Kingston & Surbiton Pub Review 2010



Visit Date Comments  Score
Wych Elm Pride 24th December 2010

For some reason there were more punters in the pub than is usual!!  The darts started late (11.55) and finished rather late (00.45) but it was still worth the effort.  Once his birthday arrived, Noel (Noel!) turned on the style.  There is a rumour that there may be a few extra punters in the pub next Friday, but a game or two may be squeezed in for those enthusiastic dartsmen. (KS) N-4, K1-3, K2-1

New Prince Seafarer            17th December 2010

With Dave suffering from ‘man flu’, it was up to the North Kingston Keiths to brave the arctic conditions and cycle to the Prince to challenge Brian.  However, there is no sentiment in top class darts; the Keiths were duly drubbed by Brian with the help of a 2-dart 107 and two further 3-darters.  Good beer, average darts, but the Prince was worryingly quiet! (KS) B-12, K2-6, K1-5

Willoughby Twickenham Grandstand and Naked Ladies, Sheer Drop    10th December 2010

So, what’s the excuse?  The Superhoops losing on the box; the lack of a crowd atmosphere; the simultaneous audio from a radio and two TVs, slow drinking, the sudden warmth?  For some unknown reason the darts were totally uninspired and the evening was won by a man (Brian) playing with the pub darts and winning all five rubbers.  Just as we were leaving at midnight the crowd (both human and canine) was starting to build.  Maybe Max scampering around on the oche was the missing ingredient?  Woof, woof! (KS) B-15, K1-8, K2-7, D-6

Spring Grove Doombar 3rd December 2010

Once the ladies dart team vacated the board, they commenced a two-hour non-stop barrage of rabbit; the bunny was spectacular, and for a period of time included elementary French lessons. This appeared to affect Dave badly, although your reporter was largely untroubled, being accustomed to this background noise at home.  The Spring was nice and warm and the beer good; the darts progressed unspectacularly to another tied finish; the major problem was that the proximity of the ladies team inhibited the normal shouting and swearing! (KS) K2-8, B-8, K1-7, D-5

New Prince Seafarers  26th November 2010

‘Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today, I want to be a part of it, New York, New York’.  ‘Best of order please, game on!’  Anybody can play top darts when it’s reverential and focussed, but who can cope with singing and dancing on the oche?  With good beer and live music that grows on you as the beer is consumed, the Prince is a top venue for darts and laughter.  An excellent evening of good darts (Dave got a 3-dart 100), poor darts and much hilarity ended appropriately in a 3-way tie. (KS) D-10, K1-10, B-10, K2-6

Alexandra/Wych Elm 19th November 2010 Chiswick/Pride A choice!  Either the Alexandra for a social evening and a Pink Floyd tribute band or the Wych for a more traditional evening of top arrers:
Alexandra: (K2 to report?!?)
Wych Elm:  More punters were expected to transfer; as they didn’t, we can only assume that Pink Floyd was rocking.   With the assistance of Holly and Malcolm, the concentration levels were kept suitably low, but the singles darts quality wasn’t too bad.  It was a good evening, but did we make an error in abandoning the Alexandra? (KS) K1-8, D-7, B-6
Willoughby Hepworth’s Ironorse, Twickenham Strange Brew  12th November 2010

There’s always something worrying when the dogs start running wild in the boozer; think of the Kellys or the pack of Alsatians in the O’Rigger.  ‘Max’ provided a temporary diversion from the serious darts and produced a ready-made excuse for poor form.  Dave was the top player (a Willie specialist), despite being spotted sitting down yawning in the middle of a game, generally a fatal error.  After a big build-up, K2, still throwing the googlies, nailed a great bull finish.  An excellent evening and a promising slight improvement in the number of punters.  T-shirts all round to wear on the next visit. (KS) D-10, K2-9, K1-8, B-7

Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary  5th November 2010

No consistent fireworks down the Spring, but just one big cracker – Dave kicked off the second game with an astonishing 180!  How does this emerge from the general mediocrity?  Who can explain?  Brian was finishing well all evening and K2 was sending down a series of googlies – why is this happening?  K2 used to have a solid game.  Who can explain?  It was good to have enough punters for a game of doubles; the first time for ages.  It certainly compensated for a serious drenching on the way home. (KS) B-12, K1-8, K2-8, D-6

Wych Elm Pride 29th October 2010

A shortage of punters again, but still no barrier to a super evening of top darts.  Noel was recruited to assist in an attempt to beat the previous week’s 29 games; this was achieved easily with 33 games by midnight and there was still plenty of time for general chit chat.  As the beer kicked in and the players relaxed the standard improved; it was actually going pretty well when the final whistle blew. P.S. of course, I should have informed you that I had 4 3-dart finishes (including an annoying 98)!! (KS) K1-17, K2-10, N-6

Willoughby Twickenham Naked Ladies, Odyssey    22nd October 2010

Bad news!  Few punters in the pub; in fact in the public bar there was a dartboard for each punter (just Dave and myself).  Good news!  Due to lack of fans, the live music has been given the chop and so it’s ‘Game On’ every week.  With just the two of us, you would expect a rather tame evening and an early finish.  Wrong, with some rapid finishing and a peppering of the treble-20, we had a classic 3-hour duel ‘The Thriller in the Willough(by)’ with Dave completing a famous victory with a hat-trick just after midnight.  We were even thanked for making a bit of noise and hence producing atmosphere. (KS) D-15, K1-14

New Prince Seafarers, HSB 15th October 2010

‘Best of order please ladies, game on!’  Top class darts players (like us) are used to barracking; abuse, swearing, grunting, mindless chanting – all are taken in their stride.  However, there are problems coping with proximate intellectual conversations, comprising difficult academic concepts and long words.  Sheila celebrated her birthday by orchestrating some post-modernist barracking to good effect.  Recently your reporter’s darts quality has been adversely affected by attacks of laughter – arrers has descended into comedy.  The Prince was good value and we decamped for a ruby confidently expecting to be the sole punters – mistake!  It was crowded and a group of 24 had just arrived; never mind – at least we didn’t rush our nosebag. (KS) B-7, K2-5, D-4, K1-2

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick 8th October 2010 The recuperative effects of a holiday; a week in Sicily returns Dave from ‘Mr Negative’ to his usual optimistic self, and the result – an excellent win.  Meanwhile K2 is suffering from an arrers disease – call it the yips, the Patsies or even darts Tourettes, but the effect is the same – some surprise wild darts that keep the chalker on his toes.  K2 has prescribed himself a restorative week in Tuscany.  Some, very low concentration arrers were played; K2 managed a 3-dart 1 and K1/Dave scored 15 in 9 darts, and then went on to win the game.  If the objective of the evening is to play some top-class darts, then the rating must be 1/10; if, however, the objective is to have a good rabbit and a laugh, enhanced by low quality, comedy darts, then the rating is 9/10. (KS) D-10, B-9, K2-7, K1-6 9
Spring Grove Twickenham Naked Ladies, Proper Job, Ordinary, Mixed   1st October 2010

A couple of new beers to try out – both were tasty but really fruity summer ales; good to get back on the hoppy Mixed. As the reigning champion K2 got off to a flying start with some scattergun high scoring and a three dart finish; unfortunately that was it for the evening.  Some very rapid finishing all night, with Brian leading the way and taking the title.  A good, lively atmosphere down the Spring, very welcome after the worrying trip to the Willie last week. (KS) B-10, K1-7, K2-1

Willoughby Greene King, Shere Drop, Twickenham Grandstand  24th September 2010

Cheers – a revived pub!  It must be about 5 years since we had a darts session at the Willie; since then it must have taken a direct hit from a neutron bomb; the building’s still there but the punters have vaporised.  The public bar was laid out with 100 chairs ready for a command performance by Bossog, but just 3 happy Pompey fans were taking advantage.  After making space (not that easy), we enjoyed an excellent session and even managed the ultimate beer banditry when all three of us were simultaneously quaffing someone else’s pint.  An exciting evening ended with K2, first to 10, claiming the prize.  The beer was excellent, the venue is good – we must promote ‘evenings in the pub’ before all is lost to Facebook, flat screens and Xboxes.  (KS) K2-10, B-9, K1-6

Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary 17th September 2010 Two bull finishes and some fast finishing ensured that K2 when home happy and Brian and Dave went home in despair. K2-11, B-4, D-3
New Prince Seafarer 10th September 2010

The rather limited and negative ambition of the two Ks was to prevent a Brian whitewash; this was achieved, but Brian won anyway, basically because his standard of arrers (particularly finishing) is currently better than the rest.  Some rather strange live music down the Prince, which, on occasion became quite unpleasant on the ear. (KS) B-11, K2-7, K1-5

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  3rd September 2010

Where was John to receive his prize for winning the doubles league?  Apparently his smiling face had been spotted down that mineshaft in Chile!  Following some surprisingly reasonable England football the new singles league got underway with a familiar pattern of Brian on top form and Dave convincing himself that he was unable to finish.  Fortunately Noel turned up allowing the doubles league  to start; with Brian running out of steam and Dave’s negativity continuing, K1 and Noel took an important 3-0 win – given the recent poor attendance this could be enough to clinch the Xmas title. (KS) Singles B-9, K1-4, D-1. Doubles K1-3, N-3, D-0. B-0 

Spring Grove Bombardier, Wandle 27th August 2010 Brian had already sewn up the singles summer league, so the big question was could anyone overhaul John in the doubles league?  Things started well, but there is something about the Spring (noise, poor lighting?) that soon reduces concentration levels to a minimum.  Brian maintained a reasonable standard, but the rest of us were poor – your reporter, following a first game 3-darter, registered precisely zero finishes in the remaining two hours.  Good pub, poor darts! (KS) B-9, K2-7, D-6, K1-6 8
Wych Elm Pride 20th August 2010

After a short mid-summer break, with players attending various overseas training camps, it was important that this evening provided some top class competitive arrers.  K2, with old darts but new Spurs flights and stems, started bowling straight and true but, following numerous modifications to his run-up, changed to a combination of  leg breaks, googlies and doosras.  Dave was having a crisis of confidence and a severe bout of negativity; this problem is normally resolved with the expensive assistance of a sports psychologist, but our Team knows the cheaper and more effective option – beer!  Honours were fairly even, with the evening’s highlight being a 3-dart 9 from Dave –  double 1, 20 seconds to convince himself that 9 minus 2 isn’t 5, then a rapid fire 1, double 3 – magic!  Fortunately Noel pitched up allowing weary players a short rest and reducing dizziness.  The beer, in my opinion, seemed particularly tasty. (KS) K1-12, K2-8, D-8, N-1

New Prince Seafarers, Pride 6th August 2010

Arrerstotle’s first law of darts: if you were virtually unbeatable last week (Brian), then you will take ages to trouble the scorer this week; if you spent hours without finishing last week (Dave), then you will get the double with the first attempt this week.  A solid pre-curry doubles session with ultra-low concentration levels – K2 was even spotted hitting a good score without looking at the board.  A memorable 108 3-darter from Brian, but little else to excite the crowd.  Your reporter experimented with a shorter dart to try to correct the dodgy aerodynamics – always blame the tools; the experiment proved a complete failure.  How did I win the evening?  No logical explanation except the traditional ‘partners for dough’.  A very tasty curry rounded off an excellent birthday session. (KS) K1-8, B-5, K2-5, D-2, F-2

Pub 8, Curry 9
Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary 30th July 2010

A shortage of players and so a 3-man singles challenge.  Last time the scoring was so slow that we had to stop when the winner reached 7 games; no such problem this time with some all-round showy scoring – unfortunately only one player was managing the doughy doubles and the match ended when Brian reached 20 wins.  The problem is one of runaway positive feedback – the longer the board time, the better one plays and hence the longer the board time etc..  Dave pointed your reporter in the direction of some recent medical research that shows conclusively that booze is good at preventing and curing arthritis – so it’s not enough drink that’s the problem – what a wasted opportunity!  Beer on the NHS! (KS) B-20, K1-7, D-3

