- WSP modernises factory...Published: 07 March, 2012
British snooker and pool cloth manufacturer WSP Textiles is gearing up for its first significant investment in new equipment since its acquisition.
New owners Vespa Capital will this year spend more than £250,000 at the company’s two Gloucestershire factories, bought toward the end of last year from Milliken, the U.S. textile company.
- WSP launches TrilliardsPublished: 07 March, 2012
WSP Textiles, the UK manufacturer of Strachan snooker and pool cloth formerly known as Milliken, launched a new cue sports game called Trilliards at January’s European Amusement and Gaming Expo (EAG) at ExCeL in London.
The game is based on the concept of combining noughts and crosses or Connect Four with pool or bar billiards. The table comes with Strachan cloth and Aramith balls as standard, to give a professional playing experience.
- Cues for ChinaPublished: 03 January, 2012
Not many British cue sports manufacturing companies can currently say that they are flat out with production. Even fewer can say that the bulk of their sales are going to a hungry market inChina.
But this is exactly what is happening to the historic Liverpool-based company Peradon, which has been making cues since 1885.
Peradon has remained focused on handmade, high-quality English cues. The result has been a significant increase in demand from a discerning Chinese customer base.
- Back to the BritishPublished: 03 January, 2012
Two decades after it was bought by U.S.-based Milliken & Company, the Stroud textile business Milliken Woollen Speciality Products has returned to British ownership.
The business has been christened WSP Textiles Ltd., with three senior members of the management team joining a new board of directors.
The former Milliken Woollen Specialty Products management team who have seats on the board are the new chief executive David Smith, sales director Duncan Kettell and manufacturing director Malcolm Fallows.
- Eight-ball tourPublished: 03 January, 2012
British pool cloth manufacturer Strachan is backing the new International Professional Pool Players Association (IPA) eight-ball tour in 2012.
The company has joined Hilton Worldwide and pool table maker Heywood Supreme in backing a new committee now heading up the organisation, which has attracted more than £120,000 in prize money.
The committee is keen to develop the amateur and professional game in 2012 and hopes to see eight-ball pool return to TV screens followed next year by the launch of a televised premier league.
The 2012 IPA tour has been conceived by pool professional Morray Dolan (pictured), and a committee keen to provide the game with a professionally-managed circuit that also appeals to the European market.
The new season starts in March with the British Open and the amateur championships inBlackpool. It will end inNewportin October with the Welsh Open and the Welsh amateur championships.
- Blackpool anniversaryPublished: 03 January, 2012
World pool bosses are planning to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the longest-running tournament of its kind with an even bigger and better competition.
With an increased prize fund plus expected major sponsorship and television coverage, the 2012 World Championships will mark the milestone in fitting style.
Next year’s World Championships have already been confirmed for the Imperial Hotel,Blackpool, taking place from 24 June to 4 July.
- Seminole Pro Tour offers biggest-ever prize potPublished: 07 November, 2011
Billiard cloth manufacturer Milliken is sponsoring the Seminole Pro Tour series of pool events in the U.S., which is now offering its largest-ever sum of prize money at $137,000. The five-tournament tour will use Milliken’s SuperPro cloth. Marketing manager Stuart Gardiner said: “We think the Seminole Pro Tour is the best up-and-coming event in the U.S. and are very excited to be part of it.”
- All change at VNEAPublished: 07 November, 2011
The Valley National 8-Ball League Association (VNEA) in the U.S. has elected new officers as it gears up for its 32nd annual international pool championships. Dave Hawkins takes over from Mike Fowler as president. VPs are Tom Elum, Judy Mehle, and Ed Borgia, while Marshall Kohtz is a director at large, Stefan Reichert from Germany’s NSM is manufacturer director, and Dave Courington is secretary.
- Why Hendry must qualify againPublished: 07 November, 2011
Despite winning the world snooker championships seven times, Stephen Hendry will have to qualify again for this year’s British championship after dropping out of the top 16.
- Players favour pool at homePublished: 26 July, 2011
It is seven years since an English eight-ball pool team last played the Australians on their own tables...but the Brits are going back Down Under later this year and the Aussies will be ready for them. Organisers have confirmed the old sporting foes will play five Test matches in Sydney this October. And after losing the Ashes last winter, Australia’s eight-ballers are keen to avoid any more sporting humiliation on home soil.
