SNOOKER AND POOL TABLE RECOVERING IN LINCOLN , DERBY , NOTTINGHAM , LEICESTER , make sure you are dealing direct with professionals not middlemen and agents

Many of the advertisements that you see on search engines are not what they appear to be , many claiming to be experienced in the art of billiard fitting for snooker and pool tables are just agents passing on work to qualified people , they then take a commission out of the price for passing on this work . this applies mainly to Pool table operators who recover pool tables passing on information to proper time served billiard fitters who are then hit with a commission fee or sub contract to the middleman for a fixed labour fee.

When looking for experienced people to work on youre cue sports table , always do some home work , ask if they or an EMPLOYEE ( not subcontractor ) will be doing the work or passing the information onto a third party .

At GCL BILLIARDS we are fully experienced billiard fitters for working on any cue-sports table , UK POOL , AMERICAN POOL , OLD BILLIARD TABLES , and modern SNOOKER TABLES , BAGATELLE AND BAR BILLIARDS ,  the best way to find out if the person you are talking to is fully qualified in the art of Billiard fitting , is to ask technical questions , such things as pocket sizes and cushion rubber height , table height , History of tables etc , difference between tables made in periods significant changes where made such as pocket plate design , slate first used , what was used before rubber etc .
GCL BILLIARDS will not overcharge for their service , a pool table recover starts at £185 , a Full size snooker table £430 club cloth £450 Tournament cloth , and we only use top graded strachan cloth unless the customer prefers another choice .
we will point out we are not the lowest price , yet we are also not the dearest price , we try and stay within £20 of our equal competition , that extra £20 is for Experience , and safe in the knowledge that your table is in safe hands and that we are using top quality materials not seconds as some do .
And you can be assured you will have the work carried out by a TIME SERVED billiards fitter . *** with no added commission or middlemen charges.***

GCL billiards do not subcontract to other firms and we do not use sub contract fitters  , we have our own identity and our own fitting standards based on 42 years experience , we do not want to assist another firm who do not have the same experience have that skill and compete against us in our market sector , it would be like letting someone in on our area and helping them establish themselves using our 40 year experience and skills as a spring board ,
Our main area covers from Sheffield to Northampton and East coast to Stoke on Trent , we do further than this but we like to remain a Billiards firm that concentrates at least 90% of its clientele in the midlands .
I am constantly refusing subcontract work for other firms on a monthly basis as they try to muscle in on our area .
Most of these firms that contact us are just keyboard firms using subcontractors around the UK to form a business of which they pay peanuts to the firm and pocket a good percentage for themselves .
they have no experience in Billiards / Snooker & pool table fitting apart from what they have read on the internet or from books .
I do take on the odd table sale from other firms say from Scotland , that require a fitting service if they have sold to a client in my area , but that is about as far as I will let other firms into my area and to compete against us .
My advice to anyone seeking a skilled firm for their snooker or pool table re-cover is to look at that firms past work and standing within the Billiards fitting community .
Geoff Large of GCL Billiards has over 42 years personal experience of Billiards fitting from early antique Billiard tables to modern day Billiard tables that are mainly designed for the game of Snooker .
We also have a vast experience on Pool tables renovation , from UK pub type tables to 9ft american pool tables .
Butlins hotshots artscape bud dec 2015
Brunswick 9ft pool tables at Butlins Skegness maintained by GCL billiards
alfreton sam pool tables
Sam american K steel pool tables installed by GCL billiards .

ERIC CLAPTON’S old 3/4 size snooker table for sale (9ft x 4ft 6 inch)

I have for sale a much cherished 3/4 sized snooker table that Eric Clapton gave his ex wife Pattie Boyd when she was setting up a new home.  The table once stood at Eric’s house and studio named Hurtwood Edge in surrey and some serious rock gods have played on this table – Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood, The Stones, The Beatles etc.  If the table could tell a story of the wild parties that are well documented in Erics and Pattie’s autobiographies!

