Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Embankment, Nottingham - Pt.2

My previous post featured the excellent Skittle Alley in the basement of The Embankment, a real rarity now in Nottingham, and almost certainly the closest available for play to the city centre. However, the main focus of games play at this venue can be found in the spacious 'Billiards Room' on the ground floor, equipped with four full-size tables for Snooker, and comfortable raised banquette seating for viewing play.

The game of Billiards is not one you'll find played much these days, and yet Billiards tables like the ones shown here at The Embankment are still common enough. The three ball game of Billiards has been almost entirely superseded by it's more sophisticated sibling Snooker, but since the two games share a common playing surface the old Billiards tables remain and continue to give good service.

The four very fine old tables at The Embankment include this model from a local Nottingham manufacturer. Elston & Hopkin still operate in the cue sports field, albeit under different ownership and from a base in Lincolnshire. The firm don't appear to manufacture tables or equipment anymore, rather they are dealers in a range of new and pre-owned tables, and provide a repair and fitting service. Some of the current score boards at the club were also manufactured by Elston & Hopkin, including the one shown here.

According to Arthur Taylor in his excellent book 'Played At The Pub', there may now only one remaining pub in the UK with a fully functioning Billiards room, the grade II listed Lamb Hotel in Eccles, snooker now being almost exclusively a club game with the cheaper and more compact games of Pool and Bar Billiards preferred in pubs nowadays.

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