Billiards’ loss will be Snooker’s gain!
Anyone having dealt with the E.A.S.B. office in Bristol will have heard the squeaky, giggly little
voice that was Freya Broad. The diminutive EASB Administrator was a friend to Billiards,
although she was the first to admit that she had no comprehension about the game.
Freya was a calming, re-assuring contact when relationships between EABA and EASB were
fraught and tetchy. She was the conveyor of messages of wrath in both directions, yet
tempered their content to ensure that bridges remained un-burnt.
Freya returns to duty with the WPBSA, from whence she came, to administer the new snooker
tour arrangements. Sarah Chandler-Jones, her deputy, takes up the EASB admin role and
we’ll be well served by her. It would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge Freya’s contribution to
our well-being. Many thanks and good luck back “upstairs”.
It was nice to see so many of my old friends at Stoke. It’s a while since I’ve managed to get
out and attend a tournament. The Reardon Club bill of fayre was, as always, excellent. My
roast beef was superb. Well done Peter and staff, as usual!
Whilst slightly disappointed with the level of entries for the “Amateur”, I’m heartened with the
numbers in the Grand Masters. Some 46 or so “veterans” are involved in this year’s event.
One of the conditions of our “peace pact” was of course the sanctity of the English Amateur to
non-professionals, but we also gave a commitment to support an English Open.
The Open would see us co-operate with the Billiards Committee and play alongside pro’s in an
additional tournament. I regret that to date we’ve not seen progress towards the establishment
of the event. I’ve prompted the question on a couple of occasions, but still no progress yet.
Perhaps it’s too late in the season to start now, but I hope Mark and the Billiards Committee
can consider it’s early implementation in the ’97/98 season.
Congratulations to Phil Whelam for his “wild card” invitation to the World Matchplay event at
Norwich recently. I trust this is in recognition of his excellent services to local billiards in recent
years, particularly with the local youth – Well done.
Last year at my local club, North Ormesby Institute, I promoted a four man invitation event
involving Peter Gilchrist, Chris Shutt, David Causier and Roxton Chapman playing a knock-out
event in one night.
Each player was assured of £50, the winner got £200 and there was £50 for the highest break.
I also supplied replica trophies. My costs were covered by my friendly brewer, who supplied
sufficient beer to the club. With 200+ avid spectators from 7 till 11pm in the bar, it proved it’s
worth all round.
It worked for me, I’m sure it can be done in other clubs and in other areas. A couple of kegs/
barrels is nothing to your club supplier. The players, I’m sure, appreciate even a small amount
of income, and you can organise a great night’s billiards. Try it -1 think you’ll enjoy it.
Having spoken at some length to Arthur Raison, I’m delighted to report that after an
“abdominal aorta aneurism repair” he is back to good health and fighting Tit. The 82 year old
(that surprised me) accepted that he’s lucky to be alive after major surgery from crotch to
Arthur has been Secretary of Referee’s Associations for 50 years and has been nationally
involved for 20 years. Always a fervent supporter of the “Amateur” game, Arthur supported our
stance in maintaining amateur control of billiards and stood by us when others were calling for
a refereeing boycott to “bring us into line”.
I regard Arthur as one of the straighter men to deal with, never shy to express a view, he
stands by his beliefs and statements. You always know where you stand with him. Despite
being ousted from national hierarchy because of his views, he still expounds his beliefs and
should be applauded for doing so. He’s currently (poking to clear his name after what he calls
“other people’s blatant lies”. I for one, will back his stance, records and memory. He says “I
must be getting better, I’m being cheeky to the wife again”.
Arthur, we’re delighted to hear it. On behalf of the billiards fraternity, good luck for the future.
You can’t retire yet, we still need you.
Good cueing and viewing.