The Art of Billiards – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about billiards.

Instruction by Howard Reede-Pelling

As a thirty-year-old I took advantage of an offer of instruction in the manly game of Billiards. My tutor was one Mr. Bourke who just happened to be the husband of Dolly Bourke (nee Lindrum), who took over and ran the famous Lindrum Billiards Rooms in Flinders Lane and then in Flinders Street, just past the offices of The Herald – Sun.

Dolly Lindrum lived in the same house as Walter Lindrum, in Kerferd Road, South Melbourne; where Mr. Bourke gave instruction on the very table which was made famous by Walter. It was situated at the rear of the premises and was self-contained. Walter Lindrum spent much of his early life-time at that particular table.

These were the main points that I was taught: –

Stand square on to the table. Bridge at a half arm’s length and use the rest, don’t stretch. Use the nine points of the cue ball and strike gently according to the position required. Play the ball, don’t just shut your eyes and bash; that is for pub players. Leave the cue ball to your advantage, NOT your opponents. Control the ball, do not let it control you and above all, have respect for the table.

Take the fifteen RED balls off the table leaving only the six coloured balls and the cue ball. Imagine that the pack has been broken and you are left with only the coloured balls to pocket. From a position left or right of where the triangle of red balls were, now pot all six colours in order, one at a time making sure to leave the cue ball in a position to pot the next colour. This is an exercise to control the cue ball to its best position for the player so as to pot each ball in turn, from the most advantageous position.

Enjoy your potting.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

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