Kingston & Surbiton Pub Review 2011

 

Pub

Recommended
Beer

Visit Date Comments  Score
Wych Elm

Pride

30th December 2011 A Happy New Year to all (the few) readers.  You’re having a quiet swim in the Hampton open air pool and a strange man bobs up and invites you out that evening for a festival of darts.  Fran was off to a solid start in her first game with Dave unthreatening back on 214 – four darts later it’s all over (180!, D17).  Confidence shredded, Fran left an hour later without troubling the scoreboard.  K2 then decided it was time to find some form in preparation for the 2012 Olympic (rejects) year by winning seven games on the spin and taking the evening’s championship easily.  Another one of those evenings when time seemed to slow down but, with some effort, we lasted the pace until the official midnight finish time. (KS) K2-12, D-6, N-5, K1-4, F-0 9
Wych Elm Pride  23rd  December 2011

There was a large crowd of juniors (that’s under-25s) in the public bar that added to the lively pre-Xmas atmosphere.  K2 almost made a remarkable 3-dart 122 (T18, T12... and then the juniors invaded the pitch for five minutes of hugging, backslapping and general greetings, and 5 minutes later when the pitch was cleared.. a narrow miss of D16).  The standard picked up and I managed two 3-darters including 75 (9,16, bull!) and K2 also chipped in with two, including a 97 (can’t remember!).  With some cramp setting in along with dizziness and general fatigue, we were glad to see Noel and eventually AN Other, to allow some chalking and talking (to oneself).  (KS) K1-17, K2-8, N-3

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New Prince Seafarers 16th December 2011

Sometimes one wonders if we have ever played darts before – this was a quite awful performance all round with some very long games and nothing much of interest.  Even time seemed to go slower than normal.  It’s been a long year, and with dark cold days upon us perhaps the players need some yuletide festivities to revive their spirits.  It was a temptation to pack up early and go home, but at least we found the stamina to last until closing time.(KS) B-8, K1-8, K2-5, D-5, S-5

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Wych Elm

ESB, Pride, Chiswick                                                                          

9th December 2011 A game of three halves: the first half comprised an hour of quick-fire singles with some very rapid finishing from Brian and Dave, who chipped in with a 3-dart 88 bull finish (18,20,Bull).  The second half started when the climbers, on their annual Xmas ‘do’, vacated Monty’s base camp to establish an advanced base camp in the corner of the Wych Elm.  Noel and I then established a four-game winning streak, all games finishing with the first pop at a double, including my 3-dart 89 bull finish (19,20,bull).  The run was ended when K2 retired suddenly to participate in some climbing banter.  The third half is rather a blur, but the highlight was 3 treble 18s from Dave just prior to a sudden disappearance during the game to give Sue ‘a crossbar’ back from the Canbury.  An excellent evening ending at a respectable time of 12.20 am. (KS) Singles: B-8, D-4, K1-4 Doubles: N-7, K1-6, D-5, B-5, K2-1 9
Waggon

Beers:  Otter, Black Sheep, Mixed, Guinness

2nd December 2011 Cold and wet outside; hot and sweaty inside – the Waggon revamp has attracted a surprisingly large number of new punters.  Initially we thought the board was blocked, but happily found it was the exiled Kellys Arms darts and table football team saving the space for us.  Only Shepherds were finishing; to begin with Brian was on top form, but this evaporated with the arrival of Sheila, who proceeded to win the next seven games with your reporter, in spite of (or because of) abuse about industrial inaction and a complete lack of interest in the arrers.  Unfortunately K2’s dartitis returned and some of the beers were less than appetising.  Waggon – could do better. (KS) K1-12, B-8, S-7, K2-6, D-3 7
Wych Elm

ESB, Pride, Chiswick                                                                           

25th November 2011 A top evening of doubles.  K2’s form finally returned after a stunning 3-darter 114 (20,T18,D20).  Brian won 10 games despite only one finish all evening!  Noel nailed a bull.  We were joined by a reasonable crowd; Malcolm, Holly, Fran (very late!) and the recently formed Sainsbury’s climbing team....and at 12.20am, Dave stepped up for the winning shot to claim a hat-trick of doubles championships.  Darts – a game of confidence. (KS) D-12, K1-11, B-10, N-10, K2-7 9
New Prince

