Pubs aim to chalk up a bar billiards revival

York Press: Mike Shalcross, right, and Jon Fulton with the 1930s bar billiards table at The Phoenix Inn. Mike Shalcross, right, and Jon Fulton with the 1930s bar billiards table at The Phoenix Inn.

TWO York pubs are teaming up to try to revive local interest in one of England’s historic bar-room games.

The Phoenix in George Street and The Golden Ball in Bishophill hope to host a local bar billiards league, to increase the number of people playing the game and to safeguard its future.

Bar billiards is relatively rare in the north, with the All England Bar Billiards Association recording only five tables in use in North Yorkshire, and The Phoenix and Golden Ball having the only two currently in use in York.

Mike Shallcross, a regular at The Golden Ball, has appealed for other players to come forward and hopes to set up a league if there is enough demand.

He also plans to organise monthly derby matches between teams from the two pubs.

He said: “We have had a good response to it from locals, but it would be good if we could find some people who do not normally play.

“It’s still a very popular game in the south of England, but in the north it is petering out. There used to be tables all over the place.”

Jon Fulton, manager of The Phoenix, said: “We have been meaning to get something going for a while and this should be a good idea. It is an old English game and it would be good to bring it back.”

To sign up to the league or for more information, email yorkbarbilliards@gmail.com or tweet @yorkbarbilliard or leave your name and phone number behind the bar of either pub.

Players of all abilities are welcome.

Comments (5)

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9:17am Wed 20 Feb 13

Theendoftheworld says...

It's a good game. I remember a table in the old Woolpack in Pavement.
It's a good game. I remember a table in the old Woolpack in Pavement. Theendoftheworld

9:56am Wed 20 Feb 13

Blimp says...

Brilliant, love it! More please.
Brilliant, love it! More please. Blimp

9:58am Wed 20 Feb 13

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

An excellent game.

The skill lies in stopping the ball going down the hole once your money has run out.
An excellent game. The skill lies in stopping the ball going down the hole once your money has run out. Ignatius Lumpopo

10:32am Wed 20 Feb 13

ShunGokuSatsu says...

I always thought it was a shame that the Golden Ball's table was crammed into a back corner, making it pretty hilariously difficult to shoot towards the left side, but I'm delighted that there's a renewed interest.
I always thought it was a shame that the Golden Ball's table was crammed into a back corner, making it pretty hilariously difficult to shoot towards the left side, but I'm delighted that there's a renewed interest. ShunGokuSatsu

12:06am Thu 21 Feb 13

akaroa says...

The Olde Starr in Stonegate had two tables in the back room, many years ago, before it was changed into a cafe for tourists.
The Olde Starr in Stonegate had two tables in the back room, many years ago, before it was changed into a cafe for tourists. akaroa

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