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick 23rd July 2010

The Kingston and Surbiton pub survey commenced on Friday 9th May 1986 at the Waggon with a strong research team of K1, K2, JR, Dave, Tony and Alan.  Guest associates that night were Evan, Linda, Frank and John Smith; JA was also a regular original team member but missed the first date.  New team members were recruited; Brian (1988), Sheila (1989) and Rob (1992) - there have been a few retirements along the way; Alan (1990), JA (1991), Tony (1998) and Rob (2005).  As the Team is unsure of the relevance of their research data, the survey continues, and this trip to the Wych witnessed the 1000th pub research visit of your reporter.  I guess that’s 5000 pints (2.5 tons) of beer costing £15,000 and still no tentative conclusions may be drawn.  Anyway the evening was an excellent game of three halves; three hours in the garden discussing various issues, two hours inside quizzing Hilary and Tensing on mountaineering issues, and finally a couple of hours of darts.  The full survey team comprised K1 (1000 pubs), K2 (936), Dave (909), Brian (835), Holly, Malcolm, Hilary (Glen), Tensing (Brian2), Noel and Sam.  JR (615) was sadly absent. No sentiment in the arrers – your reporter celebrated this milestone with zero wins!  Just desserts for not bothering with a ruby. (KS) K2-4, N-4, B-3, D-3, K1-0

Fox and Hounds Courage Best   16th July 2010

‘Last Ride from Gumshoe’ – the red carpet was rolled out for the star, but only two punters turned up to congratulate him.  After decades of travelling up from Gumshield for the Friday night sessions, John is retiring to take up his seat (Petworth House?) as Lord Reay of Petworth.  The darts were pretty good and John had two extremely close 180 attempts; however, it’s doubles for dough.  An unthirsty evening, tucked up in bed before midnight – shame!  (KS) Singles, B-10, K1-8, J-4








Lord Reay’s Petworth House

Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary, Guinness  9th July 2010

Hot and humid conditions down the Spring causing the players to sweat up in the paddock.  Dave even turned up in his Ranulph Fiennes Polar Wear (well, a denim jacket actually).  Maybe it was this heatwave or possibly the slow drinking (4 pints in 3 hours) but the darts were pretty uninspiring.  A millimetre miss of a 167 finish was all I can remember.  The Spring is a top lively venue as normal. (KS) B-10, K1-8, K2-7, D-5

New Prince Seafarers  2nd July 2010

The end of four weeks of ‘World Cup Specials’ during which we have seen two nil-nils (including Fabio’s boys), a stitch-up non-game and, finally, in the 123rd minute of the last game a touch of drama.  There may be slightly more pressure taking a last-minute penalty for one billion Africans than going for double-top down the Prince, but the same basic principles apply.  These Jabolanis (balls and darts) tend to fly high with too much power – just make sure you don’t hit it too high........oh well! – next ‘World Cup Special’ from Brazil in 2014 – suggest we try the Wych!  Concentration levels very low for the arrers (K2 going to the dentist to get his eyes fixed!), but with some input from Les, who could be John’s permanent replacement, the standard was not too awful; and the beer was good. (KS) K1-7, B-7, K2-3, D-1

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  25th June 2010

A Spanish atmosphere down the Wych – pity about the non-competitive match.  After watching some footee and a chat in the garden, the highly competitive and somewhat raucous darts kicked off at 10pm.  I know it’s risky saying it, but the standard seemed much improved and included the now-standard burst of brilliance, this time a 3-dart bull finish from Dave.  John stayed late and demonstrated yet again that his time is from 11pm to midnight; some excellent rapid finishing that I am informed was loudly celebrated!.....but not as loud as the lady in the crowd, who was either laughing at the quality of the darts, or had just heard the funniest joke ever told.  Top 3.5 hour session. (KS) J-11, D-9, K1-5, N-5, B-4

