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British Industrial History

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Peradon and Co

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of 393 High Road, Willesden Green, London, NW10. Telephone: Willesden 0569. Cables: "Cueists, Phone, London"

Established 1885

Until the early 1880s most billiard cues were imported from France. A large proportion of them arrived in the unfinished rough state. They were then worked down, by hand, to the finished state by skilled craftsmen working for the various billiard table manufacturing companies of that time.

1885 The Peradon business was founded by Leopold George Peradon, his father (a skilled maker of church furniture) having settled in England from France some 20 years earlier. Leopold Peradon began making cues in the finished state, the first were plain ash followed by one point, two point and then four point hand-spliced cues. It was some years before the solid butted four point machine spliced cue was introduced which later became the standard type of butt, generally used today, although superior hand spliced cues are still being manufactured.

In the early days Leopold Peradon made the cues at his home in Linacre Road, Willesden, with the assistance of his wife, who helped with the polishing and packing of the cues. He then delivered the cues by pony and trap, and at the same time was able to accept orders with exact requirements from the various London billiards traders. Leopold Peradon's two sons Fredrick George and Louis Fraser, were brought into the business. They were sent to work in France in order to gain further experience and then worked back in Willesden, in the family business, making both machine and hand spliced billiard cues supplying them in the complete finished state to the billiards trade.

Early in the 20th century the first cue lathe was invented which allowed for the tapered turning of the cues so that the output of one man was increased from ten or twelve cues per day up to almost 140 cues per day. So great was the demand for Peradon cues that, at this time, another factory was opened near Beauvais, in France. The additional output being shipped to the United Kingdom until World War 1 commenced in 1914, which put an end to the operation.

WWI. During the Great War, Peradon's made vast quantities of sticks for signaling flags which were supplied to the Ministry of Munitions, as wireless communication was not in use between units of the military forces.

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Billiard Cues. (Stand No. B.52) [1]

1929-30 There was a tremendous increase in the demand for billiard cues, brought about by the opening of several thousand public billiard halls, and later still came an unprecedented demand for small cues, required to equip the tens of thousands of under sized home tables which were so very popular in the 1930s.

1930s Fredrick Peradon, from the Willesden factory, ventured into the export market, and then in order to oblige the overseas customers commenced a wholesale distribution service adding to their quality cue range balls, cloth, rubber and most other accessories for the billiards and snooker trade. In this he was assisted by his sons L. L. F. (Bill) Peradon, who succeeded to the control of the business following World War II.

Post-WWII. It was during this period that the businesses of three other cue making companies was acquired, namely Nidd's of Kentish Town, MacMorran's of Chalk Farm (after the merger Peradon adopted the trade name Permac) and Weilding's of Acton. This left Peradon as the only surviving manufacturers of billiard cues in the entire British Commonwealth and it is to their credit that they did not exploit the situation but served the trade faithfully throughout many difficult years. Also during this time Peradon made the 'own' brand cues sold by the leading Cue Sports Companies such as Ormes, Rapers, Thurston, Ashcroft, Burroughs and Watts etc. The Cues were made to the client's specification with the model name and brand on the butt plates and no reference that they were produced in the Willesden factory (Peradon's still offer this service).

1966 The company was 'disturbed' as the result of local planning arrangements from their premises in Willesden and so the company was moved to new modern factory premises at Andover in Hampshire, where Mr. Bill Peradon aided by Mr. Charles Gage continued the successful operation of the business.

It was hoped that Bill Peradon's son David would join the business, and so carry on the family tradition of cue making to the fourth generation, but although David worked and gained all the necessary practical experience working in the company for several years he finally decided to follow another career.

1976 In preparation for retirement Bill Peradon decided to sell his interests, but he did not want the company to be controlled by people outside the billiards trade, and so negotiations began early in 1976 with Mr. Norman Clare, of E. L. Fletcher and Son.

1977 Unfortunately Bill Peradon died in April, before final arrangements had been completed. The amalgamation with E. L. Fletcher and Son, finally took place on 1 August, with Mr. Charles Gage, who had been with the Peradon company for over 40 years, being appointed managing director.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Peradon Website