Then, at the 2007 BIBA British Open, Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr had an experience which made him come to believe that expense should not be regarded as an obstacle any longer.
Having fought his way through to the final of that tournament without even a mention of a clock, Ian -- with little or no clock experience -- found himself compelled to play one of the most important matches of his backgammon career against a player -- Manchester's Brian Lever -- whose reputation as a supposedly slow player has given him frequent experience of playing with clocks.
The outcome of that match is history, and the result could not be attributed to the clocks -- Ian was heavily defeated, and Brian became a very worthy British Open champion -- but the experience gave Ian the inspiration to ensure that the players of Bristol need never feel thus disadvantaged ever in the future.
Mark Dixon started the ball rolling by providing two clocks, Ian bought two himself, and others followed -- Ed Turner, Paul Watts, Marcus Wrinch and Roland Herrera.
Tim Line, Steve Morris, Ann Pocknell, Peter Edwards and Neil Young have now followed suit.
Gaz Owen, Tony Walters and Richard Owsley have now provided the funds for further clocks, while others have shown an interest in boosting the total strength of Bristol Backgammon clocks, and Stuart Mann has offered his clock on "permanent loan".
The deal is that whoever provides a clock -- at a current cost of £30 -- is eligible for three free entries at a rate of one per year, starting in 2008, to a £10 clock tournament, thus effectively recouping their outlay.
These days, after a couple of clock tournaments in 2007, Bristol Backgammon has a healthy supply of clocks, and enough sessions to make more frequent clock tournaments feasible.