New Prince Seafarer   18th June 2010

The England Football Team has a top international coach (that’s Don Fabio) earning £100K per week; the Rejects Arrers Team has a coach (that’s Dave) who earns a cheese roll.  England has a massive well-paid support team; the Rejects have Sheila, who multi-tasks as the team nutritionist, masseuse, psychologist and general cheerleader, for which she receives a red wine (poor quality) allowance.  The Rejects live up to their potential and England does not; the darts is far more entertaining and the players are not upset by supporters booing, because this is the norm.  Draw your own conclusions.  The arrers followed the recent pattern of ‘general mediocrity with an unexpected burst of brilliance’.  This week, the darts started well but declined after Sheila provided some nosebag, proving that simultaneous chewing and throwing is not recommended.  Then, out of the blue, a 6-dart 280 finish; firstly Dave with a 180 and then K2 completed the task with a 3-darter 100 (60, 12, x14) - fortunately he was deflected from the original plan of going for x19!  The arrers have not been improved by the introduction of the Jabolani Dart; this has a tendency to veer wide of the mark or fly over the top of the board.  Excellent live wailing guitar down the Prince. (KS) K2-9 K1-6, B-6, D-5

England- 1
Pub- 9
Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick 11th June 2010

The start of the World Cup and an early start in the pub for a never-to-be-forgotten high scoring classic between Belgium and Bolivia.  The darts were even more exciting, with Dave continuing his excellent recent form and winning the evening as well.  K2 was having trouble with his mince pies, and claiming an inability to see the board clearly was having an adverse effect on his aim; funny that, it’s when it goes all blurry that my darts seem to improve!! (KS) D-9, K1-7, K2-4, B-3, N-1

Fox and Hounds ‘Almost a pint of’ Courage Best    4th June 2010

The Foxnhounds is a strange place; you never feel that welcome and the landlord appears to wish for a punter-free hostelry.  That’s this week’s excuse for poor darts anyway.  The first game was a 60-darter (the chalker counted) and the last game could well have been worse.  There was some mild improvement in between with a ridiculous 180 (uncelebrated due your reporter’s poor eyesight and total lack of belief) followed in the next game by yet another Dave 3-dart bull finish.  Fortunately the winning post was set at 7 games, ensuring a curtailment of frustration and an early bed. (KS) D-7, K1-5, K2-3

Waggon/Spring Grove Hooky, Bombardier  28th May 2010

A Norton at full throttle up the Waggon, so an early call for the Spring.  A brilliant start with Dave’s first game bull and a super finish with John’s 3-darter with double-top; unfortunately, over two hours of mediocrity (with a few bright moments) sandwiched in between.  Evidently Dave, the Spring Grove specialist, was the top player all evening, so how come he finished third?  The mystery of top-class competitive arrers! (KS) J-9, K1-9, D-8, K2-6

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  21st  May 2010

With the sudden onset of summer and warm, balmy evenings, there was a feeling that something special may occur.  K2 started with some fortunate darts, built on this to play some good darts and then hit a purple patch, culminating in an extra special game. Six darts down to 135 and then the top finish ever (60,25,bull) that scores on four counts – a 9-dart 301, a 3-dart finish, an over-100 finish and a bull.  After that emotional moment, the purple patch ended and Brian, following a long bald patch, took the prize with a final game shoot-out.  Tip-top evening.  (KS) B-10, K2-9,  K1-6

New Prince Seafarer     14th May 2010

A triple birthday celebration.  John was adamant; out with the fish and chips, out with the early poshnosh, out with the nuts and crisps – a return to the traditional beer/curry combo.  A good call too, as the new curry house proved a major improvement on the ‘I’m not going to that ‘king funeral parlour’ Agra.  The wife was on tenterhooks all evening, worried that your reporter might take a pop at the Kingston MP, Ed Davey, on his idea for the ‘single transferrable vote’ – vote Libdem to ‘keep the Tories out’ and then transfer the vote to keep them in!   The Prince continues to impress with excellent Seafarers ale – it’s a top venue for darts, but not, unfortunately, a venue for top darts! (KS) B-5, K1-5, K2-5, D-3, J-2

