E.A. Clare Son Ltd

Snooker, Billiards & Pool in Liverpool 

As the oldest snooker / pool / billiard business on Merseyside  in 2012 celebrated it's 100th anniversary , the grandson of the founder has compiled some of it history complete with pictures of the personalities including the staff and managers over the years. The Company was founded in Fraser Street not half a mile from the current premises in St. Anne Street and so has been part of the local Everton district community for all its history.

E.A. Clare & Son Ltd
trading as

THURSTON, Drakes Pride & PERADON
Incorporates :

E.A. Clare & Son Ltd ( Est. 1912)

Thurston & Co (Est. 1799)

Darlington (Est. 1820)

Thos. Padmore & Sons (Est. 1830)

Fitzpatrick & Longley (Est. 1843)

William Bayliff (Est. 1847)

J. Ashcroft & Co. (Est. 1869)

Chas. Parker & Son (Est. 1879)

Peradon (Est. 1885)

Van Laere sprl. (Est. 1896)

E.L. Fletcher & Son (Est. 1920)

MacMorran (Est. 1923)

Weildings (Est. 1922)

Drakes Pride (Est. 1982)

Leslie J. Brice & Son (Est 1971)


Where to start was the problem, so some information about the founder, Edward Arthur Clare's, usual known as Arthur, early years seems appropriate. He was born in 1882 at 32 Hornby Avenue. His father David Thomas Clare being a prison officer at Walton Jail at the time, having retired from the sea due to ill health.

Edward Arthur Clare

 The young E.A. Clare 

 E A Clare  

 E. A. Clare circa 191

Arthur's father died when Arthur was still quite young so at the age of 14 he left school in 1896 went looking for a job. He saw a sign saying boy wanted in the well known Liverpool business of J. Ashcroft & Co. at their Billiard Company's Victoria Street building. 

Ashcroft Building in Liverpool  

This illustration of the Ashcroft building was printed in 'The Builder' April 1883  

He was hired and thus started his apprenticeship in the Billiard (Snooker) trade. (In the 1970's Norman Clare, Arthur's son, was pleased to be able to acquire the snooker/billiard interests of Ashcroft's when Peter Ashcroft - the great grandson of the founder of the business - retired)

At that time Arthur joined the firm the Liverpool fruit and vegetable market was in the same area as Ashcroft's and one of his 'stories' was that it was his job to empty the rat traps. He drowned the rats in a water butt on the roof and then, so he said, flung them onto the roof across the road - in those days it was the GPO now the back of the Met Quarter! 

At some point Arthur had an argument with Mr. Ashcroft and was sacked! He then tried his hand as a joiner, working for a Southport business and it seems from a reference provided by Kiddie & Co. Ltd he might have also worked for Lancs. & Yorks. Railway. 

004_eac Ref Kiddie 75  

 Kiddie & Co. Ltd. still operate as shop fitters etc. in Southport 

We were also told that for a short time he worked as a joiner for Harland & Wolf, the famous ship builders, probably at their Liverpool works,  but have no evidence of that. However he did get a job, some time in 1904, with the Manchester based Billiard Company called Orme & Sons, becoming one of their Irish representatives based in the north of Ireland (before the partition). He must have done quite well and even had some of his work reported in the local papers

005_eacireland 75  

Published in the 'Connaught Telegraph Saturday July 8th 1911

 During his time in Ireland he told of selling the round table that Ormes offered and also that those he sold were quite quickly offered back as they were found to be a gimmick. He continued working for Ormes in Ireland until 1912. 

006_Orme OvalT

 The Belfast address must have been Arthur's base in Ireland. It is also interesting to note that Orme's had a Liverpool office as well as London & Glasgow. On resigning he did obtain a reference from Orme's which, was  as you can see short and to the point!

  007_eacref Orme 75

 This reference seems to indicate that E.A. Clare worked for them

 from about the age of 21

He was able to save during his period in Ireland and another of his stories related to when he tried to open a bank account. The story goes that the bank manager seeing him in his working clothes took him to the door of the bank and pointed out the Post Office - saying that was the place to open an account for a working man. Arthur did not have a high opinion of banks after that experience! 

