The Cue Collector - Lindrum "Fags for Fighters" Fund Cue
With the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, many professional billiards players dedicated themselves to fund-raising for the war effort. In Australia, Walter Lindrum was no exception, becoming heavily involved in various campaigns to support the Australian war effort. One of these was the "Fags for Fighters" campaign, which was designed to provide cigarettes for Australian servicemen.
The "Fags for Fighters" campaign commenced early in the war and lasted for several years. As part of the campaign, Walter Lindrum gave exhibitions at various regional centres around Australia, often in conjunction with the World War One veterans from the local RSL (Returned Serviceman's League).
There is a very entertaining account of an early "Fags for Fighters" exhibition held in the Dandenong Ranges, in "Walter Lindrum - Billiards Phenomenon", Andrew Rickett's excellent biography of Walter Lindrum's life (pages 140-142). "Billiards Phenomenon" also contains a detailed account of Lindrum's other war efforts.
This cue is the Fags for Fighters Fund Cue. The cue would have been presented by Walter Lindrum during the course of an evening's exhibition in the "Fags for Fighters" campaign. It might have been presented as a prize or possibly auctioned.
The Fags for Fighters Fund Cue is a machine-spliced cue with a plain ebony or blackwood butt and a brass badge. The shaft is probably Australian mountain ash or silver ash, which were the main local timbers used in shafts by Australian cue manufacturers at the end of the 1930s.
The Fags for Fighters Fund Cue is a very rare cue. It would probably have been made in the early years of the Second World War. The manufacturer is unknown but the Fags for Fighters Fund Cue is almost certainly Australian made.
Australian customs records reveal that there were only a few Australian firms making cues at the end of the 1930s. At the time, the only Australian cue manufacturers appear to have been located in Victoria or New South Wales. The Victorian manufacturers were Alcock, Thompson & Taylor Pty Ltd, J Jeffries and, to a lesser extent, F Fallshaw & Sons Pty Ltd. The New South Wales' manufacturers were Heiron & Smith Limited and the Imperial Billiard Table Co.
Some other Australian firms, such as P.J. Brady Billiards in South Australia, finished cues that were imported from England "in the rough" (or, in other words, unplaned and unfinished).
The major Australian manufacturer appears to have been the Imperial Billiard Table Co and it is most likely that the Fags for Fighters Fund Cue was made by that firm.
To read more about Lindrum cues, and follow the link to Walter Lindrum cues
To purchase a special leather-bound limited edition of Andrew Rickett's "Walter Lindrm - Billiards Phenomenon", signed by the author (200 copies only) and scroll down.