Pub: 9
Curry: 8
Foxnounds Best  7th May 2010

Here are the contenders for the new league relaxing in the players’ lounge; they are discussing the usual cycling, sailing, skiing, logistics, volcanic ash and a touch of politics – how come 29,461 of our fellow citizens cast their vote for Old Etonian spiv and chancer, Lord No-tax Zak Goldfish?  Then the darts commences and the ‘1’ takes one hell of a hammering; John nets a couple of early goldfish, but draws inspiration from them and finishes both games in style.  John also contributed the ‘joke of the week’ – apparently your reporter is the ‘flounder of the goldfish club’ – holy mackerel! – I know my plaice!  Some inspired darts, some garbage, plenty of banter, a touch of Tourettes, excellent Best (Gertcha!).  This report is too fishy – ‘bream me up Scotty’. (KS) B-6, K1-4, J-3, K2-3, D-2

Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary 30th April 2010

We have done a few things to get a game of arrers in the past; move the furniture, mark out an oche, bring your own chalk, but it is certainly a new one to have to supply and fit your own lightbulb.  In the end, it was a good move as the Spring generally has an atmosphere conducive to good darts.  I left my darts, but am hopeful of recovering them, although it may be better just to forget them!  The Spring is a good pub that still buzzes, but a trip to B&Q wouldn’t go amiss, and while they’re there they could maybe arrange for the bog to be renovated. (KS) K1-8, K2-8, B-7, D-5

Waggon Hooky 23rd April 2010 The Waggon is becoming peculiar; a duet providing the music made Bossog sound like Simon and Garfunkel.  The dirges were possibly the reason for the total lack of punters taking advantage of the St George’s day celebratory meal, although the ‘busy’ restaurant kept us off the darts as it is used for storing the crap blocking the dartboard.  There was some dispute as to what to do with the St George’s flags above the dartboard, easily solved when Dave brought them down with the first arrer of the evening.  Later there was another dispute about the lighting, which was deemed to be under the control of the chalker; Dave duly turned it off as he was finding the light too bright!  Is it really any wonder that the darts are not of a particularly high standard?  Despite not scoring heavily or finishing quickly, Dave asserted that he was ‘playing well’ – a real glass-half-full man.  A good evening, but taxi for the duet! (KS) B-8, K1-7,K2-7,D-4 8
Monty’s / Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick, assorted others 16 April 2010

Strange Days!  Big silver birds grounded so you can hear the small feathery ones.  Dave made his terrestrial way home from Hamburg and John made Val d’Isere for a European darts challenge, but Malcolm really was marooned in Athens.  Unconventional to have the birthday and anniversary curry precede the drink, but it appeared successful in attracting extra punters; and the food was much better.  The darts were peculiar – some dross, including a ‘double-fish’, but also some excellent 3-darters and a rather ace bull. (KS) B-6, D-4, K1-4, K2-4

Curry 8, Pub 9
Fox and Hounds Courage Best    9th April 2010

The Foxnhounds was buzzing with punters, due to the sudden arrival of summer after an interminable winter.  The first time for weeks that we had the full complement of players; Shakin’ John Reay had even been working in Chile.  Consequently, there was plenty to rabbit about and the concentration levels were very low; even a few pints of excellent Best failed to relieve the mediocrity.  At least we saw a bull finish from Brian.  An excellent darts venue. (KS) B-8, D-6, K1-5, J-5, K2-4

Wych Elm Pride 2nd April 2010

Walking to the pub late humming ‘You’ll be lonesome tonight, you’ll be…’, but I wasn’t!  Old times at the Wych with a real crowd producing loud animated bunny.  Malcolm and Holly were already installed, and K2 and Kathy raced back from Cornwall for some well-merited rehydration.  A rumour circulating that the pub would have a religious early closing due to ‘Bad Friday’ proved completely unfounded.  We left the pub quenched and happy at 12.25, a respectable time to go home.  Conversation too interesting to break for even a darts cameo.   (K1-0, K2-0)

