January 25 2015 Latest news:
West Suffolk chief reporter
Saturday, March 8, 2014
A group of bar billiards players are on a mission to revive interest in the game and at the same time raise money for a Suffolk charity.
At one time, it was commonplace to see billiard tables in the county’s pubs, but in the 1980s many landlords dropped them in favour of the faster paced and more profitable game of pool.
But in Sudbury, which is home to the Suffolk Bar Billiards Association, the game is once again gaining in popularity.
On March 22, the association will host the East Anglian 4-Pin Open championship, which will see 64 players from seven counties compete for a cup trophy and runners-up plate.
On the day of the tournament, which will take place at the Grover & Allen pub in North Street, the group will also hold a raffle and auction to raise money for Suffolk Family Carers.
Association chairman Chris Cass said: “In Sudbury, we’ve had a bar billiards league for the past 50 years. During the early 80s, we had 22 teams in two divisions of the league but now we only have 12 teams from eight local pubs.
“It takes about 20 minutes to play a single game of bar billiards so many pubs went over to pool, which is much quicker and therefore more lucrative.
“Thankfully, though, several pubs in the area have recently brought back their billiards tables and we are hoping that the tournament will help to further raise the profile of the game.”
The players are also hoping to raise more than £500 for the charity. Up for auction is a signed Manchester United pennant while raffle prizes include a large screen TV and a tablet.
“We’d like the public to come and support a good cause and find out more about bar billiards,” Mr Cass added.
The tournament, co-sponsored by Specflue, is from 10.30am to 9.30pm with the auction at 3.15pm.