Edward Diggle Cues



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Edward Diggle Cues
By Andy Hunter & David Smith

Edward Diggle was 72 Years of age when he died in 1934 having played in competitive matches right into the 1920’s. Many of his later matches were against a young player destined to make a big impression on professional billiards, Joe Davis.

Edward Diggle started his career in Manchester as a Marker in the Billiard Rooms of John Roberts; here, he learnt to play from observation backed by the dual characteristics of perseverance and practice. Charles Roberts describes Diggle as having no style worth speaking of. Any old bridge, but a most doughty and unconcerned opponent – Indeed he might have been playing marbles for all of the interest that he seemed to take in all of his matches”. 

Although highly regarded amongst the top players for much of his career. This lack of ambition to try for championship honours makes him less well known than he otherwise might have been.

One title which he did well in, was for the Professional Championship of Lancashire and Yorkshire in 1891 – He took this by defeating Charles Dawson and was never required to defend it, the cup eventually became his personal property.

He utilised the “push-stroke” in close cannon work to such an extent that many people forecast his career would end when the push was abolished in 1898. But in the manner of a truly great player, he simply adjusted his game to the new conditions and remained amongst the front rank of professional players. 

All of the Diggle cues commemorate his performances during a match against John Roberts Junior at the Argyll Hall, London made on January 4th 1895. His record break of 985 took a little over an hour and was the highest of his career. On the following day Diggle had a run of 84 consecutive cannons, and obviously was in fine form. He added breaks of 480 and 404 to win the match by over 4,000 points. Interestingly enough, Diggle set these records using a “John Roberts” cue

There are at least four distinct versions of the Diggle cue, which were most commonly Ash shafted, although pear and occasionally maple shafts are also seen. Burroughes & Watts produced all known examples. 

The earliest version is distinguished by an extended wavy line under Diggle’s, name on the badge, made up from eight distinct ripples. In later versions the line was slightly shorter, having just seven ripples. Having badges made from ivory or bone these cues would have been produced from around 1890 to 1920 and the inscription would have had either brown or black lettering. 

A later plastic badged version was made in the 1920’s and 1930’s, this can also be identified by the wavy line being replaced by a straight one, having scrolls in the centre and at the ends. This later cue would have been manufactured by Peradon & Co on behalf of Burroughes & Watts and has a Mahogany butt with an Ebony front splice. (£200-300).

The early badges. Made from ivory or bone were produced with differing styles of butt. These were; plain Ebony (£170-250); Ebony and Burr(£250-£320): a plain Mahogany (£250-£350). 

The earliest of these would have a fat butt, slimming down to a billiard shaped cue. The later. plastic badge version, would have more of a snooker cue shape 

It is possible that other makers were involved in the manufacture of Diggle cues, and it is rumoured that a round badge example was also produced, but no examples of these are currently known to exist.

Andy Hunter & David Smith

Edward Diggle cue images

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