Hurtwood Edge, Eric’s country home in surrey where he also had a studio and where the table originaly came from before Pattie sold it to me.
Pattie was also married to George Harrison and the song Layla and wonderfull tonight was penned by Eric who wooed her away from George. but they remained good friends .

The table is a 9ft by 4ft 6 inch, a true 3/4 sized table.  These tables hold their value as they are sought after due to them not being full size ,there are houses with enough room to house a 3/4 sized table where a full size table would be too large so they are much sought after and are thin on the ground unlike full size tables.

The table is a Palmer & sons circa 1900 so just over 100 years old and is mahogany with 6 turned legs.  I did not take photo of it when it was up, but will take some of the legs and end cushion name plate.  I will rerubber the table, recover it, and put new nets and leathers on.  If the new owner would like a full repolish then that is down to them, but I could get this done for an additional cost.  I would rather keep it as it is with its original polish and a few marks here and there just as it stood in Hurtwood Edge.

I have a signed provenance from Pattie Boyd that the table was from Hurtwood edge and owned by Eric.  Eric recently sold all of his Guitars in the famous Crossroads auction and many of these where priced at way over what most people could afford. Blackie the worn out stratocaster Eric played so often getting a final bid of  $959,500 in 2004 a world record for a guitar at that time.  By comparison, in 2004 Britney Spear’s used chewing gum sold for $14,000

I am a big Clapton fan.  I have experienced the 60s and the 70s and lived through that period as a young teenager and Eric inspired me to pick up a Fender stratocaster and play in a Rock & Blue’s band myself for around 10 years , I play hank Marvin instumental’s at home now, but now and again play Bad Love and some of the Who’s classic rock theme’s.

I shall regret selling the table as I always thought I would have a games combined music room , but I have decided to sell now and invest the money into Pool table stock for the rental side of the business, as we have had many enquiries for pool table hire .

 A  fantastic piece of provenance of a Rock God who is still alive and kicking and still playing the blues and long may he live , if you have a games or music room large enough and like rock and blues , here is a centre piece for that room and a good talking point of famous ownership. I am not asking for the same amount as a John Lennon rolls royce or Elvis’s Cadilac , or Britney Spear’s used gum .

If it sells then it sells if not I still get to keep it . The table could be pallatised and shipped to the USA if fans that side of the pond would like it , but at their cost of shipping and insurance.

Photo’s to follow

Open up pockets on a modern snooker table for teaching aid in Nottingham, plus coaching scheme for up and coming younger players

Today I have been over to one of our regular clients whose table I have recovered around three times now.  My client has recently passed his coaching course and is awaiting DBS clearance to work with young snooker players to coach them to a higher level of play.

In readiness to coach these younger players, it was recommended to him that to keep them interested in the game, they should play on a table with wider pocket openings.  As our client has his own personal table, he decided to widen the pocket openings from match play 3.5 inches (as seen on TV) to 3 3/4 inches, a 1/4 of an inch wider.
The pocket opening after the alteration is now 3 3/4 inches at the drop of the slate fall.

We will keep you informed about our client’s new venture, and if any young person, male or female, wishes to have a personal snooker coach, then our client has the facility to coach one-on-one or to small groups of 2 to 4 persons.
The excellent Riley Aristocrat snooker table in light oak is now ready for coaching, having just undergone pocket widening and the fitting of a brand new Strachan 6811 Tournament 30 oz all wool cloth.  The room is fully heated and the table plays very fast and true.  It also benefits from pro-style lighting and Aramith Pro 1G snooker balls.

Scotland trip just over the borders to Greenlaw near Coldstream Full size snooker table move to Marchmont House

We have just been over the border into Scotland to a large country house that is having a full makeover.  Marchmont House is a very large Palladian house built for Hugh Hume-Campbell, 3rd Earl of Marchmont in 1750.

The house was sold in the early part of the twentieth century to Captain Sir John Helias Finnie McEwen.  He inherited a considerable fortune from his uncles who had built the harbour at Rio de Janeiro.  Much later the house was sold to Sue Ryder Care and was a nursing home during the 1980s.

