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Thurston

Est 1799
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1799

John Thurston established in Newcastle St., The Strand, London, as a Billiard Table maker and general cabinet maker

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1807

Monsieur Mingaud, a French Cavalry Officer, invents the Billiard Cue Tip

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1814

John Thurston moved to Catherine Street and became the first to specialise in making Billiard & Bagetelle tables and Billiard Room furniture. Their factory at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea was named the Waterloo Works.

1814

Thurston had supplied the table that Napoleon used during his exile on St. Helena

1826

In 1826 Thurston introduced the first slate bed for a Billiard Table. The records show that the Table was supplied to White's Club in London.

1830

Thos. Padmore established as a Billiard Table Maker in Little Charles Street, Birmingham

1833

Thurston was granted the Royal Warrant of William IV, which was a sole appointment

1835

Thurston introduced the rubber cushion. This superseded the 'List' or 'Stuffed' cushion

1837

Thurston was granted the Royal warrant of Queen Victoria, which was a sole appointment

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1845

Thurston was granted and patented the first vulcanised rubber cushion.

1851

Thurston Awarded the Prize Medal (Highest Award) at the great Exhibition

1869

Thurston introduced the improved Vulcanized Rubber Cushion

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1884

Thurston introduced the “Perfect” Low Cushion – fast & reliable

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1875

The game of Snooker invented by British Army Officers playing at the Ootacamund Club in India

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1886

J. Ashcroft of Liverpool awarded Gold Medal for the “excellence of their Billiard Table”

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1887

Thurston introduce their Patented Bottomless Pocket

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1892

Thurston designed and made the “Original STANDARD” Billiard table for the Billiard Association. This is the standard on which all today's Snooker/Billiard tables are based.

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1896

Billiard Van Laere (later Thurston Van Laere) established as Billiard table Makers in Brussels

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1901

Thurston moves from Catherine Street to Leicester Square

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1907

Thurston granted Royal Warrant by King Edward VII

1911

Thurston granted Royal Warrant by King George V

1912

E.A Clare was founded as a Billiard Table Maker in premises at 15 Fraser Street, Liverpool

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1926

Composition Billiard Balls used for first time in the Amateur Billiard Championship

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1929

Following a decision taken by the Billiard Association & Control Council in July 1928 Crystalate Composition Billiard Balls would be used for the first time in Professional Billiards

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1936

Painting of Daily Mail Gold Cup Snooker competition at Thurston Match Room between Joe Davis and Tom Newman

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1937

The Original “Eralc” shade introduced by E.A. Clare & Son, Liverpool,

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1937

Also in 1937 the first televised games of snooker were broadcast

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1940

The famous Thurston Match Room & Offices in Leicester Square suffered bomb damage and Thurston moved their operation to their factory in Chenye Walk, Chelsea

1946

Thos. Padmore & Sons moved to new premises at 3 Coleshill Street, Birmingham

1962

E.A. Clare celebrated its Golden Jubilee and introduced the first modern design snooker table, know as the Jubilee, with a patented built in levelling device

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1963

Thurston and E.A. Clare & Son become associated under the chairmanship of Mr. Norman Clare

1965

The lease on Thurston office & factory at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea is not renewed and the firm moves to 1/1a Sharples Hall Street, Primrose Hill, London NW1

1966

Thos. Padmore & Sons of Birmingham becomes associated to form the Clare-Padmore-Thurston Group under the chairmanship of Mr. Norman Clare

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1969

E.A. Clare office and factory 23 to 27 St. Anne Street, Liverpool, compulsory purchase for road scheme. New premises now 46/48 St. Anne Street, Liverpool, L3 3DW

1970

Thos. Padmore & Sons moved to new premises 180 Lozells Road, Birmingham

1972

Super Crystalate Snooker & Billiard Balls introduced

1984

During a visit to Lozells in Birmingham Muhammed Ali dropped into the Thos. Padmore shop. Neville Padmore is shown shaking hands with the great boxer

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1985

Norman Clare's book “Billiard & Snooker Bygones” published by Shire Publications

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1986

Thurston aquire the trading interest of Billiard Van Laere, the oldest Billiard Table Maker in Belgium and begins trading on mainland Europe as “Thurston Van Laere”

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1987

J. Ashcroft trading interest acquired by E.A. Clare & Son. The founder of Clare's Edward Arthur had served his apprenticeship at Ashcroft's

1988

The Clare – Padmore – Thurston group now trading as Thurston

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1990

Norman Clare (1914-1990) died. The museum he established at the Liverpool office renamed THE SNOOKER HERITAGE COLLECTION

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1997

European Billiard Congress formed – Thurston founder members

2006

A website dedicated to the Billiard & Snooker collection set up by Norman Clare launched – www.snookerheritage.co.uk

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2018

New Thurston Livery for Delivery and Service vans

Why choose us?


Thurston's philosophy has always been based on customer service. You the customer are Thurston's number one priority.


Thurston has been the home of Snooker, Bowls & Club Games for over 200 years. We pride ourselves on our history and knowledge.


Thurston have been maintaining snooker tables since 1799. We are innovators in methods used for table maintenance and servicing.

Learn more