Items added/donated to the collection:-

See the following :-

November 2019 Watneys Professional Snooker 1973

January 2019 Lancashire Billiard  Scorecards 1920/30's

June 2018 Pontins Cup

March 2018 Frederick Jones Picture collection

February 2018 Items donated by H.F. Smith's son to the Collection.


         Billiard Player Mag 1933 R  Snooker World Champ Prog 1947-8 R                    1930-31 Biliard Snooker Tornament Prog R        Newman T Pic & Signature 1929_R

 Smith Father French Mag 1938 R

Peter Ainsworth was able to provide the following information :-

H.F. Smith is probably the best amateur billiard player you have never heard of. Being an amateur, I don't have much information on him, but he crops up in my records from 1930 when he first enters the English Amateur Billiards Championship, and he continues as a regular competitor in this event until 1960. His best results in the championship were to reach the semi-final on two separate occasions, in 1932 and 1937. I have a note of him playing exhibition matches with the likes of Claude Falkiner, and Tom Newman, in the 1930s, and the best break that I can find reported for him is 266.
The French magazine is interesting. This relates to an initiative which as far as I can tell from reports appearing in England, was set up in 1937 to include snooker and English billiards, and was essentially the forerunner to the European Billiards and Snooker Championships, having representatives selected by various National Associations for competition in Beaulieu-sur-mer, France, between 10th-19th April of that year. Smith was nominated by the Billiards Association and Control Council, along with Joe Thompson (English Billiards Champion), to represent England in the inaugural event, and although there was no official representative from England in 1938, when the competition was held in Marseilles, Smith again appeared, presumably in a private capacity.

H. F. Smith At Marseille Match R

In 1939 he was again selected for this tournament by the BA&CC along with the English Billiards Champion of that year, Tom Jones, when the event was again held in Marseilles. The war put an end to the development of this initiative, or it might otherwise have been more closely associated with the current European championships. The events weren't well covered by the press in this country and I suspect it may have been a multi-cue sport event, including the various Continental carom games.

My references to him stop in the early part of 1960. I might be able to find out more with a bit of digging, but presumably his relatives can fill in much of his background.

Acknowledgement - Peter Ainsworth for the information and picture of Jean Albert, Tom Jones & H.F. Smith


Pocket net information

In November 2017 a call was received from a Mr. Foster who had some information on a patent for Billiard Pocket Nets that allowed a referee or player to remove the balls from the net without having to put a hand into the net via the slate pocket opening. (It turned out that it was not as the same idea as the 'bottomless pockets' that were perhaps more commonly used).

In speaking to Mr. Foster the items were from his wife's family and they were offered to the Heritage Collection to enable this small historic patent be preserved.

The patent is number 12318 dated 1912, which was finally accepted in February 1913. It was taken out by the sisters Emily and Clara Ryland.. The patent front page and the drawings of the way their pocket would be made are as shown below.

Billiard Pocket Net Patent

Patent Drawing Pocket Net

Two pictures were also provided one shows the sisters mother Harriet making pocket nets the other is Emily, one of the patentee's, also making nets. The tool they used has also be added to the collection and can just be made out in the pictures.

Harriet Ryland

 Emily Rylands

 Tool For Making Billiard Pocket Nets

Billiard Pocket Net Tool

So it would seem that the Ryland family were quite involved in making billiard pocket nets.

Our thanks to Mrs Carole Foster , whose great Aunts were Emily and Clara Ryland and great grand daughter of Harriet Ryland, who kindly donated the items to the Snooker Heritage Collection.


Thurston Leicester Square Match Table

Thurston Leicester Square Match Room Table No 15036

In October 2017 Thurston received an email concerning a table manufactured by them with a plate indicating that it had been installed in their famous Leicester Square Match Room.

The owners wanted the room it was installed in for other purposes and asked if the Heritage Collection was interested to display it? After checking some details to confirm that it was indeed a table that had been in the Match Room a deal was done. This allowed the table to be displayed in the Heritage Room whilst still being retained by the current owner.

The information that we have gathered is that the table number is 15036 and was original made in 1916. As shown in the Foreman's note book.

Thurston Foreman Book Entry Reduced

In pencil on the right hand side can be seenLei Sq 10/9/17, also in the middle the Sales Order Number 42784 is shown.

There is a ivory plate on the end rail of the table refiring to the Triangular Tournament between - M. Inman, H.W. Stevenson and T. Reece played Decemebr 1917- January 1918 and February 1918.

 1917 PLATE ON TABLE Reduced

In the old Thurston Ledgers the Sales Order Number 42784 was found and the entries there again confirm the table being in the Match Room at Leicester Square and its use in the Triangular Tournament.