New Prince Seafarer  26th March 2010

Lights, camera, action!  Everything in order down the Prince for a solid evening of arrers.  We were enjoying it so much, we gave up on the idea of Dave’s birthday curry and made do with crisps and nuts; rather boring, but you wake up in the morning not feeling unwell with an extra fifteen quid in your pocket.  A close competition with Brian just triumphing at the last as your reporter, finish-less for two hours, came good after a few beers.  The Prince was good, but not sure about the ‘live’ music.

Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary           19th March 2010 A lack of Lumens down the Grove – darts played with 2 candlepower illumination!  Brian and Dave were successful in finishing in the Specsavers Challenge whereas the Ks struggled badly, K2 maybe as a result of cycling into a gate on the way there, and your reporter, who was OK with direction but could not get to grips with the elevation.  The scoring was probably no worse than normal, although Dave compounded problems by purposefully blocking the small amount of light falling on the board – a reminder of the golf barracking.  Whoever heard of a pub with no spare light bulbs?  However, it was quite good fun! 7
Wych Elm / Willoughby / Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick, Twickenham Grandstand, something else? 12th March 2010

An evening of poor decision –making: 1. Possibly, the late change from the Fox to the Wych.  2. The decision to move to the Willoughby in search of variety and atmosphere.  3. The decision not to return quickly to the Wych.

Tumbleweed was blowing through the Willoughby; two dart boards were free, the beer was fine and Bossog was not apparent.  Unfortunately Lucy was playing – big voice, big hair, small audience.  We did have the opportunity to prove that we are worse at pool than we are at darts.  Meanwhile, Cathy had returned to the Wych to rendezvous with Hilary and Tensing.  A late (11.55 – 12.15) singles match with snappy finishing showed what we had missed. (KS) K1-5, K2-3

Waggon Bombardier, Ordinary, Mixed  5th March 2010

After moving the kitchen furniture, getting the light on, the TV off, and obtaining some new chalk, the game took off.  I believe your reporter finished the first two games but no more later during the next two hours.  However, it’s ‘partners for dough’ and there’s no better partner than John just before he goes home.  Some pretty good darts were played and the beer was a good; another early finish! (KS) K1-10, J-7, B-6, K2-5


Fox and Hounds

Courage Best   26 February 2010

A good late rugger-induced decision to swap to the Foxnounds, where you can play darts in a lunar atmosphere.  The odds of K2 winning the evening were akin to Fulham beating the tricky Ukranian Brazilians of Donetsk; but again the old adage applies ‘tricky footwork for show, but putting the dart in the back of the net earns the dough’.  A quiet unthirsty evening, with Dave anticipating a couple of tough weeks in Barbados. (KS)  K2-11, K1-8, D-8, B-7

