I’d been planning this trip since last November when I met Dick Ratcliffe
of the Dove Valley League at the Darley Dale Tournament, and so it was that
3 fellows and 1 wife set out for Ashbourne by coach from Bath while my wife
and I drove up by car from there on Friday 1st November.
We had made arrangements for 2 other players from Radstock to meet us at
Mayfield (near Ashbourne) on Saturday, where we were to have a friendly
with the Dove Valley Boys.
My wife and I called into see Clive and Tony Glover (of Glover Cues) at
Moira and confirmed that they would be at Darley Dale on Sunday. When we
met up at Mayfield our group naturally gravitated to the pub, for where the
conversation turned to what would we do all day Saturday. I volunteered to
go to the Mayfield Club where I met Mick Feeley who without hesitation,
handed me the keys of the club with the invitation to go in whenever we
liked for a game. We availed ourselves of Mick’s hospitality and had an hours
knock-up an Saturday morning.
Saturday afternoon was spent doing ‘our own thing’ in Ashbourne where I
was extremely fortunate in buying 2 books from a 2nd hand book stall ‘How
I play Snooker’ (1949) by Joe Davis and ‘ Billiards’ by Walter Lindrum (1932)
for which I paid respectively £4 and £2.50.1 wouldn’t say the rest of the gang
were envious, but they did seem to go a funny shade of green.
In the evening the 2 Radstock players joined us for the match, the results of
which I enclose and we were entertained wonderfully by our hosts; a most
jolly bunch of fellows who were always ready for a bit of fun whether they
were giving or receiving the banter.
We made our various ways to Darley Dale on Sunday for the tournament
which as usual was excellent. Apart from the billiards Keith Tozer met up
with the Glovers to talk about a new cue, which he hopes will transform him
from a 30+ club player into a 300+ potential world champion. (If this does in
fact come to be, I hope he will let us all in on the secret!)
By the way I hereby promise to buy Pete Gilchrist a pint when I next see him
in atonement for the low trick I played on him re being photographed with 2
lovely young ladies.
It was sad that Norman Dagley was not at the tournament and on learning
that his illness was more than just flu’ or similar we determined to call into
see him on the way back. Jim McCann asked us all to sign a ‘get well soon’
card which I delivered to Norm the following day. I think everybody in that
billiard room must have signed it and sent him their best wishes for a speedy
recovery. Norman and Nita kindly gave us 2 rose bowls, one of which I hope
will be used for an event down this way.
Well what a weekend! If our experiences are anything to go by all the billiard
leagues in the country will be scanning the A.B.P. register with a view to
having some or more inter-league events. I know that we are looking forward
Finally I want to thank Dick, Mick. Brian Hayes, Brian’s wife and all at Mayfield,
Jim McCann et al for the Darley Dale event and last but by no means least
the Barnes family who provided the excellent accommodation and food at the
As we have very little opportunity here in the West Country to watch any
professional billiards, 6 of us were delighted to obtain tickets for this years
professional tournament in the Whitworth Inst, Darley Dale – we had a weekend
We would like to say”well done”to Jim McCann and his team for the organisation
and presentation of the event, it couldn’t have been bettered.
On the Saturday prior to the tournament, a billiards match was played between
us from Bath and a team selected from the Ashbourne & Dove Valley league
at the Mayfield Club.
Dear Mr Karnehm,
I noted with interest, in the last issue, that matches in the English Amateur Billiards Championship will be played with the new red, white and yellow
billiard balls, available from Rileys Ltd at Padiham.
The Darley Dale and District Billiards League, at their last A.G.M.. decreed that in future all their league matches would be played with ‘Aramith’ red,
white and yellow balls which would replace the ‘Super Crystalate’, ‘Crystalate’ and at one club, suspected bonzoline balls, which had hitherto been
in use. I, with some of my fellow league players, have a new set of Aramith Tournament Champion balls, acquired from Malcolm Lax. However, the
club in our league, who all ordered from Rileys, were offered either Super Crystalate, Tournament Champion or Club, all made by Aramith, and all
white, yellow and red, all assumed to be the new metric size, being slightly larger than the hitherto 2 1/6″ wide diameter. The costs are approx £30,
£20 and £10 per set respectively, plus p&p.
I have previously believed that the only new billiard balls were the Tournament Champion, and that Super Crystalate was no longer available. The
now defunct BQR magazine had carried an article on the new Tournament Champion balls, finding that all the sets contained balls of exactly the
same weight and diameter, which was not the case with all the old Super Crystalate sets, even those sold as ‘matchplay’. I am sure that your readers
would like to know more facts about the types of billiard balls on offer, and if their playing characteristics vary, even though they are all made by the same
I only have experience of the old Super Crystalate match play and the new Tournament Champion balls. I much prefer (for billiards) the larger, heavier
Tournament Champion balls, and find no problems playing with a yellow ball, as either cue ball or object ball. Perhaps you have a contact at Aramith,
who could provide a suitable answer for your magazine.