Building maintenance

From floor to wall

With the floor repairs complete, work on the walls has been progressing. The east end of the hall has new stud-work where the old cladding used to be. Much of it is plasterboarded, ready for skimming. With the curtains open on a bright, sunny October day, it’s looking pretty good!

Building maintenance

Floor Repairs Complete

After a long day on Sunday, the floor repairs are now complete. The final section in the east, front corner was challenging due to the weight of the table sitting on the joists that needed replacing. We took the opportunity to put in extra joists running right under each leg of the table to ensure the floorboards weren’t supporting the weight. The load-bearing wall plate has also been replaced around the entire room and now sit on a proper damp course.

In total, 60 metres of damp course was installed, 200 metres of new 50×100 joists, 25 sheets of moisture resistant chipboard, 90 coach bolts and hundreds of screws!

In addition to the flooring, new armoured cables have been laid under both tables for the later installation of sockets and table heaters. A new ring main cable has been run around most of the room so extra sockets can be installed where required and the light meters can be rewired into modern electrics. When the walls are complete and the carpet tiles laid, the club should be a safe and enjoyable place for many years to come.

Building maintenance

Another dusty weekend

Weekend two of the repairs started, where we left off, at the western end of the building. The roadside repairs are complete but the rear side still has a large hole in the floor. The reason for this hole still being there is that the floor under the table has distorted where the weight of the table sits on it. With the new floor hopefully being down for many years to come, this was a valuable opportunity to get new joists pushed through under the table to take up the load. As many of the joists we’d removed were riddled with woodworm, it would have been bold to assume the joists, with several tonnes of table on them, were good!

Despite considerable effort by Adam and myself to push new joists under the legs, the distortion in the floor, caused by the table weight had us beat. In the end, we left it until Saturday when Nick Shapland came to our aid, armed with a hefty Land Rover jack! The jack enabled us to take just enough weight off a table leg that we could hammer a new joist through.

With the joists in place, the floor could be screwed down and work moved on to the east end of the building. First up, the area inside the fire escape door. This was in a terrible state, but, with the table being set further towards the front of the building, there was no weight bearing issues to contend with here. Adam laid the new joists and cut the floorboards to fit. We left the boards loose for now as they provided a means to push joists right across the room, under the floor, to the front of the building.

With the fire escape area complete, that was three corners down and one to go. Little did we know that we’d saved the biggest job until last! With the outer row of floorboards removed, it was obvious that the joists had been badly attacked by woodworm. In fact, none of the joists were even touching the wall plate! This led to considerable head scratching (and a cup of tea) while we tried to figure out what was supporting the table. The conclusion was that the joists passing under the table were cantilevered on the single supporting dwarf wall that runs the length of the room. This was easily demonstrated by standing on the floating end of the joists and seeing the entire snooker table move. At this point, nobody was keen to get too close! The jack came to the rescue again, enabling us to support the weight of the floor and table while new joists were slid into place. We got enough timber under it to give us confidence that it would still be there in the morning and called it a day.

Building maintenance

End of the first weekend

It’s late Sunday afternoon and the first weekend of work is complete. As the following pictures will hopefully show, the work was very much needed and even though it’s a considerably larger job than we originally anticipated, it had to be done before the new carpeting went down. Before running out of materials, Adam, the carpenter, got far enough around the room that there’s plenty of completed area for the wall and plastering work to begin next week.

For those who had noticed the springy area of floor in the middle of the table, all became clear when the floorboards were removed. One of the joists had broken in half and, in some distant repairs, a little wooden leg had been inserted to prop it up. Over the years, the bottom of the leg has been eaten away until it only touched the floor when it was stood on. The broken joist can be clearly seen at the top of the leg.

In some instances, the table legs fall perfectly between joists, so that all the weight bears on the floorboards. Next weekend we will try to push new joists under the tables, between the dwarf walls, to add extra support under the legs.

New armoured cables have been laid under the table so power is available if the club decide to install heaters.

Building maintenance

Floor Repairs

Work started on Friday evening to repair the weak areas of the floor. The initial area tackled was the corner on the road side at the west end of the hall. The floorboards close to the wall were in a very poor state, having suffered considerable woodworm damage. The joists had also suffered where they sat on the stone ledge that runs around the inside of the building. The ledge appears to have once had a wooden wall plate on it but this has virtually disintegrated which explains the bouncy floor in places! Our carpenter, Adam Green, is cementing in concrete blocks to support the new joists in areas where the ledges have deteriorated to the extent the joists can’t sit squarely on them.

