June 13, 2019 1.58 pm This story is over

Big business break for new snooker club owner

Facilities have been upgraded

The new owner of Lincoln Snooker Club is ready for his big break and believes the upgraded facilities will be like no other in the county.

An opening evening for Lincoln Snooker Club, under its new ownership, will be held from 6pm on Saturday, June 15. The club is located on St Peter At Arches off Silver Street.

The facilities have been upgraded including the newly installed Riley Aristocrat Tournament Champion Table. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It has been named as The Ken Baptist Table in honour of the club’s founder. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The facilities have been upgraded including the newly installed Riley Aristocrat Tournament Champion Table.

One of the new match tables has been named as The Ken Baptist Table in honour of the club’s founder.

New owner of Lincoln Snooker Club Phillip Cross. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

New owner Phillip Cross, 35, previously worked in the library at the University of Lincoln for 16 years.

He has now quickly switched his focus to preserving the club’s history and retaining the snooker hall feel “that will never be taken away”. The three staff who worked under the previous ownership will all be retained.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Phillip told The Lincolnite: “I wanted to add appeal to an already very popular traditional snooker club: install a new match table, upgrade the other tables, add new accessories and décor to the club, but paying special attention to preserving the traditional snooker hall feel and respecting the DNA and history of the club.

“This city has never seen the likes of this match table and facilities, and now we have a club with a world class match table that has pleased the members and will hopefully attract new members to the club.

The Pool table. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“The aim is to inspire more local players and children to take up snooker and hopefully encourage players that haven’t played for years to dust off their cue and pick it up again.”

The club was first opened by the late Ken Baptist in 1979. Former snooker World Champion Terry Griffiths opened the club that night 40 years ago.

Former snooker world champion Terry Griffiths opened the club back in 1979. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It has remained in the family ever since with his son Mark taking over the club 12 years ago when Ken’s health started to deteriorate. Ken passed away in 2007.

Phillip worked with Mark on competitions and his passion for snooker took over when he started playing four years ago. He decided to table an offer to buy the club before securing his big break as the new owner.

Phillip added: “I am passionate about the game in the city and providing the platform and facilities for the players in Lincoln now and in the future.

“I know the family and the members it’s like a community, not just a business to run. That adds something extra special to it.”

Club founder Ken Baptist pictured with former snooker world champion Steve Davis. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Phillip also wants to help inspire the next generation of local snooker talent. Coaching for children will be run on a Saturday morning between 9am-11pm priced at £6. The club has three qualified world snooker coaches committed to bringing young players through.

Opening times and prices

The club is open 11am-11pm Monday to Saturday with monthly handicap competitions on a Sunday.

Membership (per year)

  • Full member £16
  • OAP member £15
  • Student £14
  • Junior (Under 15) £13

Table rates (members)

  • The Ken Baptist Table – £10 per hour (lone player £7.50)
  • Tables 2 & 3 – £9 per hour (lone player £6.50)
  • Table 4 – £8.60 per hour (lone player £6)

For anyone not yet signed up as a member there is a daily entry fee is £1 with all tables £15 per hour.

A trophy cabinet proudly displayed in the club. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In addition to snooker, the club is also available for pool, billiards and darts. There will also be internal competitions at where Phillip believes will be “the heart of Lincoln snooker”. Snooker and billiards leagues will begin in September.

There will be a monthly snooker tournament from Sunday, June 23. The Singles Handicap tournament has a £10 entry fee with an average monthly prize fund of over £200.

Phillip Cross outside his new venture. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The club is located down this alleyway off Silver Street. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

To contact the club visit the website or Facebook page or call 01522 527427.

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