Glad to hear you have fulfilled your dream of owning your own table, hope you've bagged yourself a bargain. We still play ours regularly at home and according to the meter it had 18,052 games on the clock in June 2006 and 19,392 in June 2008 - which means at £1 a game saved it had paid for itself in little over a year.
Regarding transport, suggest you hire yourself a Ford Transit for a weekend. It's best to stack the table on its side rather than flat in order to give the best protection possible to the slate. You will need to strap it to the inside of the van to stop it moving about too much. That yellow foam sponge packing material is good for protection underneath. Remember the table weighs about the same as a 20 stone man, so it's a 3 or 4 man lift and you'll need people to help you at each end of the journey.
On the subject of localities, well it's not supposed to be quite ready yet, but we are curently working on creating a map showing all known venues in the UK. If you click on (top of this page) "Bar Billiards Links to League Sites", that takes you into the All England (controlling body) Website. Once in, select "All England Association" from the green menu, and then "Bar Billiards Leagues Map" from the drop-down menu. This will display the 500-odd venues where it is known that bar billiards is played, white peg or mushroom for League venue and black peg or mushroom for non-League.
On studying the map you will find just two venues within easy reach of Newcastle, these being the Dipton Mill Inn in Hexham, and, probably better for you, the Waters Edge at South Shields.
Unfortunately there are no longer any leagues in the north of England since the demise of the South Yorkshire League more than ten years ago. According to the map, the northernmost League venues in the UK (for our game of 3-pin) are the Fox at Thrapston and the Burton Latimer Conservative Club - both in Northamptonshire - or Norwich for 4-pin.
Congratulations on your purchase, I am sure that you will get many hours of enjoyment out of your table. 8-)
Tommo has already given some excellent advice about the best way to transport the table and also the nearest venues to you as well., however if you want to watch some of the best players and pick up some tips......
Where would be a good venue to visit to see some games - and maybe stay over so I can have a beer?
..... then I would suggest that you go to (or even take part in...!) one of the "Open" Tournaments that are held in various counties throughout the year...... the next one is the Oxford Open, which is due to be played on Saturday 19th February 2011 at the Didcot Conservative Club.
There are several reasonable hotels around the area and it would give you the chance to see most of the top players in the UK, playing against both each other and also other players of all standards from Leagues around the UK. ;)
The "Opens" tend to be held about once every month, with the Bournemouth Pairs (March), Portsmouth Open (April), Guernsey Open (a great weekend on first May Bank Holiday), Surrey (also in May) and Sussex Open (June) being the next ones.
A full list of dates for the Tournaments and Entry Forms are usually on the AEBBA Website, there is a link to this at the bottom of the Forum.
Good luck and happy potting! ;D
Last Edit: Nov 22, 2010 18:43:21 GMT by BB Warrior
World Champion - 2014 Oxon Open Winner - 2014 AEBBA Mixed Pairs Winner - 2014 (with Colleen Park) Highest Break - 23,930 (Brighton League @ Albion Fishersgate 18/05/2016) Bucks Plate Winner - 2009 & 2010 (The ONLY player to ever "successfully" defend a Plate Competition!)
Fantastic replies from both Tommo and Dave........I really appreciate your efforts. I'll certainly look up the Water's Edge in South Shields - just up the road a couple of miles from me - and I'll report back on the level of enthusiasm BBis currently "enjoying".
That Guernsey Open sounds good - but first may get down for the Oxford Open in February - something to really look forward to.
Hi Brian, Just out of interest I had a quick check to find out where we got our information on the South Shields venue and it may not be 100% reliable as it dates back to 2001. Much can can happened since then, of course, and another site suggested the place is up for sale, so I do hope you don't get there only to find it all boarded up!
Aye - that's right Tommo - I checked it out and The Water's Edge and Bar Billliards have been strangers for years - the place is being converted into a charitable institutiuon as we speak! Real shame - as my hopes were built fleetingly..........not to worry - I'll have to get my table set up and get my mates addicted and build a Northern bastion from there! It's strange really - nearly everyone (mostly old gits) I tell I'm getting a BB table remembers the game fondly - but over the years all the tables just evaporated - so there is literally no-where to play up here - such a pity - maybe just nostalgia though!
Looks like I'll be doing a round trip from Newcastle to Reading to collect my new Sams table the w/e after next - hope the white stuff hasn't started falling by then!
Thanks for the update, Brian, and sadly we'll have to remove the South Shields venue from the map. It's great to have an interested party as the contact for the North of England, and we wish you well in trying to drum up some enthusiasm for the game up there. It will certainly be good to meet you at one of the Opens should you attend.
We have a parallel case in "Q" who used to play in our Sussex leagues but 'emigrated' to Cornwall, which is a similar outpost where he only has one known table to play on. He recently made it over to the World Championships in Jersey, though.
One of the top Surrey players, Martin Pellett, also moved away - to the Halifax/Leeds area, which also seems to be devoid of bar billiards, although there are rumours of some tables surviving around the Doncaster and Huddersfield area from when there was a South Yorkshire league. We've yet to receive any specific details, though.
Funnily enough I may be near Hexham on the weekend - if it's convenient (i'll be on my bike with others) I'll try to check out the Dipton Mill Inn and report back............feel a bit like a spy - your "Man in the North".
Inventor of the Triangles version of Bar Billiards. Highest England away aggregate 2013 and 2014, 10 - 0 last 10 England singles legs, seventh reserve 2015. Jersey Qtr final 2014, 2015, 2016 - Guernsey Plate Winner 2014, Main Final 2015, 2017. First person to have won both four pin opens.
Morning all - first snow of the Winter this morning in Jarrow!
Checked out the Dipton Mill Inn in Hexham (via e-mail) and the Landlord tells me that although they do physically have a table it is not currently in use! Also followed up a few other local leads to no avail - so any others that need checking out - let me know.
Sav - thatks - but I'll be a lot happier once I have the table in my posession and all set up ready to play.
One more found (source is The Good Pub Guide 25th Anniv. special edition): Warkworth House Hotel, Bridge St, Warkworth, Northumberland NE65 0XB
Hotel, not pub, but unusual in having a proper friendly bar, recently nicely refurbished, with two changing guest ales, darts and bar billiards, as well as a wide choice of enjoyable and generous reasonably priced food, friendly helpful staff, a good range of spirits and of good value wines by the glass, proper coffee, and comfortable sofas; dogs welcome, good bedrooms, open all day.
Hope that 'our man in the north' Mr Gardner is still enjoying his table, and we have found another possible venue for him to try:
TURBINIA, PARSONS CENTRE, SID CHAPLIN DRIVE, NEWTON AYCLIFFE, CO.DURHAM DL5 7PA
I was in Newcastle a few weeks back and popped into "the hustler club", glad to say table is still there but he has an issue with the timing mechenism so he isn`t using it at the moment. Got to have a play without timer and although a bit on the slow side it was pretty level, sunken right hand 30 pocket but the guy was very enthusiastic about his table