On my way to Ashton Gate to see our play off hopes well and truly go down the pan when me and my mucker decided to pop into one of Dave Neilans haunts called the Avon Packet. Couldn't beleive my eyes to see a bar billiard table in the corner! " i bought it after i kicked the dart team out" the landlord proudly said.
The Avon Packet is on coronation rd in Bristol. Nice boozer, loads of proper cider!!!
As promised, a report has been received back from Special Agent Gibbs: ;D
Can confirm the Raglan is still closed, but there are Bar Billiard tables in both of the other Pubs.
Nightjar: Make unknown, with 4 Mushrooms in front of 200, 100 & both 50's, but spots in 6 positions so can play to the usual format. We didn't play this table as it was pushed against the wall.
Criterion: A Sam's table, 50p for about 7 or 8 minutes, set up with 3 mushrooms in usual format, but table less wide than ours, Red spot further away, 200 pocket and 50 pockets much further away. We did play this one. Break impossible the usual way, nobody got the break during our games, but sussed out it went backwards when we knocked about afterwards, and due to being narrower angles to the top of the table off the cushion were a lot different - very interesting.
A friend of mine who lives down your way sent me through this info about Bar Billiards in Bristol and Bath: "I was in the Commercial Rooms the other day and saw no sign of a table. That's not to say it isn't tucked away somewhere though, it's a big Wetherspoons place. I'll ask next time I'm there. The Avon Packet and The Highbury Vaults definitely have tables, the former isn't the best quality, the balls roll off line. The latter's table is lovely, as is the pub. Definitely go there first. I don't know anything about the Alma Tavern and The Ship. In Bath, currently the only table that I know of is the one at The Bell, but it's worse than the one at the Avon Packet, as DJs usually stick their equipment* on it at the weekend! The table at The Devonshire Arms, Bath is no longer there. *By equipment I mean mixing desks, records, obviously." Hope it helps.
Resultant actions: 1. Avon Packet and Highbury Vaults confirmed (now yellow-highlighted on list) 2. Bell, Bath confirmed (now yellow-highlighted) 3. Devonshire Arms, Bath crossed through on list.
Will request that the Devonshire Arms is removed from the AEBBA map. tommo
Nice website for the Bell (pub endorsed by Robert Plant):
I checked out the Bull In in Ilchester the other day - I can confirm it still has a table, housed in the skittle alley which is a separate building to the rear. I don't know how well it plays though as I wasn't able to stop there.
Following Tony(Barbelman)'s diligence in publicizing Pete Farrelly's Bar Billiards Quarterlies, on his Witney website, much more is now known of the counties who in the 1990s made up the current number competing at national level up to 14 from the present 9.
.......Here is a more-or-less complete record of Somerset's activity in its heyday (source: BBQ's 1 to 16):
BBQ3 - Oct 1991 County Championships were played in 3 divisions: Leicestershire won Div.3 from South Yorks and Somerset……… Somerset: Ray Cook, P.Walters, B.Brine, B.Horsfall, B.Silvester, G.Thomas, D.Stone BBQ4 - Jan 1992 NBBA Team Championships were played at Harwell: Shapway Inn (Somerset) took part. Shapway Inn Somerset team: Ray Cook, S.Caddie, L.Meads, R.Turner, Rod Cook, D.Payne BBQ6 - July 1992 AE Indivs in June – Somerset were represented again. County Secretaries were listed, including the following: Somerset - L.Meads, The Shapway Inn, Everscreech, Somerset BBQ7 - Oct 1992 Somerset won promotion to Div2 ahead of Wilts and S.Yorks National Off-the-Spot at Harwell: "Always played previously in pubs and clubs, but now completely staged by the AEBBA, a playoff was organised involving the last 2 from each county. Six groups of four, with the winner of each group going through to return and play in November, plus two more from a qualifying playoff on the day. Somerset were again represented. Ad-hoc news…….East Somerset League announced their winners: League Champions Shapway A, K/O Cup Heart and Compass. BBQ8 - Jan 1993 All-England Team Champs in Harwell (Nov 1992): Hart & Compass represented Somerset . AE Off-spot singles also held in Nov: no representative from Somerset . BBQ10 - July 1993 All-England Indivs held at Harwell in June, Kevin Laver of Somerset finished 3rd in a group of 6. BBQ11 - Oct 1993 Somerset avoided relegation from Div 2 of the County Championships. BBQ12 - Jan 1994 The Heart and Compass, Castle Cary (Som) once again entered the National Team Championships BBQ14 - July 1994 All-England Singles: no representative this time from Somerset BBQ16 - Jan 1995 No 'minor counties' took part this time in the National Team Championships: and news from the AEBBA AGM: "The loss of Somerset and South Yorks this year was very much regretted."
Postscript: The Shapway Inn (Everscreech) is still open for business following a 2-year closure between 2007 and 2009 (but as far as we know has no bar billiards). However no mention can be found on t'internet of the Heart and Compass (Castle Cary)- which appears to have vanished off the face of the earth !
We now have it on good authority that it was the "East Somerset League": we didn't have that information before, and it differentiates from the more recent Bristol league based around Portishead in the west of the county. It also seems that the Gatting/Botham connection was merely an ad hoc appearance.
I still have some research to do on the Avon league, which I am led to believe post-dates Somerset......I have a vague recollection of chatting to some guys on the boat over to Jersey who hailed from Portishead, and this would have been around the turn of the century.
Hoping that BBQs 17 to 64 will come up with the goods.
I still have some research to do on the Avon league, which I am led to believe post-dates Somerset......I have a vague recollection of chatting to some guys on the boat over to Jersey who hailed from Portishead, and this would have been around the turn of the century. Hoping that BBQs 17 to 64 will come up with the goods.
BBQ40 came up with the goods: and even gives their names !
BBQ40 – Jan 2001 British Isles Open (Jersey) is re-styled the World Championships and Bernie McCluskey is the first World Champion, beating Jersey’s Bob King in the Final. Richard Deadman is one of only two Sussex players to make the Quarter-finals, the other being Peter O’Brien. Nine players from Avon, four from Yorks and one from Somerset took part: Avon: Dean Coles; Richard Grainger; Nick Pearce; Andy Pinder; Andy Allen; John Brain; John Mitchell; Matt Matthews; Rob Palmer,
I can confirm that The White Horse, Bradford-On-Tone, TA4 1HF no longer have a table. This was my table and was removed when the pub closed for a short time and was subsequently sold. Now sadly a bit more of a Bistro bar.
The table was relocated to The Blackbird and has now been replaced by my recently refurbished Jelkes, and is now much used on Saturday and Sunday evenings
The pub opposite - the Raglan Arms - also had a table, but unfortunately they had a fire on the premises in August 2011 and latest reports are that the pub is still closed.
The Raglan Arms is no more as of February this year - according to this snippet from Facebook:
Former pub in Weston-super-Mare converted to flats: Work has started to transform the former Raglan Arms pub in Weston-super-Mare to five new homes. The pub and the associated accommodation, will become four one-bedroom and one two-bedroom flats.