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Old Blue
10-04-2012, 01:44
I used to play this a lot, when one of the local pubs of my youth had a bar billiards table. Since then I've rarely found one, and been rather hankering for the traditional pub game I used to love...

Recently I came across this bar billiards aficionados' website and forum http://barbilliards.proboards.com, where they also have been striving to maintain a map of all public venues which have bar billiards tables - click on the AEBBA link near the top of the page and enter that site to get to the map. Having recently introduced my good lady to the game, this site has been really helpful in finding pubs with bar billiards tables in areas we've visited.

I thought I'd share this as some other PuG members might have an interest in bar billiards and find it useful if wanting to find a table somewhere you go. Equally, the bar billiards table map is a labour of love for its webmasters - though some areas don't have bar billiards leagues and those are likely to be less up to date than others - so if anyone wants to submit updates on tables they find (or have disappeared) then I'm sure that would be appreciated. I've had a very warm welcome from the site myself.

Old Blue

sheffield hatter
10-04-2012, 09:32
I used to play at my local in Hemel Hempstead when I was a lad, and last played at the Golden Ball in York when I was on a crawl there last year with some mates from Luton. On that same trip I came across a table at The Waggon & Horses (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/43706/) which is not listed on the AEBBA map. (It's mentioned in my review of 13/03/11.) I don't think I'll be joining the site, so if you want to update it with this info, please go ahead.

Cheers

Old Blue
12-04-2012, 08:29
Thanks SH, will pass that on

gillhalfpint
12-04-2012, 09:30
I've wanted to learn to play bar billiards since I watched a couple playing a game in Wye Valley brewery bar. They have one in the Post Office Vaults in Birmingham, but as Ray isn't keen I would have to have a go on my own and play right hand against left hand. I used to play darts that way till I could hit a double just as easily whether playing left or right handed.

There's a table in the Gardeners Rest in Sheffield too, but we are usually concentrating on the beer then moving on when in there.

trainman
12-04-2012, 12:19
till I could hit a double just as easily whether playing left or right handed.


!!!

Something for our footballers to learn here, methinks!
Though we'd need to explain with a football, not with darts...

Old Blue
14-04-2012, 13:01
I've wanted to learn to play bar billiards since I watched a couple playing a game in Wye Valley brewery bar. They have one in the Post Office Vaults in Birmingham, but as Ray isn't keen I would have to have a go on my own and play right hand against left hand. I used to play darts that way till I could hit a double just as easily whether playing left or right handed.

There's a table in the Gardeners Rest in Sheffield too, but we are usually concentrating on the beer then moving on when in there.

Many thanks Gill, have asked for those to be added to the map. Particularly good to hear about the Post Office Vaults as they didn't have anywhere listed in all of Brum.

I'd be more than happy to teach you to play bar billiards, if I finally manage to make it to a PuG meet-up and there is a table available somewhere. I'm useless at playing left handed so if you wanted to give me a handicap that would be a very good way to do it!

oldboots
14-04-2012, 20:36
This (http://www.bbc.co.uk/berkshire/content/image_galleries/bar_billiards_gallery.shtml?1) is the best guide I've found on t'internet to the rules of bar billiards. It's just about how we used to play when I was a lad in 'ampshire and mispending time in various pubs. Other rules are available but as one site says there's no official Bar Billliards body to set the rules so it's a father to son thing. Last time I saw a table was in the Hopback pub (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/1664/) in Reading. Is it a southern thing?

Maldenman
15-04-2012, 15:42
Having just had a look through those rules, the game seems fairly straightforward, so I may well have a go next time I see a table (providing there aren't too many people about!).
In Chester recently I saw a Bagatelle table, similar but with a curved end and more upright pins. It's good to see these traditional old games still surviving in the electronic age, I recall one from my youth with nine small skittles set on a plinth which you had to knock over by swinging a small ball on a chain in a circular motion around an upright pole, anyone know this game?
Also, Lewes pubs have a rather robust game, I think it is called "bat and trap"?

Al 10000
15-04-2012, 16:05
Having just had a look through those rules, the game seems fairly straightforward, so I may well have a go next time I see a table (providing there aren't too many people about!).
In Chester recently I saw a Bagatelle table, similar but with a curved end and more upright pins. It's good to see these traditional old games still surviving in the electronic age, I recall one from my youth with nine small skittles set on a plinth which you had to knock over by swinging a small ball on a chain in a circular motion around an upright pole, anyone know this game?
Also, Lewes pubs have a rather robust game, I think it is called "bat and trap"?

The game with the pole and small skittles on a table is called Table Skittles,i used to play for a pub team in a league.