It is now in the hands of a multi-website search provider (sorry I do not like to disclose my clients full details as privacy is part of my client’s privilege).

The house is having extensive restoration to put it back as one of the best maintained and refurbished country houses of Scotland.  The house has an approach avenue looking east that is believed to be the longest approach avenue in Scotland for any country house.
The avenue marchmont house winter
A scene of the avenue in winter.

I was contacted by my client’s agents who enquired about moving a full size snooker table that was located at a nearby farm, transporting it over to Marchmont House and replacing what was necessary to put the table into good playing order.  Here are few photos of that actual move:
The farm building that the table was housed in before the move.
Driving up to to Marchmont House.  As you can see, plenty of builder’s vans on site.
The frame of the table installed into the room.  We just unloaded all of the woodwork through the large sash ground floor window from our van parked just outside.
P1020915 P1020916
A rotating cue rack and Life Pool scoreboard also came with the table.
You can just make out the manufacturer’s name in the top of the leg …THURSTON & Co.
The slates were then wheeled on a piano trolley around the long corridor to the room and placed on the frame.  We got as far as levelling the table, plastering the joints and stripping a couple of cushions ready for the next day’s work.

I think we did very well setting off from Nottingham at around 7am, getting up to Greenlaw at around 12.30pm, booking in at the B&B, then off to the farm to dismantle and load, then up to the main house to unload and get to this stage.

It was a little dusty as you can see from the camera flash after sanding the slate joint filler down flush, but here you can see we placed the old cloth onto the table to protect the cushions as we were recovering them.
P1020925 P1020926 P1020927
The new cloth just about to go on.  Note the brand used, we always recommend Strachan 6811 Tournament 30 oz cloth.
P1020928 P1020929
The finished table.  We also waxed all the woodwork and buffed it up.  The outbuilding that was used for the table in the farm before we moved the table had chickens in.  Some had got in from the barn next door and covered the table with feathers and chicken poop.  We finished off with new nets leathers and rails.

We set back off to Nottingham at approx. 1.45pm and arrived home at 5.30pm.  The table did not require a re-rubber as the cushions had been re-blocked and new rubber fitted during some work in the recent past.  The ball responding around 7 rebounds around the table and 4.5 runs on the length which is very good for standard cushions.

All that is required now is for the electricians to put the new lighting up.  We have recommended that they look at our for sale section where a private seller is advertising a set of old gas lamp look-a-like electrical Victorian period reproduction lights.  They repainted the old coffin shade seen to the right of the photo above, so they have a choice.  But what do you think would look right in this period house?  A light like this in the photo below or the coffin shade?
fancy lighting from sir willam bentley billiards
The actual lights for sale.
old gas type snooker lighting swbentley
A library photo of what they look like fitted above a table.

I would like to thank our client’s agent, Hugh, for using GCL Billiards to carry out the work to move the table.  We are extremely grateful and privileged to carry out the work at such a nice and interesting home.

GCL Billiards undertake all types of table removals and relocations around the UK, some in houses as grand as this and others in garden sheds.  It makes no difference to us, we treat every client on the same level.
Next month we have a table to relocate from West Sussex to a garden summer house.  The work will be the same dismantle, load, unload and assemble.  You can be sure we will pay as much attention to detail as we have installing this table at Marcmont House to your pride and joy.

We are very busy at the moment but we can still find time to fit you in if you book us well in advance.  If you know you have a table that requires work in the near future please do not leave it until the last minute to book us in, act now to avoid a long wait.  We are very popular and we do not charge VAT.

8ft x 4ft solid oak snooker table …TABLE NOW RESERVED BY BUYER.,

TABLE HAS NOW BEEN RESERVED ! so taken off sale .

Due to a mix up in size of table (size provided by the seller who mistook it for a 9ft), the Enbild 8ft x4ft table is back up for sale, but this time it is not located down south but in our workshop dismantled and bubble wrapped ready for delivery with all parts present and correct.

