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One of the last Willie holt tables made at Burnley Billiards works ?

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  • One of the last Willie holt tables made at Burnley Billiards works ?

    I have just dismantled a table that has links to Rex Williams ( Daughters Table ) , it is Willie Holt table made in the 1980s , actually January 1986 by the writing on the slate .
    I was wondering if 100 upper has any info on when Willie Holt ceased trading as I think this must be one of his last tables off the production line at the Burnley billiards works.
    I have come across many Willie Holt tables in my 38 years billiard fitting , but never any with this unusual leg shape .
    It may even be a one off ?

    have a look at the following link and see what you think .

    http://gclbilliards.com/rex-williams...-in-ashbourne/
    [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

  • #2
    Willie Holt (Burnley) Limited continued to trade until the early 1990s, both as a billiard table builder and as a billiard hall operator. I don't have the exact date that they closed the doors, but 1986 is well within their production period.

    With regard to the design, I have reference to them supplying "The Master" billiard table around this time and there is a photo of this table in the Pot Black magazine of October 1989 (page 19). Unfortunately I am away from my library at the moment so can't check whether this is the same as the table you have found. Perhaps someone else who has this magazine can take a look and let us know?

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    • #3
      thank you Peter .

      although the date on the slate refers to 1986 , this could be the manufacture of the slate .

      and 1988 / 1989 could have been the period the table was made , I say this because the owner of the house that the table came out of said , they bought the house in 1989 , and they bought it off Rex Williams Daughter who bought the table from new , and it had not been in the property very long .

      Do you know if Rex Williams did any promotional work for Willie Holt . maybe that they gave Rex Williams this table or at a good price to promote the model ?
      I think it is the first one of this model off the production line if the serial number is N0 1 , would be interesting to know if they produced any more in this design .

      If anyone has a copy of the Pot black October 1989 with this advert in for sale or could let me have a photo copy of the page either by email or direct , I would appreciate it for our buying client , the table is to go up in a brand new room in Ashbourne Derbyshire.
      It would be nice if he had a framed advert for the table on the wall .

      Geoff
      [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Geoff Large View Post

        Do you know if Rex Williams did any promotional work for Willie Holt . maybe that they gave Rex Williams this table or at a good price to promote the model ?
        Rex Williams was primarily involved with the running of WPBSA in the 80's and 90's. He was chairman on and off for extended periods at this time although I can't give exact dates. As far as I know he had no connection with the Burnley Billiard Works, and probably his high office would have precluded any overt arrangements being made, although I know he did have links with Riley's, who made a couple of tables to his specification in the late 90's which they used to carry around the professional billiards circuit.

        I'll be back in the UK on 25th October, so if you can't get a copy of the advert, email me after this date to remind me and I'll scan it for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Geoff and Peter,

          Im just wondering if you knew that when Willie Holt (Burnley) Ltd ceased trading in 1990, the company was taken over by a Mr. Paul Russell and opened up here in Clonakilty Co. Cork. Manufacture was good and 99% of the tables were made for export. Most of the tables were sold to Belguim, Holland, and Germany. The quality of workmanship was excellent and the materials used were top drawer. The factory employed 20 people and was a good place to work with all modern machinery installed.
          Paul was a great guy to work for, and had his head screwed on rightly, he was forever into Research and Development and in 1995 he manufactured an American Pool Table called the Mantis which at the time superceeded any American Pool Table I had ever seen.
          As far as I know, I think he may have sold the manufacturing rights to Brunswick, or one of the other major American manufacturers.
          The factory ceased to trade in 1997 due to some falling out with the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) and Paul moved his business to Belguim.
          I have since worked on the few Billiards Tables that Willie Holt (Ireland) Ltd manufactured, and they are a treat to work on. Its such a pity that the factory closed.
          One table the factory made ( the name escapes me at present) was a full size with the fattest legs I have ever seen on a table, sure they must be 14" to 15" inches in diameter, and as far as I know was made from one solid block of mahogany. Prices for his `ordinary` tables ran around the IR£4000 to IR£5000, but this particular table would set you back in the region of IR£7500, or possibly more.
          Iv got some of their brochures knocking around somewhere, and if I can put my hands on them Ill post a few pics of same.
          When you but cheap... You buy twice !

          Comment


          • #6
            Geoff,

            Just saw your blog on the Willie Holt Table.... Yes, thats the table I was writing about with the fat legs.
            Willie Holt Ireland continued to manufacture them here, but how many were made I cannot say.

            Gerard
            When you but cheap... You buy twice !

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ryanah147 View Post

              Im just wondering if you knew that when Willie Holt (Burnley) Ltd ceased trading in 1990, the company was taken over by a Mr. Paul Russell and opened up here in Clonakilty Co. Cork.
              I didn't know that. What name did they trade under?

              Comment


              • #8
                Willie Holt (Ireland) Ltd, Clogheen Rd, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
                I'll dig out some of the brochures Peter, and post some pics.
                G.
                When you but cheap... You buy twice !