Work on the first corner was completed on Saturday afternoon and we moved on to the rear corner. With a few boards pulled up, it became apparent that a significant area of the floor would require replacing. Previous repairs had taken place in the distant past and many of the joists were propped up on blocks and stones with sections of timber balanced between them. The original timber wall plate had completely disintegrated.

While the woodwork is in a poor state, it appears to be encouragingly dry. The ends of the joists and the wall plate appear to have been victims of woodworm rather than rot! The replacement joists, kindly donated by Bond Timber, are tanalised for protection against the wicked worm!

Joist showing the damage caused by woodworm.
The first joist removed from the rear, west corner.
Building maintenance

Upcoming Disruption

Repair work to the floor will begin on Friday 2nd October and will continue through the weekend of the 3rd and 4th. Further work will take place over the period Fri 9th to Sun 11th October. While every effort will be made to keep the tables accessible and usable, there are likely to be times when only one table is available. We apologise for this disruption but, I’m sure you’ll all agree, the work is absolutely necessary to keep the club in a good state of repair.

Table dust covers

The repair work is likely to generate a lot of dust and much of this will settle on the table’s dust sheets. Inevitably the dust sheets will sometimes get turned over while off the table and much of the dust will then be transferred to the cloth. During this period, please take the dust sheets outside and shake them out before putting them back on the tables.

Building maintenance

Wall Cladding

On the 26th of September, a group of members met at the club at 9am to remove the wooden cladding from the walls. Much of the cladding was in a poor state, with rot and woodworm having attacked it over many decades. Needless to say, it didn’t put up too much resistance to our efforts to pull it off! All the cladding was off the wall and transported away by 10:30.

With the cladding removed, the extent of the needed floor repairs was easy to see. There is considerable rot around all the walls and the area in front of the fire escape on the east side has completely collapsed. A carpenter has been approved by the committee and will begin repairs on Friday 2nd October. The floor repairs needs to be completed before the walls can be plastered and all the work needs to be done before the new carpet tiles can be laid. It’s hard to know when the leagues will begin this season (due to Covid-19) but we’re hopeful that the work can be completed without too much disruption.

While the dust was settling (quite literally), Owen solved the problem of where to hang the triangles! The old light canopies provided a handy home for them but, since the new slimline LED lights were installed, they’ve been left on the floor under the bulk end of the tables. Now we have new hooks to hang them on.

Triangle hanger

Subscription Time

It’s that time of year again when subscriptions are due. Membership rates are as follows:

  • Adults: £20
  • Under 25’s: £15
  • Over 65’s: £15

There are a number of ways to pay:

  • Cash. Please pass to a committee member.
  • Cheque made payable to “St Dominick Snooker Club”. Please pass completed cheque to a committee member.
  • BACS transfer to Sort Code: 205040, Account Number: 90777811.

Building maintenance

Carpet Removal

On the 22nd of August a team a volunteers set about pulling up the old carpet in the snooker hall. Nobody was sure how long it had been down for but, judging from the patches, repairs and general state of it, best estimates put at late 80’s or early 90’s. It had done pretty well considering the volume of footfall is concentrated around the tables.

Getting the carpet up was not easy! It had been glued down and tended to part company with the foam backing when it was pulled. This necessitated crawling around on hands and knees, armed with a scraper to try and get it up. In the end we prevailed and, generally speaking, the floorboards under it were it pretty good shape. There were some areas of concern, especially in the west end of the building where the floorboards had rotted away, exposing a few damaged joists underneath. The committee are now in the process of getting quotes for the repair of these areas. This will present an ideal opportunity to lay power cables under the tables for the later installation of heaters if desired.

The next planned activity is on the 26th September when a group of members are planning to strip out the wood paneling from around the sides of the hall. This will undoubtedly expose more issues that will need resolving before a new carpet is layed. If you’re available to help, please meet at the hall at 0900.


Welcome to St Dominick Snooker!

This should be the first of many posts on the new website for St Dominick Snooker. Yesterday I registered the domain name The hardest part was deciding if St Dominick should have a ‘k’ on the end! Hopefully I made the right choice? I’ve installed a package (you’re looking at it now) called WordPress to make it easy for people to add new content, although editing rights will be restricted to a list of users to avoid the entire Internet from being able to update it. Next task will be to set up some email addresses so people can contact the administrators of the website or specific club members.