When, in 1912 he returned to Liverpool he had sufficient funds to start his own Billiard business with small premises at 15 Fraser Street, just off London Road. His mother looked after the shop in Fraser Street  whilst he did the fitting and servicing work. In 1913 he married his long time Liverpool girlfriend  Bessie Woolfenden. He must have been reasonably successful and after about eight years he required larger premises and so moved to St. Anne Street in about 1920

008_fraser St 75 

  15 Fraser Street where it all began  - Picture taken by Norman Clare in about 1970  . It is interesting to note that the building to the left with the diamond shapes in the brick works was the remains of the drill halls of the Liverpool Scottish Regiment HQ. The small picture of the building below shows the drill hall on the right of the building. For those of a certain age the druill hall section will be remembered as the night club -Mr. Pickwicks !

Liverpool Scottish

009_22St ABCard 75

010_22St A_PL75

He moved to rented  premises at 22 St. Anne Street  Liverpool 3.  We have a price list from that time and business card that he issued. Sadly we do not have any picture of those premises, nor a picture of the Works at 43 St. Anne Street.

Sometime during this period he purchased stock and fittings from two old Liverpool Billiard firms who were closing. The first was T. Sowerby & Sons, whose business was in Mount Pleasant  

011_plate _sowerby 75

 

An early bone or ivory Billiard Table plate 

In fact we still have as a display case a glass fronted unit which has cut, freehand, into the glass the name Thomas Sowerby & Sons. The picture of the Sowerby premises and staff was kindly provided by a member of their family in 2008, who had been researching their ancestry. 

012_Sowerby _PREMISES75 

 16 Mount Pleasant - Sowerby's shop and works 

The other business was the other long established Liverpool Billiard firm called William  Bayliff whose billiard table plate, again bone or possibly ivory, states that they were established in 1847

013_PLATE_BAYLIFF75

Baylif 1885 

The advert is taken from The "Graphic" Portfolio, Liverpool 11th Issue

 dated 1884-85

Further information has been found which would date the purchase of Bayliff's stock etc. to 1926, as can been seen by the letter sent to Mr. E.A. Clare in that year.

013_bayliff

Another of  E.A. Clare's 'stories' was that the landlord wanted him out of those premises at 22 St. Anne Street so removed the slates from the building forcing him to find alternative accommodation.

  014_22St A_table 75

Picture in club where E.A. Clare had supplied the table 

So in about 1925 He was able to purchase a building at 27 St. Anne Street and set up his shop and workshop in that building. One strange fact was that the small street that ran at the back of his business was 'Back Clare Street'! In the map circa 1927 Back Clare Street ran from Springfield to Clare Street! 

Back Clare St 1927_75

 

015_27St A_PL75

Early Price List circa 1932

016_27St Apremises 75

E.A. Clare shop premises 27 St. Anne Street

During this period he opened eight Billiard Halls  in Liverpool and  in and around Birkenhead which were very successful and so he further expanded his premises to include 25 St. Anne Street. Also in the late 1920's early 1930's he introduced a maintenance contract to help clubs with the payments spread over the year.

      017_27St A_maintenance 75    

Monthly Billiard Table renovation contracts offered to clubs 

018_Billiard Rms 75 

List of E.A. Clare run Billiard Halls          

 He even advertised on tram tickets as well as using calling card to promote his business as shown below 

 019_eac Tram Tkt 75

Liverpool Tram Ticket 

 020_eac 27SASCard 75

The calling card that E.A. Clare left with customers

Pictures of the inside of the building along with the staff were taken to be used in catalogues and promotion material. We know the names of some of the staff in the pictures have been named and so are listed below the photographs. 

  021_eac 27St A75

Noted as   - THE LARGE SHOWROOM

022_eac 27St A75  

Noted as  - BILLIARD DINING TABLE SMALL SHOWROOM

023_eac _shop 27SAwitheac 75 

 E.A. Clare standing in his shop doorway of 27 St. Anne Street

 024_eac 27SA75 

L-R 

Leslie Proctor, Jimmy Warren, Jack Winstanley, Jimmy Croper(/),Syd Emery,Charlie Lyons, Dick O'Donnell, Leslie McNee, N.Clare(arm only), Dick Coleridge 

025_eac 27SAS0007

L-R

Jimmy Warren, Dick Coleridge, Leslie Proctor, Leslie McNee, Dick O'Donnell 

 026_Warren J75

Jimmy Warren - Works Foreman for E.A. Clare 

 027_NC_shades 75  

Norman Clare making 'Billiard Light Shades'

 

        028_St A-1940_75 

            029_St A-1940V275

These two pictures,above, show E. A. Clare 25/27 St. Anne Street premises in January 1940. The top picture was taken from the corner of Springfield, alongside the Holy Trinity Church which was demolished in 1969. The lower picture was taken from the junction of St. Anne Street with Islington.