- Blackpool champsPublished: 26 July, 2011
The world’s finest eight-ball pool players gathered in Blackpool for the finals of the Barcelo Hotels & Resorts World Eight-Ball Pool Federation world championships, organised by the English Pool Association. Almost 1000 competitors entered, including a strong contingent from Australia, challenging for honours in a variety of events including the men’s and women’s individual and team championships. Also present was last year’s leading lady, Sue Thompson (pictured).
- Taking on the AustraliansPublished: 26 July, 2011
The somewhat challenging state of the UK pub market has seen a new type of business emerge geared up to supply the growing home market. The soaring price of a night in your local pub with a group of friends has pushed many punters into seeking out an alternative way of getting their fix of pool.
- Demand for tablesPublished: 26 July, 2011
Heywood Pool, manufacturer of the market-leading Supreme range of tables, continues to find the right formula in English pool. The firm is battling to keep production levels up to meet growing demand in a market where others are currently struggling to survive, thanks to a reputation built on world-class manufacturing and the highest-quality components, including Strachan 6811 cloth and Aramith balls.
- Brunswick birthdaysPublished: 13 May, 2011
Brunswick Bowling celebrates a double anniversary this year – five decades of continuous presence in Europe, after opening its first office there in April 1961 near Frankfurt, and the 50th birthday of its Gold Crown table series.
Brunswick’s European experience has included some memorable moments, such as the installation of a 16-lane bowling centre in Moscow’s Gorky Park in 1976. “There was no building in place, and Brunswick was expected to deliver the bowling equipment together with a big tent,” recalled the firm’s former EMEA service manager Gunther Levin.
- Blackpool internationalPublished: 13 May, 2011
All thoughts are now on Blackpool for the World Eight-Ball Pool Championships, due to be played 25 June-5 July.
The European nations will be joined by a strong squad from Australia, which is contesting most of the titles available. South Africa is also sending a large squad of top-class players, with other Africans coming from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
- Magazine for playersPublished: 13 May, 2011
Another new initiative for eight-ball players and the sport’s commercial interests is the introduction of World Pool magazine, available from the end of April not only in printed format but also at www.propool.co.uk.
Dedicated to the rapidly developing eight-ball game, the magazine will feature articles from worldwide associations. There are more than 3m pool enthusiasts playing regularly and it will keep them up to date with what is happening in their sport.
- Raising the world profile of snookerPublished: 13 May, 2011
The Barry Hearn factor is having the desired effect on the world of snooker, according to the UK’s largest maker of billiard cloths.
Milliken reports that the new chairman of World Snooker is sparking renewed interest in the game here and abroad, and the market for its Strachan cloths is in better shape now than at any time in recent years.
- Return to MaltaPublished: 13 May, 2011
Over 300 attended the European Eight-Ball Pool Championships in Malta at the fabulous Dolmen Hotel, to compete for the right to be crowned Champions of Europe plus a share of the €13,000 prize monies.
This was the fourth visit of the championships to Malta, which is a favourite with the players and their families, thanks to first-class facilities and the warm welcome of the people of the island.
- Euro championshipPublished: 13 May, 2011
Details of the European Pool Club Championships, the next new venture for eight-ball enthusiasts, will be published shortly. It will start with 32 venues across Europe but is expected to very quickly become one of the largest-ever annual events for pool club venues involved with eight-ball.
- Dublin triumphPublished: 13 May, 2011
Sean Murphy powered his way to a relatively trouble-free victory in Dublin in the inaugural Players Tour Championship final, comprehensively defeating Martin Gould 4-0 in front of an enthusiastic sell-out crowd.
The new 12-event series saw snooker go on the road around Europe for the first time, with stops in England, Germany and the Czech Republic before the final in Dublin. The players battled to get into the top 24 to win a place at the prestigious final.
- “The most important expo”Published: 13 May, 2011
The GBE (Guangzhou Billiard Expo) has quickly established itself as the place to be seen at if you are serious about all things related to cue sports. Absolutely everything is covered, and the most recent show – which ran 3-5 March at the Pazhou Complex in Guangzhou – was probably the most impressive to date.
