July 19, 2010
Think it was in 1992/1993 that I and friends of mine started something special with snooker. We were already playing in clubs for quite a few years and it didn't escape our attention that playing snooker was a bit pricey. Table rent was easily 10 Guilders but more often it was 15 Guilders (€7) for an hour. (Not cheap considering the inflation that has taken place since then.) Drinking a few beers with friends and playing for a few hours basically made it sure you had a nice bill at the end of your evening. One Irish fellow came up with the idea to rent a space, put a snooker table in it, and play away. Great idea of course and 5 people, myself included, started looking for a space to rent. We wounded up at a school who had a spare classroom filled with old stuff. (Actually the classroom you see in the pictures wasn't the first we tidied up.)
We spend months fixing up that place while others looked for a secondhand snooker table. Finally we found in another part of the country at a military recreation house. It was one of those endeavors where everything fell in to place. Five guys working on something with each their own speciality. One guy was good at doing the pluming, another at doing the carpet, another at doing the paintwork, another at doing the administration. It was a terrific project. Finally we had everything set and the snooker table was delivered on a friday evening. We also made a bar in the classroom augmented with 5 liter (pressurized) beer cans, different soda's and snacks. That first night we played well in to the morning and I think I was in bed at 5 o'clock followed by a few hours of sleep upon returning to the classroom. We bought the table for 7 grand and the rent for the place was Fl375, but all of that of course divided by 5. In any case cheaper than to continue playing in clubs.
Wish I had more pictures of this place but all of this was from before the digital camera age. (Borrowed these shots from a friend last weekend.) Classroom, snooker table and a bar. Powerful combination, that I can vouch for. With the bar we paid for our own drinks, any profit went back to the club so not long after we bought our first stereo with good speakers. After that a television closely followed by a couple of vcr's. Yeah, it was every guy's fantasy. Of course with the increased playing, my game kicked up a notch as well. I'm happy to inform you that I made a break of 88 in a practice game on that table. Later on we used profits from the bar to pay for the rent. We had quite a few parties there. I'll write more on the classroom when I find more pictures. So much to tell. :)