 Thurston Sales Order 42784 Match Table

The Table is now on display in the Heritage Collection. Anyone wish to see the Collection please phone 0151 482 2700 to make an appointment.

Table 15036reduced

The following information on the Triangular Tournament that the table was used for is provided by Peter Ainsworth:-

Don't know how much you know of the triangular tournament, but it was looked upon as a very important event at the time. There had been no match for the championship since before the start of the war when Inman had won the title against Reece. There was keen rivalry between Inman and Stevenson throughout the subsequent war years, the former insisting on giving start to all comers, and Stevenson consistently refusing to take it, but the Billiard Association would not sanction another championship contest while the war was in progress. Consequently this tournament was put together by private arrangement, which involved the only three players not engaged in the war effort who were likely to contest a championship. It was played not for prize money and a title, but for a rather grand trophy donated by the combined funds of Sir Guy Chetwynd, Sir Thomas Dewar, and H. H. Lukens (otherwise known as "T. N. Palmer," of snooker fame). Inman beat both of his opponents with some ease to take the trophy. It was apparently a substantial 216 ounces (your John Roberts trophy is about 90 ounces), and I have a note that it was still in Inman's possession in 1926. Not sure where it ended up after that.


 ©2017 E.A. Clare & Son Ltd. ©2017 Peter N. Clare

In April 2017 a letter written by Sidney Smith was kindly donated to the Collection by Mr. M. Barnett. He is a volunteer in the warehouse of a local charity which handles donations and the letter fell out of a donated book. He thought it was of interest and thought it should be preserved. 

The picture below is a reduced version of the letter.

Sidney Smith letter

A picture donated March 2017 by John Ingleby of a match between C. Dawson & H.W. Stevenson.

Dawson Match

The match took place at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, Manchester and the picture with Stevenson at the table was probably taken on 31st March 1904. The marker (seen holding the rest) was George Jackson a local billiard professional. All the information about the picture was provided by Peter Ainsworth


July 2016 - picture of the 1951 Professional Snooker Championships between Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson.

Fred Davis Walter Donaldson

Fred Davis won 58 frames to 39 frames.

Picture kindly donated by Henry Smith

Keeping an interest in all things Thurston a marking board circa 1870's with the cartouche reading

Hopkins Stephens _thurston Nephews

The board was aquired in July 2016 and is now on display in the collection

At the end of June 2017 the Snooker Heritage Collection received a call from Peter Smith to say that his family had a lot of Billiard and Snooker memorabilia that they would like to donate to the Collection.

The items had been collected by their Snooker 'mad' father David Smith who had sadly passed away earlier that month. He was described by the family as 'a man of many talents, David was a retired police officer, driving instructor, snooker player, coach, referee. Chairman and champion as well as a genuine friend to many'.

David Smith Ray Readon

Ray Reardon and David Smith at the Eastbourne Police Club in 1988

 David Smith Ted Lowe

David Smith being presented with a medal for his Referring services by (whispering) Ted Lowe

Peter Clare was pleased to offer a home for all the items, which include numerous books, coaching aids, snooker board games, match programmes, mugs, videos, autographs, even small radio made to look like a billiard table and a 'Timeframe' unit.

Shown here are a couple of interesting items selected from the boxes of memorabilia that was collected from Eastboune in July 2017.

The first item is a bit of history as it records the first exhibition match played by Ronnie O'Sullivan in January 1994 . The event was organised by David Smith

Ronnie o'Sullivan 1994 

 Another item records Wantey's association with Snooker - this autographed programme is circa 1975 when Rex Williams and Fred Davis along with Sydney Lee travelled round the country playing matches at local clubs providing an evening of snooker matches and audience competitions.

Watneys Snooker Match Play 

The 'Timeframe' unit is quite large and heavy and it was Peter Ainsworth who was able to provide some information on the machine.These were just electronic snooker scoreboards which also had a timer feature. They were introduced in 1992 for a variation of the Pot Black TV series in which players (the top 16 pros) would play at least one or two frames of snooker against the clock (each show lasted at least 20 minutes), the final being longer. The scoreboards were probably made available to the public from this date, although I can't personally recall having seen any advertised. The company producing them were based in Leamington Spa and called "Timeframe Snooker". Not sure, yet, if it works but it is intended to be set up in one of the display rooms.

Timeframe Electronix Snooker Score 

The above is just a small tribute to David Smith and his family and their help in preserving more of the history of the great Cue Sports of Billiards & Snooker.

Acknowledgements - Peter Smith ; Peter Ainsworth

© E.A. Clare & Son Ltd. 2018. © Peter N. Clare 2018
Reproduction of this article allowed only with the permission from E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.


To visit the Snooker heritage Collection please phone 0151 482 2700 to make an appointment. Please note number limited to 4 visitors