Brian John Anthony – the current owner, is one of the original founders of Anthony and Pykett, along with Michael Pykett. He has this to say about his time in the snooker business:
When we first started, both myself and Mick were working at Elston & Hopkins – an old, very well established company in Nottingham. We decided to go it alone, nothing wrong with Elstons – they were a fantastic company to work for. John Hopkin, the owner was as good a boss as you could ever get. We just felt we had gone as far as we could with this particular company. The early years were hard, working from a selection of rather dim double garages, before finding success as the snooker boom took off in the 1970s and ’80s finally finishing up with our own large workshops in Old Nottingham Road, Basford.
Expansion continued into the 1980s with the opening of two snooker clubs both in Leeds at Crossgates and Woodlesford snooker centres.
When we opened Woodlesford we had a very shy young 17 year young man playing in an exhibition – I think it cost about £700 which seemed a fortune then! That young man’s name – Stephen Hendry. I doubt we could get him for 20 times that now.
However we could see the writing on the wall – there were so many clubs opening – 6 clubs opened up, all within a few miles radius of our own. The same was happening throughout the whole country. The bubble had burst, we sold both clubs and got out just in time.
As clubs went out of business, work declined, all those companies who had moved in when the snooker boom took off were scrambling for survival. Whilst we managed to survive, much to my regret my partner Mick decided he’d had enough and moved on successfully to pastures new. With an amicable split I retained the Anthony and Pykett name.
Whilst I have other business concerns including a modest collection of classic cars and motorcycles, along with property interests, the snooker business still has a special place in my heart. You are always somewhere different – you can be in a mansion one day and a prison the next and the satisfaction of a job well done with a happy customer has never left me – Brian Anthony