Old Snooker Clubs
I’ve been playing snooker on and off now for some 35 years and have visited many great old snooker clubs in the Portsmouth area and local leagues. Sadly, a lot of those old snooker clubs have disappeared over the last 15 to 20 years and with it, a lot of memories of players and matches. For me personally I used to play at the Gas Board Social Club in Portsmouth that is now gone and also the Majestic Snooker Club in North End, Portsmouth which was packed most days, evening and nights!
Like many cinemas, the Majestic Snooker Club was converted and opened as a Billiards and Snooker Club; the Majestic first opened it’s doors to snooker and billiards in 1976.
For the life of me, I cannot remember how many tables it had but it must have been around 20 as they were on two floors. On the second floor there was a single match table one end with a bank of around 300 chairs where you could watch those special matches!
I watched a billiards final on that table once and learned very quickly that I didn’t really know that much about the game as I watch the century breaks popping in!
My favourite memories were watching the thousand pound a frame money matches, usually best of nine frames, the players (and backers) were certainly focused on performing those nights and it held everyone else’s attention too.
What I liked about the Majestic Club was that no matter when you had spare time, the club was open. On many occasions we would visit about 11 o’clock in the evening and would leave around 5 or 6 in the morning, go home and to get ready for work.
Although the club looks the same from the front, what you see in the inside pictures are just sad considering how busy the place was and how it’s become a shadow of it’s former glory, I wonder how many cinema’s are like this now or just gone and forgotten.
The middle of the two tables (header picture) was our regular table when we could get it as you could watch all the really good players on the first two tables from there.
The table in the distance was a regular match table and I can personally remember getting a 40 and 50 break in one of the regular comps and still getting a good hiding (3-0) from a certain Jason Weston who went on to play in the Benson & Hedges a few weeks later!
I’m told he is again playing and has a current World Ranking at 112!
As you can see in this picture, vandals have certainly given the club a good going over and made sure they’ve wrecked as much as possible.
I guess in today’s climate there is very little value left in the tables, hence they still stand; you can certainly feel the ghost of days gone by.
I wonder how many pictures there are of old snooker clubs scattered around the country?
Do you have any pictures of old snooker clubs?
If you have any old pictures then feel free to send them to us on: info:snookercrazy.com
If you can add some details as well that would be good as the memories of these great old snooker halls will disappear into the ether.
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