The ports around the Mersey were heavily bombed but fortunately the business premises didn't suffer too badly and even the Billiard Halls survived despite being close to some damaged buildings. You can see in this picture one of the Halls - with the ERALC name (ERALC is Clare backwards and was used as a brand name by the business for many years).

030_Bill Hall _bomb 75  

Birkenhead 1940 

Arthur's son Norman joined the business in 1930 learning all aspect of the trade and so in 1935, when Norman reach the age of 21 the business name was changed to E.A. Clare & Son. At that time the business's trade mark showed that Billiards was still the predominate game with little evidence of snooker  

065_eacs _TM_pre 1963

E.A. Clare & Son Trade Mark pre 1940 

Sometime in this period E.A. Clare thought it would make good business sense to sell Crown Green Bowls. He was a resonable club level player of the game winning several tankards at his club. He was even portrayed, along with other club members, in a Liverpool Echo cartoon in 1954. It is a good likness showing him in his flat cap with a cigarette in his mouth!

Eac _Liverpool Echo

Published in the Liverpool Echo July 24th 1954

 (The blue arrow points to E.A. Clare)

The war years were also quite difficult for the small firm with Norman being away in the Army and Arthur was ill for long periods. The business was held together by Miss Ethel Paterson, who must have been quite a formidable lady who efficiently kept the books, coped with air raids and the staff as well as the material shortages. She basically ran the firm until  Arthur was fit and  Norman returned after the war in 1946.

Norman took over the day to day running of the business on his return but with the continued  expansion further staff were required. As was very much a family run business, Arthur's daughter Kathleen joining as the cashier and one of his son-in-laws Kenneth McCormick also joining the business after the War. Ken, as he was known, was in charge of the buying and cost control.

 031_pic _NCBC_KMc Dot 75 

L - R 

Ken McCormick and his wife Dorothy McCormick (Norman's sister), Betty Clare and Norman Clare 

(looks like they had been attending a wedding) 

 032_NC_BC_fred D75 

1952 Professional Players Dinner - Park Lane Hotel 

L -R  Fred Davis, Norman Clare & Betty Clare

 

033_25_27St A0001_75

 Top Billiard players of the day when in Liverpool would visit the E.A. Clare premises - the picture above, taken in 1958, shows two such players. On the left Jack Moyniham; in the middle Clark McConacy and on the right Sid Emery the shop manager at the time.  The picture below taken on the same day shows Norman Clare standing between the two Billiard Players.

 EAC_NC

Norman, who was by this time very experienced in the trade thought he was on safe ground when he in 1953 expressed disbelief at being told by a customer that a Billiard table was installed on a ship. Norman felt that given the ships movements and the effect on the tables level that this would not be possible. He was proved wrong and didn't mind that it cost him a billiard table as he made sure he got news coverage from it. The articles and letters follow. 

034_ship _table 2_75  

 The letter confirming the information and advising of another ship with a table on board! 

035_ship _table 3_75 

  The form that was returned with the letter from Captain Main - completed by The THURSTON fitter in Plymouth 

Norman then made sure of some coverage of the fact that he had 'lost' his wager and had thus supplied a Snooker table to the gentleman whose story he had not believed. Norman sent on all the papers to the local newspaper who ran the story as did a couple of the National newspapers 

  036_ship _table 1_75

Little did Norman know that some years after his death the Heritage Collection of Billiard / Snooker books and memorabilia that he founded would be presented with a copy of H. W.  Stevenson's scrap book. One of the booklets in the scrap book refers to exhibition of Billiards that he undertook in 1917 on battleships and cruisers of the Grand Fleet. He list quite a number of vessels but noted that the tables were not full size which made his displays more difficult! (see Past Master No.7)

   Works & Yard back of 25/27 St. Anne Street, actually in Back Clare Street. The picture was used in the E.A. Clare catalogues and had been modified to take out the other business entrances, by inserting a brick walls behind the two bigger vans! Circa 1952.