It was quite a popular game in the Nottingham and Ilkeston areas

Maldenman
15-04-2012, 16:12
Oh, ok Al, thought it might have some sort of archaic quaint old name! Table skittles rings a bell though.

Without wishing to go too far off topic, I also recently encountered a London 5s dartboard, where all numbers are divisible by 5, and repeat around the board, ie 5 10 15 and 20. I assume the bull remains at 25. The game starts from 505.

Anyone remember the old Manchester dartboard, nicknamed a "log-end"?

Strongers
15-04-2012, 16:24
Having just had a look through those rules, the game seems fairly straightforward, so I may well have a go next time I see a table (providing there aren't too many people about!).
In Chester recently I saw a Bagatelle table, similar but with a curved end and more upright pins. It's good to see these traditional old games still surviving in the electronic age, I recall one from my youth with nine small skittles set on a plinth which you had to knock over by swinging a small ball on a chain in a circular motion around an upright pole, anyone know this game?
Also, Lewes pubs have a rather robust game, I think it is called "bat and trap"?

I remember playing table skittles about twenty years ago in a pub near Rye on my family’s annual pilgrimage to the darts week at Camber Sands.

Lots of pubs down here in Sussex have Toad-in-the-hole game, but I’ve never seen Bat and Trap. I have been into the Bat and Ball in Brighton which is a dump.

Maldenman
15-04-2012, 16:29
You're quite right Strongers, Bat and Trap is another game, more Kent I believe. Toad in the Hole is the one I saw in Lewes, which required evasive action to be taken by drinkers too near the action!

Strongers
15-04-2012, 16:32
Oh, ok Al, thought it might have some sort of archaic quaint old name! Table skittles rings a bell though.

Without wishing to go too far off topic, I also recently encountered a London 5s dartboard, where all numbers are divisible by 5, and repeat around the board, ie 5 10 15 and 20. I assume the bull remains at 25. The game starts from 505.

Anyone remember the old Manchester dartboard, nicknamed a "log-end"?

I played on a leg end board in a pub in Gillingham last year and I saw a ‘fives’ board during a pub crawl along the east end of the Central Line.

I decided to stay in the Gillingham pub until I had hit a bullseye, which took me half an hour because I’m crap.

Al 10000
15-04-2012, 16:40
I watched a game of Bat and trap being played at the Sondes Arms in Selling Kent,if i can remember right it is played outside and the bowler tries to knock a peice of wood down if he misses the person batting places the ball on the wood and hits it then wacks the ball.

This was all back in the early 80s and i might have got the wrong game.

Maldenman
15-04-2012, 16:49
No you haven't got it wrong Al, that's the game.

gillhalfpint
15-04-2012, 18:16
We had a game at rallies that I thought was bat and trap. 2 small pieces of wood on the ground in a cross so the end of the top piece stuck up in the air. With your wood bat, you hit the piece on the ground at the raised end, then when it spun into the air, you wacked it with the bat.

We played things like that, and welly wanging outdoors along with horseshoes round pegs.

oldboots
16-04-2012, 08:19
The game with the pole and small skittles on a table is called Table Skittles,i used to play for a pub team in a league.

It was quite a popular game in the Nottingham and Ilkeston areas

I think it's also known as "Devil among the Tailors", I used to play it, badly, in this pub (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/68361/).

Pangolin
22-04-2012, 16:47
I used to play bar billiards a lot in my youth, but rarely see it nowadays although I do know of one table not far away. Yes it was mainly a Southern game, although occasionally found further afield. In the Midlands tended to be more table skittles or 'Devil among the Tailors', apart from the much larger free-thrown game in Northamptonshire and its environs, which can also still be found. From Hampshire westwards was alley skittle (nine pins) country, while I believe that there used to be an even larger London skittles game. throwing a 'cheese' about 15 inches in diameter at full size skittles, but I never managed to see it. I have played East London '5s' darts, and certainly seen, if not played, someof the various versions without doubles and/or trebles in the West Midlands and Manchester. Other odd games I have encountered include quoits and various versions of swinging a ring on a string onto a horn or other target. And whatever happened to shove ha'penny?

Oggwyn Trench
22-04-2012, 18:16
What appears to be a Bar Blliards table has appeared in the back room of the Old Fighting Cocks (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/68336/) , could not investigate further as the place was rammed due to the RATT beer festival , i will have a proper look next week

Old Blue
23-04-2012, 10:43
Yes it was mainly a Southern game, although occasionally found further afield

I believe bar billiards was originally imported from Belgium, and had its heyday in about the 1930s. There are tables dotted around the place, though these tend to be concentrated in the areas where there are bar billiards leagues, which are mainly in the South (the furthest North seems to be Northants). I understand quite a lot of the tables in these areas are actually owned by the local leagues, who use pubs or clubs to host them. Apparently whilst they used to worry about the game dying out by virtue of players dwindling, or tables disappearing, they are now more worries about running out of places to put them, because of the rate of pub closures, and because pub gastrification almost always results in getting rid of the table.