                Comment


                • #9
                  W Holt plate.jpgCarbery 2 (2).jpgCarbery 2 (1).jpgMantis 2 (2).jpgGeoff,

                  I finally dug out the Willie Holt brochures and Im attaching some pics that may interest your client. Unfortunately the pic of The Classic table is a centrefold of the brochure so therefore I had a bit of trouble scanning it and left a line through the middle of the table. Ill get my son to do a bit of work on it, and Ill mail it to you direct.
                  The Carbery table was the one that was manufactured most, and these as I said were nearly all for export to Holland, Belguim, and Germany.
                  The other table is the Mantis American Pool Table, and I suppose by todays models on sale looks very ordinary, but you must remember that this was developed in 1995 which is 18 years ago and at that time most tables were just run of the mill designs.
                  I was invited to the unveiling of the table along with other Billiard traders, and it was really one of shock and awe, for we had never seen anything of this type before. Had a tap about on it, and it certainly did tick all the boxes. It certainly was a forerunner in design.Holt.jpg
                  When you but cheap... You buy twice !

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Many thanks Gerard.

                    My client will be most grateful for you're research and photo's of the willie holt tables ,

                    just goes to show that some billiard fitters do that bit extra for their clients . and then also share their findings on this forum .

                    Many thanks to 100-upper too .

                    Gerard , if you look at the moulding that is on the lower edge of the frame work in you're centre fold photo og the table , this has to be taken off the long sides to get the centre legs to come off , as the moulding is corner splice fitted into the leg moulding and cannot slide off without taking the moulding off the frame first , it stumped me for about 2 minutes until I saw it and figured it out , the knee panels though had expanded and where stuck solid preventing me getting at the frame bolts and i had to split these in half to get at the frame bolts

                    Geoff
                    Last edited by Geoff Large; 24th October 2013, 10:23 PM.
                    [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is each of those square legs made from one piece or are they blocks stuck together?
                      王可

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                      • #12
                        Solid one piece of mahogany .
                        and very heavy too
                        [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Geoff,

                          I have my son fix up that pic of the Classic table for you over the weekend and Ill mail it off to your own email address.
                          I was fascinated by your observation about the moulding on the long side and the inability to remove the middle legs without removing the moulding first. The first thought that came into my head was what if the table was a real old one and sat in a damp old room, the steel screws which would have attached the mouldings to the long side would have rusted, and trying to remove them would really be a big ordeal. Anyway you had the quick thinking of detecting the solution, and just going by the pics of the table on your GCL website the table did look beautiful.
                          In answer to Philip in China`s question about the legs being one solid piece, the answer is yes. On my dozen or so visits to the Co. Cork factory I saw the legs being made, and as I said earlier only the best of materials went into them.
                          When Paul Russell saw my interest in the game and the manufacture of the tables, he brought me into his private office and showed me the original drawings by Willie Holt (Burnley), not only for the Classic, but for Brun, the Master, and a selection of Billiard Diners which `Burnley` would have manufactured, he also had a nice little collection of Billiard antiquities of which I hadnt seen before, and Im sure Peter Clare would love to have in his Museum. I suppose all the Willie Holt stuff went off to Belguim with him.
                          Im wondering if he is still in business?
                          G.
                          When you but cheap... You buy twice !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ryanah147 View Post
                            Geoff,

                            I have my son fix up that pic of the Classic table for you over the weekend and Ill mail it off to your own email address.
                            I was fascinated by your observation about the moulding on the long side and the inability to remove the middle legs without removing the moulding first. The first thought that came into my head was what if the table was a real old one and sat in a damp old room, the steel screws which would have attached the mouldings to the long side would have rusted, and trying to remove them would really be a big ordeal. Anyway you had the quick thinking of detecting the solution, and just going by the pics of the table on your GCL website the table did look beautiful.
                            In answer to Philip in China`s question about the legs being one solid piece, the answer is yes. On my dozen or so visits to the Co. Cork factory I saw the legs being made, and as I said earlier only the best of materials went into them.
                            When Paul Russell saw my interest in the game and the manufacture of the tables, he brought me into his private office and showed me the original drawings by Willie Holt (Burnley), not only for the Classic, but for Brun, the Master, and a selection of Billiard Diners which `Burnley` would have manufactured, he also had a nice little collection of Billiard antiquities of which I hadnt seen before, and Im sure Peter Clare would love to have in his Museum. I suppose all the Willie Holt stuff went off to Belguim with him.
                            Im wondering if he is still in business?
                            G.
                            Hi Gerard.

                            The moulding had to be unscrewed and drawn forward to come off as the moulding on the centre legs still had it locked in until it was moved forward away from the frame , an odd design and one that nearly caught me out . also who ever put the moulding on missed half the screws out only two per moulding where in .
                            The knee panels though where impossible to move without damaging them so I will have to make new knee panels up and polish them , these knee panels where also solid mahogany , and daft as it sounds if they had made them out of mahogany faced ply wood they would not have expanded and stuck in .
                            thanks for taking the time to send the photo , i am sure my client will appreciate the trouble everyone is taking to gain information on this table , I thought it was a 1950's design when I first saw it , but looking at the info you supplied it was a copy of a 1920's design .
                            The Rex Williams link info came from the householder who was selling the table.

                            Geoff
                            [/SIGPIC]http://www.gclbilliards.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The reason I asked that is because a lot of modern tables do not use solid pieces. Then there is always the risk that the legs will split. I suppose it is all to do with cost! Of course this is also the reason for spraying the legs with gold or silver. That way they can use wood which would simply not be good enough to polish.
                              王可

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