 037_Vans 75

038_export _1960_75 

 An early export of  a table going to Dar-Es-Salam

L - R - Ken McCormick, Dennis Jones, Billy Hull, Ritchie Littler  circa 1952 

The business continued to grow and in the late 1950's this further expansion by the purchased 23 St. Anne Street. This enabled them to set up their first bowls test table and become recognised as the leading crown green bowls business in the North of England. 

039_Walsh B_1967_75  

 L to R - Arthur Ayres - Norman Money -Peter Bacon -  Bill Walsh

 The bowls department in1963 - showing the test table

040_1963_BWAA75

 Bowl department 1963 - Bill Walsh & Arthur Ayres - testing bowls 

  041_bowls _1967_75

 Another view of the bowls department  

 042_cab _1967_75  

 The Cabinet Shop, wood working part of the factory was also moved into the 27 St. Anne Street part of the site. Circa 1963 

 043_RE-EAC75_Bar Billira tables

 Bar Billiard Tables being prepared for export to Guyana in 1960 

L - R  Ken Harry, Jimmy Griffiths 

 044_Back Clare, Liverpool 1967 

 Back Clare Street 1967 

Showing the back of 23-27 St. Anne Street. The first floor at the back of the building was street level at the front. So from the doors shown at the back they led through to cellars at the front, where the slates for the Billiard / Snooker tables were stored. 

  

 The firm celebrated its Golden Anniversary in 1962 with a celebration dinner for the staff and some members of the trade.  

045_golden _jub 75



EAC_portrait

E. A. Clare as an old man

The founder E.A. Clare was a very proud man on that night, sadly in April 1963 , after a short illness, he died. The following article was published in the Billiard & Snooker magazine in July of that year.  Although the article gives a brief history there are some errors! eg. It states that No 22 St. Anne Street was demolished after the 1914-18 war. Yet it also says that E. A. Clare was in Fraser street for 8 years, which would mean he moved out of those premises in 1920 some 2 years after 22 St. Anne Street was demolished and would have also thought any bombing of Liverpool in 1914-18 war would have been serious news!

046_EAC_death 75

Also in 1963 the trade mark was updated so that it incorporated and depicted the other departments within the business, whilst retaining the design style of the original. At one time this trade mark was incorporated in the floor covering the shop at 25 St. Anne Street. 

066_1963_eac _trademark 0001

Note:- the Snooker Table (moving on from billiards), bowls player, club furniture and the dart board for club games 

 

 Some photographs of the premises at 23/27 St. Anne Street in the 1960

047_23-27_SAS75

The shop 23 -27 St. Anne Street 1967 

048_St. Anne Street, Liverpool 3

  The showroom in the 23 St.Anne Street section - 1967

 049_25SAS_shop 75 

The shop assistant's office, entrance door to the offices & factory and the retail managers office in the 25 St. Anne Street section - 1967 

 050_2327St Anne Street Office 

the General Office - 1967 

051_2327St.Anne Street_ Liverpool_Islington 75 

Two view of St. Anne Street in 1967 - the  picture above is taken from the Islington end of the street.

052_2327_Springfield, Liverpool 3

This picture taken from just passed Springfield, Holy Trinity Church is just off the picture on the left, looking back toward Islington 

 

In the early 1960's Norman and Ken (his brother-in law) who were now partners together were looking for further expansion and were able to acquire the trading interests of two old Yorkshire Billiard & Snooker firms - Chas Parker & Son and Fitzpatrick & Longley. Both these businesses were absorbed into the Liverpool operation.

 053_Ken McCormick_Norman Clare 

L - R - Ken McCormick & Norman Clare 

Later in the early 1960's they were approached by the still very famous and long established London Billiard and Snooker business of Thurston (late of Leicester Square) to see if they would be interested in acquiring the business. In 1963 they bought out the business, which continued to be run as a distinct entity under the then Managing Director Bob Mitchell with Mr. Frank McDermott moving from Liverpool to help run the operation. Although E. A. Clare & Son and Thurston were run as separate businesses they used common catalogues all be it with front covers with their separate names on them. 

