When my brother and I first came up with the concept
for Cues n Views there were several things that we wanted to achieve.
One of them was to create a home for the
writings of Norman Clare and
Andy Hunter that could be viewed
from all over the world.
Another was to create a resource for the would-be
cue collector, enabling them to recognise the various old cues that could still
final objective was for Cues n Views to become a forum for discussion about
Billiards and Snooker related collecting and a meeting place either in person
or electronically for people with a similar degree of interest.
Regarding interactions with other collectors, I have
been pleased with the response that the site has generated. Many people ask
questions and on occasion telephone me seeking information and even seeking a
particular collectible item.
Imagine my surprise if you will, a few short days
ago. I picked up my messages the other day and recognised the voice included
amongst these messages as the voice of Dominic Dale, former Grand Prix Champion
and in past times a rather eminent cue collector himself.
When I rang Dominic back I discovered that he had
not lost any interest in old cues and in fact was considering returning to an
old cue to compete with.
was not long before we moved on to discuss the cues in the Cues n Views
collection. Dominic was very enthusiastic about the collection and almost
immediately resolved to come up to Yorkshire for a viewing.
Some four hours later Dominic arrived and
immediately presented me with several old cue plates for my collection and
after a brief but polite greeting dived in to have a closer look at the cues
that I have gathered together.
things right from the outset struck me; one Dominic really knows his exotic
timbers and secondly, he is incredibly enthusiastic about old cues. After
driving 240 miles to see them, I suppose this latter fact should not have been
such a surprise after all.
sat and talked cues for well over an hour and then Dominic selected a few to
try at my local Snooker Club,
Top Spot in
Huddersfield. I had phoned earlier anticipating this development and booked our
match table for this testing cum practise session.
arriving at the club Dominic was recognised straight away, such is the power of
television and so strong in the minds of the public is the memory of a
character performing to the best of his ability in a cauldron like
sporting atmosphere. Dominic will have made many fans with his dashing play and
his extravert dress sense during this and many other tournaments over the past
few years, I have no doubt.
Dominic tried out several of my cues and then played
a couple of frames against myself and two members of my local league team.
There was never any doubt about the outcome of these frames but they were all
played in a spirit of sportsmanship and good humour with banter replacing
serious competition and the accumulation of ranking points.
From a statistical point of view, the highlight of
this session was Dominics break of 85. The break was made with my
Snakewood butted Riley cue, circa 1907. Even though, by this time it was quite
Dominic still took the time to chat with the members
of my team and share a couple of stories about his travels on the Snooker
is worth noting at this point that the table we played on was if anything, a
little on the tight side and that if Dominic was using his match cue, he would
probably have cleared the table and scored well into three figures.
returned to my house for one last look at the collection and a well-earned cup
of tea and then Dominic disappeared into the damp and rainy night for another
240-mile journey down the M1.
the end Dominic chose not to buy a cue but said that he had enjoyed his visit,
never had he seen such a collection of old cues in such good
From arrival to departure Dominic Dale was the
perfect guest, he showed interest in my collection, signed a couple of
autographs and even added a couple of little items to the collection
feel sure that if he should manage to make his way into the top sixteen at the
end of the season, there will be many more fans taking a keen interest in his
career and coming to recognise what a talented and well mannered sportsman he