The original buyer requires an oak 9ft table, so we are looking around for one.  Unfortunately they did not want to cut corners and come down to an 8ft as they have space for a 9ft, which I fully understand.  They thought they were buying a 9ft and when we arrived to take the table down we found it was an 8ft table, so the deal fell through.  But we had travelled all the way down to Torquay in Devon to pick this table up for the buyer, so we did a deal with the seller which resulted in us bringing the table back to our workshop for sale.

The mix up was not the fault of the buyer and the seller has been good about it to GCL Billiards as they admitted the fault in the measurements.

This table will make an ideal Christmas present, and the build quality is second to none.  Where would you find another built so solid out of solid hard woods with hand floated slates ?

8ft snooker tables built with 6 legs to this standard are very thin on the ground.  The slate support muntin’s also come up to meet the slate which is a very good feature as you will not get slate sagging.

Interested ? contact Geoff on 07753466064 or email

Enbild were a Billiards firm based in Liverpool and made good solid tables in Oak and Mahogany.  They were well known for hand floating every set of slates that came in from Italy.

This table is the better solid oak wood finish.  The legs are extremely heavy, and are very chunky with a large turn to them.  There is a matching scoreboard and a wall cue rack also in oak, and a nice wood canopy lighting shade in gold finish.
9ft enbile torquay pocket opening
GCL Billiards are now the owners of this table, and you will be buying direct from GCL Billiards.
The table can be bought as it is collected from NG10 near Nottingham with original cloth, or with a full recover in Strachan 6811 cloth delivered and set up.

The table will come with 6 cues and three rests.  The table has some second hand balls with it for snooker and for pool.  The snooker set is full sized balls.
Room Size for this table, ideal 18ft by 14ft is required with a full size cue.  If you used the smaller 4ft cue then 14ft by 12ft.  Of course you could have a very long room with 18ft width and place this at one end sideways and still have plenty of room for other use.
9ft enbild torquay rack full of cues
Above the nice matching scoreboard .
The colour of the table is light golden oak which would suit many modern homes which have oak embellishments such as skirting windows or doors plus oak beams
The above photos do not show the true colour so we have better close up shot
KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera
The leg design on this Enbild makes it the top model Grand duke.  Apart from the odd ding this table’s woodwork is almost as new, it has only seen very light use, although the cloth has very deep cue stab marks in so the table ideally should have a new cloth on bed and cushions.

The rubber bounce is fine.  We have the ball hitting seven cushions on throw around and 4 to 5 runs on up and down run when thrown too.
The table has had home use since the 1980s/90s, there is a supplying firm based in Liskeard Cornwall.

We are a little out of pocket due to our trip down to Devon, which is why we have ended up owning the table.  Please get in touch with Geoff at GCL Billiards to discuss what type of sale you would require.  Price will depend on how much work we have to put into the table, delivery and set up costs.  We require your post code and if any stairs are involved in the install process of getting this table relocated and set up.

We are willing to sit on this table for a while so if you require it for say a Christmas present, we can hold on to it complete the cushion recovering and deliver say a few days before Christmas or a Birthday ?

You will not find better build quality for made in the UK table, at the price we are prepared to sell this table at.

Phone around the top UK makers to see what a 6 legged table built to this spec would cost you.  The price for a 8ft to 9ft would be approx. the same.  Then phone Geoff to see what you can have this table for.  Not many 8ft snooker tables with 6 legs come onto the market in solid oak under £4,000 custom built most are 4 legs at £2995 and I doubt you will see  another one with these thick sized turned legs.

*** please note *** This table has a three section slate bed with proper bolt into slate cushion fixings, unlike many 8ft tables that just wood screwed fixings of cushion with bad bounce and thin one piece slate beds.  Although we do not recommend upstairs locations for this table, with it having a three section slate bed it is much easier to locate upstairs than a one piece 8ft slate bed table.

Also note it has 6 legs, some 8ft tables are built with just 4 corner legs, result is a sagging slate bed towards the middle, the span of 8ft is just too much to not have centre legs to support it.

A 4 leg table is not as good buy as a 6 legged table and that is fact known from experience of working on snooker tables for nearly 40 years.  Take a look at the photo below, it looks good ?