In the mid 1960's another approach this time from the best known Midlands Billiard & Snooker company of Thos. Padmore & Sons Ltd.  So in 1966 the partners in E. A. Clare & Son took a controlling interest in Padmore's. In the mid 1970's the group of Companies dropped the separate front/back covers for the catalogues and traded as CLARE-PADMORE- THURSTON . The catalogues of that time use that title but they were still run as separate businesses but there was a 'group' sales and buying.

In the 1960's  Norman's son-in-law, Peter Eggington, joined the firm and later his son Peter Clare (Arthur's grandson) also joined. It was certainly a family business at that time, as Norman's sister Kathleen was the Chief cashier with Norman's brother-in-law Ken being Works Manager!  

In 1968/9 there was a massive up heaval, the Liverpool City Council had been planning for an inner ring road which was to have basically across Scotland Road from the Docks,  coming up to St. Anne Street as an elevated road just passed the Police Station (which was built with this road in mind as it was to face it, so that when the road was cancelled the Police Station seemed to have been built the wrong way as its back faced St. Anne Street!). The road was then going to run along Norton Street  and on to Rodney Street. This meant that the buildings on the side of St. Anne Street that E. A. Clare & Son was on were earmarked for demolition.

                                   054_Liverpool ariel View -SAS1971_75                                            

Norman & Ken had to find alternate accommodation for their business and eventual were lucky enough to be able to purchase the old Lamb & Watt building at 46/48 St. Anne Street.

055_St Anne _Lamb & Watts building  

 An early picture of the Lamb & Watts building circa 1940 

056_lamb _watts St. Anne Street Liverpool  

 Lamb & Watts building in 1967 as it was when purchased for the E .A. Clare & Son business. It is situated on St. Anne Street with Queen Anne Street running down the side of the building.

Lamb & Watts had been in the wine and spirit business and in fact the premises had been used to produce and store British Sherry before bottling it. The rafters  and timber structure of the building all had a wonderful smell of 'sherry'. Sadly after the steam cleaning and building work required the aroma disappeared! In 1969 when the new site was opened the shop and factory looked the part as can be seen from the picture below.

057_E.A. Clare & Son St. Anne Street 

The 'new' premises open for business  11th February 1970.you can see that the firms van livery also changed from the yellow that had been the colour for many years to the bright orange shown on these vehicles.

Below are some other pictures of St. Anne Street before the road was split into two different levels, circa 1972.

St.Anne Street

 

Pnc _family 021

 

058_loading _Snooker Tables for Australia  

A container being loaded with full size tables bound for Sydney Australia 

L - R 

Mike Atherton, Paul Rumens, Geoff Caton, unknown, unknown, Jimmy Davis, David Maguire, unknown, Billy Hull, Dennis Jones, Richie Littler, Rob Curran, Alan Jervis  

  059_unloading _snooker slates from Italy

Unloading a container of slates from the Italian quarry 

 L-R

Rob Campbelll, Tony McDonough, Steve Cartledge, Keith Dixon, unknown 

It wasn't until 1971 that the partners in the firm agreed that the business should be incorporated and so November of that year it became E. A. Clare & Son Ltd. 

Ken McCormick, the Works Director, who had been Norman's right hand man through out the expansion of the business, sadly died in July 1978.  

Norman, who had become very interested in the history of Billiards & Snooker as a result of items he had found at the Cheyne Walk premises of Thurston & Co. had developed quite a collection of historical items and books relating to Billiards, Snooker and Pool. He set up on the second floor room within the St. Anne Street building a 'museum room'. This cause quite a lot of interest in the media and the photography show part of the room. 

  060_The display in the Billiard Heritage room  

L-R - Peter Crail, Peter Eggington, Peter Clare & Norman Clare 

In 1980 the Company made what is probably the largest Snooker/Billiard table in the World! It was a special order from Thomas Taylor Bowls in Glasgow for a new bowls test table. It was 5 full size table assembled side by side making a 30ft x 12ft table. The picture below shows the table assembled in St. Anne Street with a 6ft domestic table on its bed.