New Prince/ Agra Seafarer 19th February 2010 I asked the psychologist if she could shed any light on the poor standard of darts, and after very little thought she came up with ‘there’s too much rabbit and not enough concern’, which pretty much sums it up.  She did then helpfully added that ‘this is a good thing’!  Dave registered a hat trick of championships before we adjourned to the Agra – I cannot help but think that a few more Seafarers and a round of nuts, crisps and pork scratchings may have been a more attractive option – the Agra has less concern for the quality of its curries than we have for the quality of our darts – poor fare! (KS) D-7, B-7, K1-6, J-4, K2-1, F-1 Pub Rating: 7 Curry Rating: 4
Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick 12th February 2010 The Team was not in the best of health; Dave was recovering from last Sunday’s spill and John had decided to join in by falling foul of Gumshoe’s Albanian road surface – hats off to a man who repaired his bike and turned up anyway.  The introduction of the sixth man caused some initial confusion, but this was soon overcome with the useful mnemonic ‘chat-chalk-chuck-chuck’.  With much creaking and groaning and concentration at an all time low we managed 3 hours of rather mediocre darts and another win for Dave.  For determination under adverse circumstances, a rare 10 rating is awarded. (KS) D-9, B-8, K2-8, J-8, K1-7 10
Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary, Mixed 5th February 2010 The Waggon was ‘blocked’ and good only for puncture repairs.  The Spring was also ‘blocked’, but fortunately a singing Taffy cleared the space.  Sometimes a delayed start builds excitement and the subsequent standard is high; this time it wasn’t.  Only Dave coped with the gloom and the proximate punters; following his careful analysis of the ‘Phil the Power’ action, he took the evening with an impressive number of ‘quick one-two’ finishes. (KS) D-7, J-4, B-4, K2-3, K1-2 7
Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick 29th January 2010 It was all going along nicely with plenty of rabbit and poor concentration; then Brian and John spoilt it by unfairly deciding to focus and improve the standard.  They won 10 games on the bounce, including the first 180 (Brian) to invoke the special ‘180 rule’.  The three trying to defeat them did not really help each other with some unwelcome barracking and derision.  A new form of barracking was witnessed where the players exclaim ‘that’s it!’, when their opponents’ attempted double has in fact missed; to be honest this was probably down to poor eyesight rather than malice.  An excellent evening. (KS) B-14, J-11, K1-5, D-4, K2-4 9
New Prince Seafarer 22nd January 2010 An excellent evening to get the singles arrers league underway.  K1, Brian and John played out a hard-fought 2-hour battle with John prevailing courtesy of his traditional late good form.  As John left at 11.15 he was replaced by Dave, making one of the later registered Friday night appearances; a rapid 9-game cameo ended 3 apiece, so each punter registered a share of the evening’s spoils.  Whisper it, but the darts standard was quite reasonable, with plenty of good scores, some top 3-darters and a late bull finish.  The Prince was tip-top, featuring good blues/rock live music and tasty Seafarer Ale, with a lowish strength to insure against ‘nervousness’ on the oche. (KS) Game 1: J-13, K1-10, B-4 Game 2: D-3, K1-3, B-3 9
Fox and Hounds Courage Best  15th January 2010 It’s good to have no distractions near the dartboard, but you do want a few other punters to provide an atmosphere.  The proximity of the wall was apparently generating a magnetic flux and longitudinal pressure waves, causing some darts to deviate from their intended target.  However, K2 overcame this handicap to retain his championship and show continuing good early form in the new league.  Excellent Courage Best and a sensible (but boring!) early finish. (KS) K2-10, D-9, B-7, K1-6 7
Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary, Mixed    8th January 2010

With Ranulph Reay iced up at his Gumshoe base camp, there were just four punters to celebrate the elevation to the Olympic Rejects pantheon of ace Aussie dartsman, Tony ‘nervous as a newt’ Fleet.  The extreme heat and lack of air at the Spring were much appreciated during this cold snap, and a competition of decent standard took place in the gloom.  After a couple of games of tactics, we slipped off at midnight.(KS) K2-9, D-7, B-6, K1-6

Waggon Tribute, Bombardier, Ordinary, Orange Juice (not a pint)    1st January 2010

A happy new year to all (the few) readers and welcome to the fourth decade of Friday night drinking!  A cracking darts match to get this world cup year under way:  John, fresh from throwing a golf club 50 yards, ignored treacherous cycling conditions and was justly rewarded with a hat-trick of 3-darters and a share of the first evening championship: your reporter managed a truly bizarre ‘nul-pointer’ due to a ‘lack of air’ – well, the Waggon was rather devoid of atmosphere; some seriously dodgy chalking allowed 118 to be finished legally with a double-9; the recently-crowned (in absentia) Brian, with French practice nullified by train-lag, completed the evening with no finishes; finally, ‘the Wife’ had recently demoted herself at work, citing the need for more free time for drinking and darts practice – an early vindication was obtained with a classic 2-dart 93 finish (T19,D18).  Compared to golf, we are brilliant at arrers!  More evenings like that please! (KS) JR-10, K1-10, K2-7, D-4, F-4, B-3


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