In reality this table over time will sag down in the centre as the heavy slate deforms the side wood rails downwards. This table is a low cost Chinese Riley copy …… our Enbild 8ft is a much better buy.
8ft with 4 legs

Do not be tempted by low cost buys such as this table ! unless you know what you are buying .

8ft table 4 legs square

Just for comparison this 8ft with 4 square legs but fancy veneer is £2995 brand new by a top UK manufacturing billiards firm.  We think our Enbild 6 legged 8ft is a better buy than this and our low price including fitting will amaze you !

Still interested ?  Then don’t delay we expect to sell the table by Christmas, be the first to reserve it.

Re-cover / Re-rubber plus fit new rosettes to Cox and Yeman Snooker table in Nottinghamshire

Monday and Tuesdays work, strip and re-rubber with best Northern Rubber made just down the road at Retford, a Cox and Yeman full size snooker table in North Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

We then re-covered the bed and cushions in best Strachan 6811 Tournament grade cloth.  We also sorted out a contact in Ireland for our client who had some original Cox and Yeman rosettes which are used for cushion bolt covers.  These are made from bronze but there was not a full set.

We sourced a foundry in Retford who cast some new rosettes, then sourced a new tap and drill set to re-tap a new thread into the original Cox and Yeman cushion bolts and supplied new brass securing screws for the rosettes.

You may also note we replaced the coffin shade with new high frequency soft white lighting, which really lights the table up.

We like to feel we went a little further than most billiard firms would do, to source original Cox and Yeman rosettes with the help of a billiard firm in Ireland (thank you Gerard) and then to find contacts and suppliers for the owner to make some new ones from a mould of the originals.  It was a task that we where happy to complete.

Look at the following photos of the table with the new rosettes fitted.

We completed this work over two days taking our time to make sure all the work was completed to a high standard.  The pockets where also opened up to 3 5/8ths at the fall when we cut the new rubber pocket openings.

Below: some very strange pocket plates on this Cox and Yeman.  Large horse shoe designed corner pocket plates with screw lugs and the centre pocket plate has large tapered square lugs.
cox and yeman pocket plates screw hole cox and yeman centre pocket square lug
Below when viewed directly from above the opening, the size of pocket is 3 5/8ths at the fall.  The table before the re-rubber had different sized pockets from 3 3/8ths to 3 1/2 inch.  The owner was having difficulty in getting good breaks on the table.  We fitted the lighting a few weeks back and this improved his game, but with the new pocket openings I am sure he will be getting above the 50 which is his highest break so far.

cox yeman three and five eighths opening
Below a ball in the opening of the fall to show how it measures up.  We try to aim for 3 5/8th pocket openings but after the fall on these standard cushions the opening narrows to 3 1/4 inch.  We do get a few people trying to compare a standard wood cushion with a steel block opening.  We have to point out that some cushion’s woodwork will not allow for the rubber to be cut back after the fall to the same size or larger as was the case with this table.
cox yeman recutt pockets ball
Below: the original rosette.  All the new ones were cast from a sand mould taken from this rosette.
cox yeman rossettes original
Below: the new brass rosettes covering the cushion bolt heads.  This design of bolt cover was only used by Cox & Yeman.
cox yeman new rosettes Brass
Below: a side view of the table showing the rosettes.  These are the new brass ones cast at a local foundry in Retford for very little money.
cox yeamn table side

Below: the re-rubbered cushions being re-covered and new slips fitted.  Note the slate joints have been raked out of old crumbling plaster of paris and filled with soft sand car body filler.
cox & yeman recoverin the cushions new slips
Below: the new high frequency white light lighting.
cox & yeman lights

Below: the finished table

Cox Yeman table

Customer’s photo of finished table with balls set up

cox and yeman good photo
And customers comments about the work GCL Billiards Carried out


I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you again for the work you did on my table.  We’ve played about a dozen frames on it so far and I am extremely pleased with it.  Playing on the new table is a completely different experience: it is very fast and the cushions are much more responsive than before.  Of course my position play is now all over the place because the white ball no longer ends up where it used to – but I am sure I will get used to the new speed. It has become, by quite some way, the best table that I have played on.

