Odds & Ends

This page is for anything that doesn’t go anywhere else of course………
We’ve been in this business for a long time and collected lots of historical, humorous and informative anecdotes so we are putting them all here as time permits.

Extracts from old book


In the course of a game of billiards or snooker one of the players usually has a little more luck that the other, and an unintentional stroke produces a chance successful hit, this is called a fluke. Fluke derived from flukes of an anchor, when throwing an anchor overboard it was a matter of chance which fluke held.

It is said that it was easy to cheat at billiards or snooker without the assistance of the marker and providing ones opponent remains sober.

Billiards requires a higher degree of skill than any game except chess and in the early part of the last century it was said never play a man for money if he called the marker by his first name or carried his own chalk.

Track Marks on the Cloth

After a period of use some white tracking on the cloth will occur, particularly against the cushions and in the pocket openings. It is part of the normal process of wear.

In order to establish the cause of this a programme of research was carried out at Leeds University and also in Factory Laboratories. Results proved that over a period of time a degradation of the wool fibre occurs due to the cloth being bruised or crushed between the hard surface of the balls and the unyielding slate bed of the table.

Contributory causes which accelerate the appearance of the marks are as follows:

  1. The use of chipped or worn balls.
  2. The handling of the balls with greasy or perspiring hands; the balls pick up chalk and other dust from the table more easily.
  3. A lack of table maintenance thus allowing the accumulation of chalk and other dusts.
  4. The excessive use of powerful percussion shots which in any instances cause the balls to bounce when striking the cushions.
  5. The incorrect height, angle or type of rubber used in the cushions causing the balls to be trapped against the cloth at the time of impact. Providing that a reputable billiard table fitter has been employed, however, this is the least likely cause.

The appearance of track marks can be minimised by careful attention to the above points and in particular to giving the cloth a regular brushing to remove chalk dust, which, as will be understood, acts as a powerful abrasive.

Cushions require no other maintenance other than regular brushing, again with the run of the nap.”