The Billiard Hall, West Bromwich, now a J D Wetherspoon pub, is celebrating its 100th birthday next Wednesday at 1pm.
In 1913 a manufacturer of billiards and snooker equipment from Burnley in Lancashire named Willie Holt embarked on a nationwide construction of billiard halls for the working classes. One of the 46 that was built to a standard design still stands proudly on St. Michael’s Street, West Bromwich Ringway, B70 7AB, with its original façade and colour scheme.
It was on Wednesday August 13, 1913, that the Billiard Hall in West Bromwich opened to the public when professional billiards player Holt played an exhibition match. According to local historian Terry Price, between the opening day and the following weekend a staggering 30,000 people visited the hall.
One hundred years on and Tony Carty, manager of the pub, has invited Terry Price to cut a birthday cake and raise a glass in honour of Willie Holt, and at the same time he is welcoming locals to join in the celebrations.