Ruby Roberts - the lady billiards champion

Ruby Roberts

The Lady Billiards Champion

Diary of my travels abroad 1910-1911 (22)
Ruby Roberts, the lady billiards champion - Diary Entry 22

Young Walter Lindrum, her opponent, is about 15, and plays rather better than Ruby. He keeps his chalk handy in his pocket; but, as Ruby hasn’t got a pocket, she carries hers in a silver holder which dangles by a chain from her belt. - (1914). The bulletin Retrieved December 22, 2023, from

(1910) Jubilee Hall, Rangoon
(1910) Jubilee Hall, Rangoon via New York Public Library

Jan 17. Went to Minter after breakfast and had my practice as usual. Received an invitation from Mac to go to a fancy dress ball but could not accept as I had no fancy dress. Mac came round after dinner and on our way to Jubilee Hall something went wrong with the car so we had to go to the garage and get another one. We were too late by then to go to the hall so we went for a dinner and Mac gave me a beautiful gold brooch set with pearls and rubies for making my break at Tatts.

(Jan 18) Received a letter from Jack and enclosed were two tickets for the Follies that evening at the Jubilee Hall for Mum and myself. I was delighted as we had tried to book seats but could not and as we had missed the show the previous night. It came as a very pleasant surprise. I went to Minters, had my practice, saw Mrs R. When I got home Mr Eggeling was waiting to see me, he is secretary of Tatts Club and he made me a very nice presentation from the members of the Club. I was surprised. He stayed and had tea with us. After dinner Mum and I went to the Follies. They were excellent and we did enjoy the show. During interval we met Captain and Mrs Cross so as it was so hot we went for a walk in the grounds. We had a most enjoyable evening. I must say that I have met the most marvellous people in the East.

(Jan 19) Went to Minters to see J R and had some practice and made arrangements about our departure for the following day. When I got home there was a letter from Mac asking me to go for a drive that afternoon but as I had already promised to go with Jack I had to refuse. Jack called with the car and took us for a drive and back to the Strand to dinner. There were only the four of us and after dinner we went for another drive. It was rather chilly so Jack would make me put on his top coat. As he is a rather big man I was swamped in it. We went for our usual drive round the lakes. As it was my last night in Rangoon I felt quite sad and so did Jack. I think he liked me very much. He gave me a lovely gold bangle with souvenir written across it in brilliants. It was most unusual. I did not like taking the present from him but he said it was s souvenir of the games we had played together. I had just got home and was showing Mum my present when Mrs R came round with Mac in his car. She was very angry with me and of course I should not have slipped her up but I enjoyed myself so much that I completely forgot I had promised to see her. She wanted to make a fuss, but Mac was awfully kind. He saw how things were and before she realised what had happened, he had us all in the car.

He said as it was our last night in Rangoon we must just see the lakes for the last time. I didn’t dare say I had already been out there that night so Mum and Mrs R sat in the back of the car and I sat in front with Mac. He was full of fun and we laughed a good deal but the passengers in the back were rather silent but I felt as it was my last night I was entitled to have a good time. I was awfully sorry to be leaving next day as I had had the time of my young life in Rangoon. Mac was sorry we were leaving and I think if we had been alone that night he would have proposed because when we got back to the hotel he tried to get me to himself but Mrs R took me by the arm and marched me up to bed. She had not forgiven me for forgetting to turn up that night.

(1908) The Irrawaddy, Rangoon
(1908) The Irrawaddy, Rangoon via New York Public Library

(Jan 20) Sambo brought “Chota hazri” in at 6am. Then we had our bath and finished packing before breakfast. Sambo used to do most of the packing but I liked to see that everything was alright. We went over to the Minter a little before 7am but Mrs R had gone so I had to go to the office and find out what jetty the ship was to leave from. We collected our luggage and arrived on board without any help from J.R. Jack, Mac and a friend of theirs, a Mr Yapp came to see us off. They were all so sorry to see us go. We had all had a great time together. We sailed from Rangoon at 8am by the Gwalier” one of the B.I. boats. We got half way down the Irrawaddy River when the ship stopped and we were retained there for three hours waiting for the tide and the mails.

We did not get out of the river until 2pm. Had a beautiful passage across the Bay of Bengal. It was as calm as a lake. We had a very nice big airy cabin but it was overrun with cockroaches and rats. We had to share our cabin with an old lady as the ship was crowded. She was a great old sport and was the life of the ship. She had travelled a great deal and used to tell us some of her experiences. I shall never forget our first night out. Mum and I went to our cabin and when I saw the old dear ready for bed I don’t know how I kept from laughing. She always wore a short, white muslin coat and a red petticoat that reached just below the knees. She said it was cooler than a nightie. One night we could hear the rats gnawing at the woodwork in our cabin and I was terrified to go to sleep so she got up and called the steward and made him pull all our things out from under the bunks. While he was doing this she went over to the cabin opposite occupied by two ladies who had a dog with them. It had a cord tied to its collar and was fastened to the post of the bunk. So she borrowed the dog and brought him over to our cabin where she tied him up. Now she said we can sleep in peace. He will keep the rats away. He must have got loose through the night because next morning he had disappeared. Mrs Reid, our cabin mate, did not worry but said he could not go far. We had a real good laugh over it. We had a lovely crossing and the trip was very pleasant, as we had such a nice travelling companion.

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