Seafarer                                                                                                        

18th November 2011 K2 has been gunning for the chalkers for months, keeping them alert, ducking and diving.  He finally nailed a chalker – yours truly.  A superficial but visible flesh wound was inflicted on my throwing hand by a wild bounce-out; this was compounded by the nature of the guilty equipment – my generously loaned heavy ordnance.  Brian, on top form, won the first seven singles games despite some heavy scoring by the opponents, but then lost focus to allow a minor comeback.  The doubles started when K2 and Sheila arrived late, allowing Dave to continue his Willoughby form with another victory.  I thought I was playing quite well, but the scoreboard doesn’t lie!  There was only one appropriate end to the evening – the first double checkout by the chalker’s nemesis – K2 duly delivered just after midnight. (KS) Singles: B-8, K1-3, D-3 Doubles: D-9, B-6, K2-6, K1-2, S-1 8
Willoughby Twickenham Autumn Blaze, Fullers Celebration (8.5%!?)  11th November 2011

An excellent evening of doubles – poor concentration at the start with football and rugby distractions, but later the game really picked up with at least three decent attempts at 180 and a couple of high 3-darters.  It ended as all top competitions should with Dave nailing double 3 to take the evening’s shoot-out just after midnight.  Loud and prolonged celebration aided by Celebration (too syrupy) in a glass.  The pub was just coming to life as we left! (KS) D-12, B-11, K1-10, K2-9

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Waggon Tribute , Copper Bottom    4th November 2011

Assuming you are actually able to release the dart, what is the worst affliction for a top pro dart player?  The poxy things not sticking in the board!  K2’s dartitis now becoming critical – a strange trajectory plus a woolly board and bluntish darts led to on average only two darts scoring and occasional carnage – the lowlight being a score of zero, when the final arrer dislodged a previous dart tentatively clinging in the T20.  Some pretty unpleasant background music, but overall a solid evening of doubles with a couple of decent beers to quaff. (KS) K1-10, B-10, D-8, K2-6

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Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  28th October 2011

Some singles with a chalker chalking, and talker and stalker in the dugout able to engage in conversation with the crowd (Cathy, Holly and Malcolm) – an excellent set-up.  The main problem is that when you are knocked off, you can spend a fair time warming the bench and lose form; Brian won the first four games and then failed to trouble the scorer for over an hour.  Nothing special to report again, excepting Dave’s classic 3-darter 107 (7,D20,T20!!).  K2’s dartitis not improving and Dave and I failed to engineer a shoot-out for the championship, a dishonourable draw being declared at 12.10 am. (KS) D-10, K1-10, B-7, K2-0

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New Prince Seafarer 21st October 2011

A cancelled curry – probably not such a bad idea as the players were fatigued right from the start of the evening.  Brian’s unbeatable form has gone the way of all darts form – the cause this time was a change of shoes.  Some Motown didn’t help the levels of concentration – unsporting (but funny) singing and dancing on the oche.  The darts were rather mediocre with nothing special to report.  As usual, the Prince generated some confusion; dartitis, beer banditry and dodgy chalking – K2 even finished the evening by attempting to construct a double-decker skid lid (it’s twice as safe!).  Sad to report that the restricted room in the Prince brought on a repeat of my ‘oche groin’/‘chalker’s cramp’ – sounds funny but pretty painful! (KS) K1-9, D-7, K2-7, B-4, S-3

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Waggon Tribute 14th October 2011

A renovated Waggon with an impressive increase in the number of punters; by popular request they had even installed a ‘viewing window’ so the punters are now able to watch the exciting darts that previously they were only able to hear.  A glut of T20s to start the evening and an impressive 104 3-darter (20,T18,D15) from Brian – then Sheila turned up, even affecting the darts before she arrived with some kind of phone problem.  Anyway, Sheila produced a 100% record, winning all five of her games, and completed the evening by discarding Brian’s unfinished beer – excellent stuff! (KS) K1-11, B-5, K2-5, S-5, D-4

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Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  7th October 2011

It’s funny – when the pub used to shut at 11 everybody was upset and sometimes we were so desperate to carry on hydrating we transferred to Gunga Din’s; now the pub stays open till 12, most punters clear out at 11 and the knackered Team members are desperate for the last bell to send them home to bed.  K2, finding better form with his reserve arrows, was particularly tired, featuring in the first 18 games and remaining chalk-free for over 2 hours.  He found the strategy for beating Brian – establish an early lead and then play with Brian for the rest of the evening.  An excellent evening of reasonable darts, with a guest climbers’ appearance. (KS) K2-14, B-10, K1-8, D-4, N-2

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New Prince Seafarer 30th September 2011