 Bowls Test Table August 1980

L - R

Jim Davies; Mike Doran; Dennis Jones; Glen Cockburn; Rob Curran; Peter Clare August 1980

When Norman Clare visited India in the mid 1980's he took the opertunity to visit Billiard firms in India.  The Picture below shows Norman Clare breaking the ground for the foundation stone for the new factory of the Indian Billiard firm - Billiardiers Int - of New Delhi. We are not certain the actual year but believe it was circa 1980. The gentleman on the far left is Mr. Jashir Singh whose nephew Gurinder Singh now runs the business.

Norman Clare Billiardiers India

In the late 1980's there was a boom in the demand for snooker (billiard) tables in Europe, especially the northern countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium. As a result, in 1986,  the famous Belgium Billiard business called Van Laere was taken over and  traded in Europe as Thurston - Van Laere.

In 1987, Norman Clare was delighted to be approached by Peter Ashcroft, who was wishing to retire and so dispose of his family business. Given the fact that his father had learnt the trade at J. Ashcroft & Co. Norman jumped at the chance and so the Snooker & Billiard part of the Ashcroft business was absorbed into E.A. Clare & Son. Ltd. The Ashcroft building still stands in Victoria Street. 

In the late 1980's , towards the end of 1988/beginning of 1989 the three companies E. A. Clare & Son Ltd., Thos. Padmore & Sons Ltd and Thurston & Co. Ltd. formalised their trading interest by E.A. Clare & Son Ltd. taking them over as the one trading Company of E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.  Norman, by then Chairman and steeped in the history of the trade (see the article about the museum) decided that the combined Company should trade as THURSTON .

Thurston delivery into Europe

One of the Thurston vehicles delivering itens for an exhibition in Europe

 

Sales folder used after the three companies came to-gether under the Thurston trade name circa 1990

 Sales 1990_R

This name change still causes the people in Merseyside some confusion as they know the shop as 'Clare's and the same is true in Birmingham where they still ask for 'Padmores'! (Sadly due to sales sifting to the internet the London shop was closed in 2011 and the Birmingham shop closed in 2012. The Liverpool shop remains open and all internet sales despatches are made from there). 

Thurston Clare House Liverpool

 The Liverpool premises and Headquarters of the Business. Complete with the revised livery style. Referred to as 'Clare House' 

This did at least mean that all the letterheads and other paper work had the one image and identity. Liverpool was the head office and manufacturing base for the business. With the offices in Birmingham and London ensuring that local regional knowledge was maintained and customers enquires could be promptly handled.

 062_Bham Shop Ex 75

Padmore House
273/275 Lichfield Road, Birmingham B6 7QP (Shop closed in 2012)

                058_thurston Lon Shop Ex                 

London Office (The shop closedin 2011)
110 High Street, Edgware

 064_ One of the fleet of Service vans

One of the fleet of service vehicles 

The Liverpool sales display was revamped in 2006 to include a room for the display of fine quality restored tables. Prior to this the area for display of tables was limited. 

 Liverpool shop Snooker cue selection

Liverpool showroom prior to 2006 refit

Sbnooker & Pool tables  

 The table showroom after refit

069_Home Pool Tables & Snooker Cue Slection

Pool & Snooker tables for the home and a view of the best selection of cues in the North of England

 070_Crown Green Bowls & Accessories

The bowls counter

 071_Darts, Dart Boards & Dart Flights area

The darts section

072_Trophy & Engraving section

Trophies for all sports from Snooker to Country Dancing!

E. A. Clare & Son has a long association with the Billiard and Snooker Leagues in the Merseyside area and  so over the years many top players from this area have one league competitions. John Parrott being one such player who went on to winning the World Championship.

073_Norman Clare & John Parrott future World Champion 

Norman Clare and John Parrott at the Bootle League Presentation 1981 

In 1990 after a short illness Norman Clare died, the trade lost a great enthusiast for the industry who also had a vast knowledge of  the history of the sport. The collection of Billiard and Snooker books and memorabilia has been maintained in the Liverpool building and the rooms dedicated to it have been named the Norman Clare Billiard & Snooker Heritage Collection. Items from the collection were regularly displayed at the Snooker World Championships in Sheffield in their Heritage Room. Items have also featured on several T.V. Programmes and the library has been used for research by a number of authors.

