Themed Collecting – Tom Newman

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I became interested in collecting items relating to Tom Newman after getting hold of a Tom Newman facsimile cue made around 1930 by the company that I like to call Peradon/Thurston Limited.

This cue is an excellent player and as far as I am concerned looks very attractive. The cue is 57″ long with a 10mm tip and a badge that combines a representative of Tom’s signature, a commemoration of his highest break with Ivory Billiard Balls and claims to be a copy of the cue used by Tom Newman, himself. In other words, it is a facsimile cue with a splice like the one on Tom’s own cue. Which, I have seen on film.

This cue peaked my interest in learning more about Tom Newman and his accomplishments and also fuelled my desire to get hold of other Newman related collectibles. The next item that I bought was his book entitled How to Play Billiards and soon after his other two book Billiards do’s and don’ts and Advanced Billiards.

I then bought his brother’s book on Snooker and was lucky enough to get a hold of two of the Burroughes and Watts cues that carry his name. 

One of them is a black butted ash cue with a plate that features Tom’s signature and makes mention of his 1370 break. I have never seen another like it and the other is the one made by Burroughes again that claims to be a facsimile but looks exactly like a Willie Smith Champion Cue but with a bigger badge that mentions Tom’s 1,274 break. This cue could not have been made for more than four years as the 1,274 break was made in 1921 and the 1,370 break was made in 1924.

These cues and books make quite a nice collection in themselves, I have them displayed along with two Tom Newman cigarette cards and a set of Ivory Billiard Balls to make an interesting group.

From what I have read it seems that as a match player, Tom was not as consistent as either, Joe Davis was and certainly nowhere near as consistent as Walter Lindrum. 

However having seen some footage of him in play and at the start of a match I feel that he was a great character and made up for his shortcomings with a great degree of personal charisma. Tom once played Joe Davis in the Snooker Championship losing 23 frames to 25 so he must have been a reasonably good Snooker player as well as an accomplished Billiards player. 

If you have anything to add to this affectionate tribute to collecting Newmanobillia, please do not hesitate to send your comments.

David Smith

Tom Newman cue images
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