We collectors are a weird breed you know, I have even
gathered together a small collection of balls.
- A set of Ivory Billiard balls.
- Two sets of Crystalate Billiard balls.
- A set of Super-Crystalate Billiard balls.
- A set of Bonzoline Snooker Plus balls, 24 in all
including the orange and purple.
These various sets of balls all play differently, the
Ivories make a much sharper clicking sound when they collide and the
Crystalates seem heavier in the way that they react to off centre
The way that coloured dye remains on each ball varies
too; the Ivory red ball only has colour on the ends, if you can visualise that
it came from essentially a great tusk.
The colour of the orange and Purple balls from the
snooker plus set are quite deep and vivid, whereas the Pink ball looks like the
pink colour you often find in ice cream. The brown ball is the deep chocolate
colour that you associate with pre television age sets of snooker balls.
I remember reading about a local club booking; I think
Ray Reardon and Fred Davis to play an exhibition. During the afternoon, just
prior to the evenings entertainment the secretary of the host club
decided to boil the balls to be used that evening in order to present them in
pristine condition. Unfortunately they became misshapen and useless, much to
I dont know if this story is true, but I keep my
balls away from extremes in temperature just in case.
I took along my snooker plus set to show Roger Lee at
the world championship in 2001, he said that they must be worth a few quid, but
declined to put a precise figure on them. My own opinion is that they are worth
at least £300 as the whole set is present along with the box!
I remember reading that, John Spencer could screw the
cue ball back massive distances with Crystalate balls and that when they were
replaced with Super-Crystalates in the mid 1970s, he struggled for
form. If this is true, what an immense achievement to win the world snooker
championship in 1977 with a new cue and his less favoured type of snooker ball
I once heard another story, where two elderly
gentlemen played a full frame of Snooker with an off centre weighted cue ball
and did not realise. My current form on the table cries out for a similar
Balls Picture Gallery