I look forward to seeing you for a restretch in a year’s time.

Best wishes


, NOW GONE another table scrapped , slate’s and frame recycled and cushions being relocated to another table.

We have a client who is looking to sell their old type full size table. NOW DISMANTLED AND RECYCLED .

We had no choice but to recycle the slates within the building trade and the frame to the furniture trade , but we managed to use the Steel Block Burroughs and watts cushions and pocket plate’s on another table which had very bad split woodwork , so like to think we have saved at least part of this table within the Cue sports trade.

As with all our clients, it is free to advertise tables.  We do this in the hope that any buyer will use the services of GCL Billiards to move the table and any work they may require on the table etc.  Please take note this table is in an UPSTAIRS LOCATION.  We have people skilled in the art of billiard fitting and only a qualified person should attempt to take this table apart.  A lot of damage or injury could be the result if unskilled labour is used and could cost you in the long run.  We have the right equipment to move the slates which in an upstairs location can be a nightmare for unskilled people to move.
coventry table b&Watts ball
Not too sure but the table may be a Burroughs and Watts make.  The leg and cushion design certainly looks from that maker although the last people to work on the table where Halls Billiards.
Coventry table leg B&Watts
The table in it’s full glory
Coventry table full size photo

GCL Billiards to get repeat work for snooker tables in Leicester , 5 re-stretch bed cloths

Our client in Leicestershire renewed their faith in GCL Billiards in requesting for us to come back on the 12 month anniversay of the re-covers to re-stretch all 5 tables bed cloths and check for level etc  in this Establishment . we noted that two nets where worn so replaced these free of charge as a goodwill gesture .
We completed the work over two days , we did not want to rush the work , where many firms would have tried to complete in one day , although working on two at a time  ,we did each table as if we where working on just one and took our time to make sure all was correct before moveing onto the next table .
The Strachan 6811Tournament cloth is standing up to wear very well showing no excessive wear , another make was used last time we recovered them and I had to re-cover some end cushions when we did the re-stretch due to wear around the pocket openings  , so on this basis we always recommend the Strachan 6811 tournament over any other cloth .

I must say the tables are realy  looked after at this Venue , they get a Brush and iron 3 times a week . + extra for match play .
5 stretch bed cloths
All five tables are 1930/40s Riley Square legged  tables with 4 being Oak framed and one being Mahogany , they have in the past had all their cushions replaced by Rileys in the late 80s early 90s , so have modern mahogany cushions on them . We have recommended that they start to re-rubber the tables spread out  one table  every two years , this will mean in 10 years time all the tables will have had their rubber replaced and would mean only the extra cost of one table re-rubber every two years ontop of the re-covering costs , the cushions are around 25 years old now , so are due .
one table has slightly dished slates , and I have recommended that some adjustable slate supports ( Muntins) be added and by the simple turn of 6 bolts these can be adjusted to take the dip out of the slates by forceing pressure upwards under the slate in the centre ( only the table  fitter to adjust these ) .
One other recommendation would be to replace the coffin shades with the modern White light high frequency tube lighting as used in the Nottingham Snooker Academy . but they seem happy with the shades at the moment.
5 stretch bed 2

I would like to thank all my Clients who have arranged or are about to arrange for GCL Billiards for repeat work , it shows our clients trust in us to do the work correct and not rushed and not overcharge .
this is what GCL Billiards values are , to build a trusting relationship with our clients , and do every job as if it is GCL Billiards who is going back to do any work , we do it right because if it is done wrong  we risk the wrath of the client and also makes our job harder next time we re-cover plus our Reputation would get tarnished .
I always look back to the value’s of the first Master fitter who trained me many years ago Mick Robb , he and the other fitters after always said if a job is worth doing it is worth doing right .
My Old Boss John Hopkin ( now in his 80s and still going strong ) also had moral and Christian value’s , although I am not a practising Christian I always admired John for his ethic’s and beliefs and still do .