Old Blue
23-04-2012, 10:46
What appears to be a Bar Blliards table has appeared in the back room of the Old Fighting Cocks (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/68336/) , could not investigate further as the place was rammed due to the RATT beer festival , i will have a proper look next week

Thanks Oggy, would be good to confirm this. According to the AEBBA map the nearest known BB tables to Telford are in the Boat Inn in Jackfield and the Pheasant Inn in Bridgnorth.

Oggwyn Trench
08-05-2012, 19:14
Thanks Oggy, would be good to confirm this. According to the AEBBA map the nearest known BB tables to Telford are in the Boat Inn in Jackfield and the Pheasant Inn in Bridgnorth.

I can confirm it is indeed a BB table in the Fighting Cocks a 1940s classic table so i am told , follow the ironbridge brewery link at the bottom of the pubs main page for more info .

Old Blue
10-05-2012, 10:26
Thanks Oggy, have had it added to the BB site map.

My researches drew a complete blank, having to knock off lots of BB tables in my local area that no longer existed. Was wondering if I'd end up having to stick to cribbage. Until the other night when I was passing the Cricketers in Thames Ditton (which had become a restaurant then closed down) and found it had not only re-opened as the a proper pub, but had installed a BB table. Particularly pleased to get this one back - it used to be my local, from which I have plenty of happy memories, and a fair few lack of memories, and was where I first learned to play bar billiards twentysomething years ago.

Al 10000
20-05-2012, 17:08
There is a Bar Billiards table at the Inn in Greatworth,the table is fully functional with cues and chalk at the ready.

Oggwyn Trench
20-05-2012, 18:44
You can take the Pheasant at Linley Brook , Bridgnorth off the map , the pub is now closed :( and looks like its going to become a private house .

Old Blue
21-05-2012, 08:45
Thanks guys, have done

hondo
06-06-2012, 11:56
Brighton seems to be a hotbed on a recent trip i saw more tables in one day than in my lifetime of drinking also numerous dartboards.

hondo
12-09-2013, 10:05
"been delighted with the revived interest"
http://m.yorkpress.co.uk/news/10670255.How_bar_game_boom_brings_pubs_together/?ref=twt&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

AlanH
12-09-2013, 23:30
"been delighted with the revived interest"
http://m.yorkpress.co.uk/news/10670255.How_bar_game_boom_brings_pubs_together/?ref=twt&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Dave, how many bar billiards tables (and for interest, pinball machines) have been listed by members so far?
and for more interest ............. Where are they? :whistle:

Wittenden
13-09-2013, 07:53
Dave, how many bar billiards tables (and for interest, pinball machines) have been listed by members so far?
and for more interest ............. Where are they? :whistle:
East Kent used to be a hotspot. Can't say I see 'em much now.

rpadam
14-09-2013, 09:48
East Kent used to be a hotspot. Can't say I see 'em much now.
Used to be quite a few in West Kent too - I remember tables in Tonbridge, Southborough, Hadlow and West Malling (including the late, lamented Startled Saint).

hondo
28-08-2014, 13:43
"resurgence of a classic pub game in"
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/inbrief/11434633.Bar_billiards_boom_continues/?ref=rss

oldboots
28-08-2014, 16:36
"resurgence of a classic pub game in"
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/inbrief/11434633.Bar_billiards_boom_continues/?ref=rss

There's a table in the Golden Ball (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/53633/) where the "bar" doesn't drop, are they in the York league?

Ah, I see they started it :o

aleandhearty
29-08-2014, 14:13
"resurgence of a classic pub game in"
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/inbrief/11434633.Bar_billiards_boom_continues/?ref=rss

Despite its continental origins, I always think of it as a quintessentially British game. Maybe it's the mixture of skill and silliness? I do know I was absolutely hopeless when I tried to play it in the 70s, but hope the revival continues apace.

hondo
25-09-2015, 10:30
"we’re celebrating the success of the "
http://www.yorkmix.com/life/sport/world-champion-celebrates-astonishing-revival-of-pub-game-in-york/

Quinno
25-09-2015, 17:54
Reviving this thread has made me think - Dave, can you set-up another facilities filler that picks out 'bar billiard' for us (me!) to tick off?