Snooker & Billiards timeline



John Roberts Junior Champion cue
Melbourne Inman Champion cue

This chronology does not claim to be complete but it does intend to give some idea of what occurred during the pre-snooker boom era, right up until the 1960s.

The Ray Reardon, Alex Higgins and John Spencer era is well documented and still survives in the memories of modern observers of the game.

This era also seems to be the era when mass production of cues took over and as there were less first time achievements being made cue badges became to my eye, a little less interesting.

Burroughes and Watts ceased trading around this time and many of the older characters of Billiards and Snooker had retired or passed away.

My own personal cue collection ceases at this time and as far as I am concerned it is revealing that no high quality John Pullman Champion cue seems to exist.

* The Joseph Bennett cue mentioned below is in my personal collection and is the thickest butted cue that I own, it will not fit into a standard case and I believe that it commemorates one of Bennett’s early championship performances.

David Smith

First recognised World Billiards Championship Played. The final, is between William Cook and John Roberts, Cook wins

Later in the same year John Roberts Junior restores family pride by defeating Cook for the title

Joseph Bennett beat Roberts Junior for his first win

Over the next few years cues begin to appear containing either badges or engravings that refer to these early champions, the Roberts cues appear along with a cue with a cherry splice with a great thick butt and the name Joseph Bennett inscribed on the front face. *

Snooker as a separate game, is invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain. The game is derived from several recreational and gambling games including Life Pool, Black Pool and Pyramids. In 52 years Joe Davis will reinvent this after dinner passtime and become world champion. Early references to the game of Snooker are recognisable as they call it Snookers Pool

Charles Dawson from Huddersfield wins his first World billiards Championship

W J Peall makes his break of 3,304 constructed largely of potting the red from the spot. The Peall cue is born following the publicity surrounding this break

John Roberts Junior makes his largest ever break, (spot barred) the break is 1,392

Charles Dawson makes his largest ever break of 823. Did I mention that he was from Huddersfield?

Joe Davis is born in Chesterfield

H W Stevenson wins his first world Billiards Championship defeating Charles Dawson who did not feel too well in this year.

Edward Diggle makes his highest personal break of 791

Cox and Yemen put out a cue with the name of H W Stevenson on the badge, this cue is available in an original two piece version

Inman makes his 300 off the red break and inspires the facsimile Inman cue

William Cook makes the largest ever official record break at Billiards, 42,746 mainly using the rocker or Anchor cannon. The Cook facsimile cue is born and carries representation of this break on the badge

Tom Reece makes his mammoth break of 499,135 using the Anchor stroke, this break is denied official recognition as neither press nor public are present throughout. Oddly there must have been both a referee and a marker but this seems not to have been enough to sanctify the achievement? However the Reece cue is created that does indeed recognise and immortalise this huge break that lead to the outlawing of this kind of scoring method

Melbourne Inman wins his first World Billiards Championship after the previous year having been declared champion due to political and contractual wranglings

George Gray visits the United Kingdom and signs a contract with E J Riley Ltd. While here he makes a top break of 2,196 this break is made up of in off’s into the centre pocket. This break is remembered on the George Gray facsimile cue made by Riley and carries the break figure also. George Gray also writes an instruction book in this year

H W Stevenson makes a break of 1,016, this break is made up of all round scoring methods. A cue exists that commemorates this break

Tom Reece makes an all round break of 901, this break is referred to on later Reece cues by Burroughes and Watts along with the 499,135 break that he made in 1907

Willie Smith wins his first World Championship title, Billiards of course

Tom Newman wins his first World Championship title, unfortunately Willie Smith pulled out for reasons of his own so these two great players and the public were denied a clash between them

Tom Newman makes a break of 1,274, Burroughes and Watts are quick to put out a cue which commemorates this achievement

Melbourne Inman makes a break of 950. He also writes his little instruction book, Billiards How to Play & Win in this year

Tom Newman makes the largest ever break with Ivory Billiard Balls, the feat is recorded on many of the Newman champion and facsimile cues. Mr Newman writes a number of books in this year and must be very busy. Willie Smith also pits pen to paper with match winning Billiards by Mills and Boon

Ivory balls no longer used in the championship from this year

First World Snooker Championship is held, Joe Davis wins and does so for 20 years holding the crown 14 times in all

Joe Davis makes a break using the pendulum stroke of 2,501 at Billiards of course. This break is made by keeping the balls close to the jaws of a corner pocket and scoring long runs of cannons while controlling the balls with close skill. The break is recorded on many Joe Davis cues by either E J Riley or Peradon Ltd, often the Billiard break is recorded alongside his latest Snooker break

Willie Smith makes a break of 2,030, which does not include nursery cannons. This break appears on the Willie Smith record cue by Burroughes and Watts and the later cues by Peradon with a front splice M/s and H/S versions appear

Joe Davis wins his first World Billiards Championship title

Walter Lindrum makes a break of 3.262 Predictably a cue is released marking this achievement

Joe Davis makes a break of 2,052

Tom Newman makes a break of 1,827. As far as I know no cue exists to commemorate this break

Walter Lindrum makes a break of 4,137. As Walter needed money to return to Australia this break appears on many cues and he publishes his book on Billiards

Walter Lindrum wins his first World Billiards Championship title

Walter Lindrum plays his last match in great Britain and takes the Billiards Championship title home to Australia

Joe Davis challenges Walter Lindrum for the title, narrowly loses and then takes months to save up the money to come home by touring and giving exhibitions

Walter Donaldson wins his first World Snooker Championship, this is the first final not to feature Joe Davis as he retired undefeated the previous year

Fred Davis wins his first World Snooker Championship and gets revenge over the so-called Lone Scot in the final

Clark McConachy edits the history books by beating John Barrie and takes his rightful place at the top of the professional tree

Horace Lindrum wins the unoficial World Snooker Championship final against Clark McConachy as all the home grown players decline to enter due to a dispute with the ruling body. Fortunately his name still appears on the cup originally purcahsed by Joe Davis and still competed for today

Joe Davis makes first competitive recognised 147 break

John Pullman wins the first of his World Snooker titles against Fred Davis