- Blackpool crown for BondPublished: 08 March, 2011
Nigel Bond won the inaugural Caesarscasino.com Snooker Shoot-Out in Blackpool, defeating fellow Englishman Robert Milkins in the final.
The event introduced a new format for snooker which looked like a cross between American pool and snooker. Noisy crowds, sports shirts and a shot timer were some of the ideas added to speed up the game and encourage aggressive tactics.
- Pool events draw the crowdsPublished: 08 March, 2011
Pool seems to be downturn-proof. The eight-ball game is attracting increased numbers for most events, and sponsors are again becoming interested in the volume of players that go to the pub or club to play.
At the top level, it is reported that the International Pool Tour, which involves the leading players in the world, is 20 percent up on entries compared to last year. Prize monies are nearing £200,000, and if that figure is not achieved this year it should be in 2012. Sponsors are still supporting the elite level of the game, with the Barcelo Hotel Group very pleased by the increase in business for their venues from the competitions they are hosting.
- Cloth coupPublished: 08 March, 2011
Billiard cloth manufacturer Milliken is continuing to develop its territorial coverage with the appointment of three new distributors.
With current business partners ranging from Beijing to the U.S., they bring to 25 the company’s international supplier network.
- On the mend?Published: 08 March, 2011
The EAG show in London’s Docklands presented very early signs that the UK’s pool industry may be close to turning the corner. The general feel of the show was one of cautious optimism rather than the despair felt at last year’s EAG and the previous ATEI.
- Pontins closure at Blackpool sends BAPTO finals to RhylPublished: 10 November, 2009
The recent decision taken by its operators to close Pontins Blackpool Holiday Park before the annual pool finals of the British Association of Pool Table Operators were played there could have caused problems for the association who had been anticipating a record turnout for its annual finals this month. Since the refurbishment of Bridlington's Spa Royal Hall had caused the move to Blackpool three years ago the event had taken on a new lease of popularity with over 100 teams having registered for this month‘s contest by mid-October.
- Steady export business for Simply Pool brings hopes for happy ChristmasPublished: 10 November, 2009
This year has not been a happy one for pool equipment manufacturers and operators although most of them appear to have come to terms with the current nature of the industry. Simply Pool amd Excel Leisure's decision to amalgamate seems to have borne success both at home and in Europe where the euro/pound situation has brought needed business to UK manufacturers. McKenna indicated the Irish Republic, France and Spain as good markets.
- Superleague ague still waitingPublished: 10 November, 2009
It must be galling for Eric Lewis and his cclleagues at Hazel Grove Superleague to see a gradual easement of some table manufacturers' production problems while their own remain. Lewis told Euroslot in early October that a container of much needed parts had arrived at the Cannock factory but they were all of one sort so production of the Superleague could still not start.
- Whatever happened to 9-ball pool?Published: 10 November, 2009
The pool industry from table makers to players is a fairly placid industry, whose major discontents seem to become applicable in the good times but which vanish speedily during hard times.
- Superleague table parts are still on their way...Published: 05 October, 2009
Pool table operators and others who have been disappointed by the non-appearance of the much vaunted new range of Superleague pool tables have been asked to be patient for a little longer.
- Final par of Brighter times aheadPublished: 05 October, 2009
Pool table manufacturers might find brighter times are ahead, according to Simply Pool's commercial director, Stan McKenna. He told Euroslot the late summer and the autumn were serious times for pool table manufacturers who needed to gear up for the new pool season. His own company had made sure it had adequate stocks of cloth and tables because, although it was difficult to predict what might happen in the future, the general climate appeared to be a little more encouraging. He expected to sell more football tables by Christmas and had to make sure stocks were adeqiate.
- Getting professional resultsPublished: 05 October, 2009
Pool had reached such a height of popularity in the early 1980s that some of its better players decided to emulate some of the leading snooker players by turning professional. Despite a certain degree of opposition from those, including many leading members of the British Association of Pool Table operators who regarded pool mainly as a pub game, players started to forgo other forms of gainful employment in order to play pool for a living.
- A better climate for poolPublished: 28 September, 2009
A wet August with pools of water lying all over the roads and pavements might give way to an eagerly anticipated improved climate for pool at manufacturing, operating and playing levels during September.
