years. The table on the left which is the very old table has had new cushion fitted to it around 1980s/90.
Some of the other makes of tables they have in the Green Baize include, Riley of Accrington, Thurston of London, Burroughs and Watts of London, Orme & Sons of Manchester and Willie Holt of Burnley. Some date from the 1930s/40, but most are around the 1900s in date. There is also a top plate table on the left going down the hall which must pre-date 1895 as top plates were discontinued after this date in favour of the concealed plate. The original cushions from no 1 table which is the circa 1870s table would have had top plate cushions on.
As you can imagine, over the years of constant use, many of the tables have had new modern wood cushions fitted. The wood work can look a bit rough around the edges on some tables, but you have to take into account that snooker table time is FREE at Skegness Butlins only. If you go to Minehead or Bognor Regis you have to pay for it and they do not have the large amount of tables as Skegness Butlins have.
Butlins do have a maintenance schedule for the snooker tables and they are constantly recovered in time, so on your visit you may see a very worn cloth on one table and on the next one that has just been recently recovered. All 5 tables at Butlins on this visit have been re-covered in the high quality Strachan West of England 6811 Tournament cloth, so no skimping by Butlins.
The interior of the Green Baize in recent years has been refurbished with a nice low ceiling and the heating in there was very warm, when outside can be chilly at this time of year. If you have the opportunity to stay at Butlins Skegness even if it’s for short break, visit the Green Baize for FREE Snooker. It is situated behind Guest Services near the tennis courts.
No 14 table, The Burroughs and Watts steel block cushions circa 1910. There are two of these, number 14 and number 10.
Note the Edwardian style turned legs, which are much thicker than early slim victorian legs.
GCL BILLIARDS are proud to be associated with the maintenance of snooker and American pool tables at Butlins Skegness resort.
In November of 2012 we re-installed and re-covered the 6 x 9ft American Pool tables in Hot Shots at Skegness Butlins, in special Art Scape cloth with the Butlins logo on it. I was very surprised at how this cloth has held up over the last 4 months. I popped into Hot Shots to re-spot the tables on this recent March 2013 visit and the cloth is as good as the first day it was fitted and it has been used constantly. Don’t stare at the cloth too much it may make your eyes go out of focus ….LOL