Edward Arthur Clare founded the business in 1912 the third and  forth generation of his family are now in the business with his grandson peter Clare (Currently the Managing Director)  and his Great grandson Michael Eggington who is the Sales Director for the trade division of the Company.

In 2006 the shop area of  was refurbished enabling  the display of a full range of Snooker and Pool Tables as well as a special table area for the restored antique tables. It was this room that in 2008 during Liverpool's year as the European Capital of Culture a display, on the ground floor of the St. Anne Street premises, of some of the memorabilia was  made. This Billiard & Snooker Heritage Collection is unique in the UK and only the Heinrich Weingartner Museum in Vienna compares with it, and that is devoted to carom billiards (the European / American version of the game played on pocketless tables). For more details about the collection and articles on the early Billiard Players see Norman Clare articles

  074_Billiard & Snooker Heritage display 2008

Part of the Heritage Collection on display - Of particular note is Joe Davis's Cue seen above his portrait

 In January 2010 the UK experienced snow fall over the whole of the Country and although not as significant as shown in the 1940 pictures of St. Anne Street it did cause disruption. The picture shows the Thurston shop and factory on 6th January 2010.

St Anne St 5Jan 2010 

Edward Arthur Clare founded the business in 1912 so a quiet celebration of our 100 years will take place during 2012. As the Company now uses three trade names - Thurston, Peradon and Drakes Pride it would be a bit confusing to try and make a big 'marketing' scheme of the date however significant it is for the business!

The collection has been visited during 2013 by several televison production companies. The first being the makers of the BBC series 'Antique Road Trip' who visited and filmed in March 2013. The delightfull antique's expert Christina Trevanion form Halls, arrived in a soft top Morris Minor and was filmed being shown round the collection by Peter Clare.

Antiqu Road Trip _280313_R 

Christina Trevanion

A month later and Steve Davis came with another team from the BBC , they were making a film on the history of snooker and a couple of the segments were to be filmed in our Liverpool premises. The two segments filmed , one on cushions and the slates , the other on the balls, were shown during the 2013 World Snooker Championships.

 Steve Davis at Thurston

Steve Davis admiribg the cue selection in the Liverpool display. The film producer Chris Littleford (Freeland Producer on the BBC Snooker team) can be seen looking at the monitor and cameraman Mark Pert can also be seenon in the right forground.

 

In May Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman, brought over a party from China who are very involved with Snooker in China. Mr. Liu Wei Senior Jouralist from CCTV 5 China. Also in the party were Ms. Narissa Wangof my147.com, a Billiard & Snooker on line magazine, the TV cameraman from CCTV Mr. Wang Yinan and Jing Li (Salina) of World Snooker Ltd. who is based in Beijing

China CCTV_040513_R 

L -R

Mr. Wang Yian; Ms Narissa Wang; Jason Ferguson; Jing Li; Mr. Liu Wei

 

After Ronnie Sullivan won the 2013 Betfair Snooker World Championships the cup also visited the Liverpool showroom. The pictures below show it in the Table Show room and also with Peter Clare ,Thurston MD, and Mike Atherton, Thurston Snooker Manager, holding the cup in front of the portrait that other gifted cueist Walter Lindrum.

Betfair World Snooker Championship 2013  

 Peter Clare Mike Atherton Walter Lindrum World Championship Cup

Peter Clare & Mike Atherton with the Betfair 2013 World Snooker Championship Trophy

As shown earlier in the piece E.A. Clare use to always print the following quotation by John Ruskin in his catalogues - 

"There is hardly anything in this World which someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and people who consider price alone are this man's lawful prey"

This quote is possibly even more relevant these days, we at Thurston use only the highest quality materials and sell only items that we consider value for money be they Snooker or Pool tables or a set of darts, a pair of Crown Green Bowls or a set of Bingo calling balls. To see the full range we offer visit our web site :- 

 

www.thurston.co.uk  

 to contact us by phone  

0151 482 2700

or  

email -  thurston@eaclare.co.uk 

  copyright E.A. Clare & Son Ltd 2009. & 2011

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