- Pool should follow the French linePublished: 28 September, 2009
Stan McKenna,commercial director of the Oldham-based pool table manufacturers, Simply Pool Ltd., believes that some of the current problems facing pool in the UK might be eased if table operators and players combined forces to arrange more of the smaller type of pool competitions that have done so much for the sport in France.
- BAPTO's members helpline is moving aheadPublished: 28 September, 2009
The new members' helpline started by BAPTO to give its members assistance with business problems is moving slowly forward. Liam Barrett said: "It started at the suggestion of one member, an experienced operator, who found himself being approached more and more by fellow members for advice on some of the present day problems which they had never before encountered. So it was decided to form the helpline to enable the association to provide help and advice on a number of topics as and when it was approached. It was hoped, he said, that this would improve communications between members and information could be disseminated for the benefit of all.
- Sam's secondsPublished: 28 September, 2009
SAM Leisure has introduced a practical solution to what might be seen as a dearth of new pool tables caused by the licensed trade's pub and club closures. Admittedly people talk about warehouses crammed with tables taken off-site from shutdown pubs, etc., but sometimes the operator finding a new site finds also that its owner wants a new table at what might be roughly termed a used price. SAM can consider any reasonable requests, said Barrett, with its new Infinity mechanical table built to meet the needs of a market from which rents and table income are currently being squeezed.
- Great support for French pool championshipsPublished: 15 July, 2009
Over 1200 French men, ladies and under-16s took part in the ninth AFEBAS individual and team finals held from May 30 to June 1. This figure, which about equals the total number of players who attend the European Blackball Masters event in April and the BAPTO Finals in November, brings further evidence of the growing popularity in France of the blackball game.
- Were those the days?Published: 15 July, 2009
Pool tables are better made these days than they were about 30 years ago when such items as inferior cushions could determine the course of a tight game. From the operators' points of view there were no such things as electronic coin-acceptors or adjustments that could be made to the price of play during busy and less busy parts of the day.
- McKenna reveals allPublished: 15 July, 2009
Following a number of queries about which tables are currently being made by Simply Pool Ltd following its merger at the start of this year with Excel Leisure the company's commercial director, Stan McKenna, has confirmed to Euroslot that a full complement of both parties' tables are available.
- Business looks up for SamPublished: 15 July, 2009
Business if improving for Sam Leisure in family entertainment centres and bowling alleys where the company's air hockey tables and American pool tables are popular. Liam Barratt, Sam Leisure's PR, told Euroslot: "Pub business in pool is tough but we have been able to switch to places like FECs and bowling alleys with our air hockey tables and American pool tables. New developments and investments in such places have brought some increased sales for us and although we still think it will be a tough year we are quietly satisfied with the progress so far".
- The French are on the marchPublished: 16 June, 2009
The French Men's A team were runners-up to the Welsh Men's A team after an exciting final at the European Blackball Association's annual Masters Championships held at the recently refurbished Bridlington Spa Royal Hall during April. Wales, widely regarded as the champion pool country among UK entries, beat the Frenchmen by 17 frames to 16. Which speaks for itself on how close the the contest was.
- BAPTO to increase its service to membersPublished: 16 June, 2009
The British Association of Pool Table Operators has decided to increase its services to members by updating the scope of its activities to offer them support in all matters relating to coin-operated equipment and not just to pool tables.
- Elvis table still alivePublished: 16 June, 2009
The Elvis pool table which Excel Leisure undertook to make on behalf of Lordsvale is still very much alive and its progress has not been affected by the merger with Simply Pool. Stan McKenna, of Simply Pool, told Euroslot: "The table is still very much on our agenda and we recently launched a new website, www.elvispooltable.com, which features a non-coin operated version of the branded table. We feel this is where the future of the table lies."
- Brisk business in table salesPublished: 16 June, 2009
With the merger between Simply Pool and Excel Leisure now established the benefits of it were starting to show with brisk business being done by Simply Pool Ltd., with its range of tables in the home market as well as in Ireland and France. During a visit to an exhibition in Malaga, McKenna had started discussions with a new customer in Spain which would, he hoped, eventually result in sales of tables in that country. He said the Malaga exhibition was not a pool orientated event but it provided a good opportunity to meet and talk to operators and distributors of pool equipment.
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