At The Games Room Company we’ve always taken immense pride in the quality and the range of our offerings, but as time went by it became increasingly clear that a small but significant percentage of our customers were seeking pieces that were unique in some way.
This in turn led us to produce bespoke versions of existing products, where the customisation might take the form of personalised embossing, specialised finishes, or the printing of tailor made graphics on the playing surfaces of pool and foosball tables. We even found ourselves stripping down and re-modelling pinball machines according to specific themes, in one case turning the entire table into a full blown celebration of our client’s Limited Edition La Ferrari.
In time we were able to gather around us a team of highly skilled craftsmen and specialists who could not only modify these pieces under our direction, but could actually build them from scratch according to the most exacting brief. It was this that led to the design and manufacture of our first pool table, ‘The Pembridge’, and the birth of a separate luxury brand, ‘Waldersmith’, under the auspices of The Games Room Company in 2012. Reginald Waldersmith founded the business back in 1962 and his son Alexander, current owner and CEO, felt that reviving the family name would be a fitting tribute to his late father.
‘The Pembridge’ is now one of three bespoke pool tables that we manufacture to special order, the other two being ‘The Olympian’ and ‘The Shoreditch’. Although radically different from each other in terms of style and even construction methods, what they share is an unparalleled attention to detail, a commitment to the highest possible standards, and an underlying philosophy which holds that these ‘legacy pieces’ should last a century or more with no significant signs of deterioration.
Each of them is painstakingly handmade without compromise, which is why a lead time of several months is the norm. We don’t cut corners and we don’t outsource any part of the process beyond our small but highly dependable team. The principal design feature shared by all three pool tables is the discreet inclusion of table tennis tops, which by ingenious means are hidden below the slate bed and removed only when needed.
‘The Olympian’ and ‘The Shoreditch’ are more comprehensively detailed elsewhere in this section but on this page we’d like to provide a closer look at the very special table which represented our first foray into bespoke builds - ‘The Pembridge’.
For this client our brief was to create a pool table that referenced classical styling whilst also maintaining a certain sympathy with the contemporary setting into which it would ultimately be placed, a near-impossible task you might think. I think we achieved just that however, with a design that was understated in its elegance. Turned wooden legs and conservative styling speak of the traditional whilst subtle brass inlays and the satin black finish give the table a clean, striking, and undeniably modern look.
At either end the ‘push release’ drawers, almost invisible when closed, open to reveal sculpted inserts which store the balls, triangle, table tennis bats and net, all of which sit snugly within the custom cutouts that have been created for them. The mechanism for affixing and tensioning the net is itself a thing of beauty and wonder, using precision engineering to great effect. The L-shaped post, which is finished in chrome, brass, or brushed steel according to taste, pushes into a recess within the edge of the table tennis top. Secreted at the far end of this hidden channel is an adjustable spring loaded mechanism and it’s the ‘push back’ from this tiny but clever device that keeps the net tensioned.
The table tennis tops themselves are stored within felt lined shelves beneath the main body of the table and this structure is kept to a minimal depth so as not to interfere with the clean lines of the piece. The tops necessarily comprise three identically sized sections as two would be too large to store neatly within the frame. When in situ the middle section bridges the centre area of the table bisected only by the net and the other two parts are located using reinforced ‘dominoes’, which effectively pull everything together in place. It should be noted that the brass inlays which feature on the pool table rails are echoed on the table tennis tops, performing the role that would normally be served by a painted white line whilst adding an undeniable touch of opulence.
As with our other two bespoke tables, the design of The Pembridge can of course be tailored to your exact needs. We start with the overall size but beyond that basic decision comes a range of options which is literally infinite in its scope. With today’s technology and our excellent team of craftsmen almost anything is possible, from mood under-lighting to specialised coverings, and as they used to say in the ads: You are limited only by your imagination. The proposed design is rendered as a high resolution visual before we start work so that everyone understands what the finished piece will look like and of course, there is ample opportunity to change your mind as many times as you wish.