A return to the Prince on the hottest 30th September ever and some pretty hot darts with Dave just failing to inflict a rare defeat on Brian.  Given the normal confusion around the oche and the occasional wild darts it is quite surprising that nobody has yet been pierced by a flying arrow, but we conjured up a really good attempt this evening.  As with many accidents, it followed a series of improbable events; firstly Brian gave up on the chalking (why?) leaving Dave and yours truly to chalk our own game – then Dave unusually decided to chalk his score before extracting his darts, and finally very unusually I had the blinkers on and was fully focused on double 1 – a near miss ensued, but unperturbed I nailed the finish next dart!  In addition to playing very poor darts, I was woken in the night with an unpleasant pain; initially the doctor misdiagnosed this as that common dartsman’s affliction of ‘oche groin’, but, after discussion with the patient, came up with a more plausible malady – ‘chalker’s cramp’! (KS) B-14, D-11, K1-7 

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New Prince Seafarers, Red Wine, Diet Coke, Sparkling Water 23rd September 2011 The Spring was crowded and the Waggon was shut (it didn’t stop Dave from attempting to tether up outside) so it’s back to the Prince.  Sheila was on time but obviously plays better when she’s late.  Brian is playing the best darts but worryingly also encouraging his partners to play well – another win.  The best action was a 3-dart 68 from Dave; the call for ‘18,bull’ was met with some unkind cries of derision, but Dave netted anyway with 1,17,Bull!  A good evening but rather empty and quiet in the Prince.  Will the refurbished Waggon still sport a dartboard!? (KS) B-11, D-9, K1-5, F-3, S-2 8
Willoughby Oxfordshire Ales Triple B, Haka    16th September 2011

We got ‘shafted’ and they played the music as well.  Brian is currently too hot at the finishing (averaging about two darts per double) and the rest of the Team are suffering, often not even getting a shot at a finish.  We know Brian is highly susceptible to a loss of concentration, but there was nobody in the pub to provide the necessary distraction, not even ‘Tyson’.  Good dart board, pool table, cricket on the box, good (mainly) music and very tasty Haka beer at £2.50 per pint – so where are the punters!? (KS) B-18, K1-11, D-9, K2-8

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Waggon Bombardier, Summer Ale, Ordinary ‘beer’  9th September 2011

Another week – another drubbing; Brian’s current form is too good – I reckon he only lost 5 games in three hours.  In the singles, he had another 180 and two three-darters, including a 102 (T20,10, D16).  Sheila turned up for the doubles, but was too tired really to put Brian off.  I managed a three-darter, but K2 chipped in with a three-dart 105 (20, T15, D20 I think), unfortunately when he was playing with Brian, and Sheila slotted a couple of finishes, again partnering Brian!  Good beer and an excellent 3-hour session.  (KS) Singles B-9, K1-3, K2-1; doubles B-9, K2-6, K1-5, S-4

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Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick                                                     2nd September 2011

The new league starts on the final hot, sweaty evening of the summer.  Brian was looking good to repeat his normal drubbing of the two Ks, with K1 focusing entirely on chalking and K2, despite a couple of early successes, struggling to find consistency.  But could Brian maintain concentration?  An early indication of problems was a classic 2 dart finish of 11 (5, D2!) – then Noel clocked in, followed closely by Hilary and Tensing with plenty of chat.  Noel suffered a minor dart injury when the board fell off the wall on to his shoulder and Brian was then adversely affected by the prospect of an early Saturday morning trip to Tottenham for a battering at the hands of a glut of masseurs.  Consequently, aided by Pride hydration, K1 made a surprise comeback.  K2 still suffering chronic dartitis – remember to blame the tools; from the Arsene Wenger coaching manual, “When good results are achieved, it’s down to the skill of the players, when things are going badly, it’s down to the poor equipment”.  Maybe it’s time for some new spears? (KS) B-11, K1-11, K2-2, N-3

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New Prince Seafarer, wine, diet coke, Cobruuggghh      26th August 2011

180s are getting as common as fish – Brian netted the third one in about five weeks with his second throw of the night.  Some solid arrers were thrown all evening, including a respectable effort from ‘er indoors, who won four games on the spin (with assistance) and chipped in with a D2 finish.  Fran is a reasonable player and a sound chalker but fails to sound off in the role of talker – lessons from Sheila possibly?  Sheila did not replicate her recent good form – distracting the opposition is fair game, but you have to know who your partner is!  K2 proved that the D11 bull shot was no fluke, this time firing wide of the D11.  I have little recall of Brian’s birthday curry except it was a rush, the food was good and I had a disgusting beer – paying, leaving the curry house, cycling home, going to bed – memory all wiped.  Either the Seafarer was extra strong or it’s time to see the quack! (KS) B-7, K1-5, K2-5, D-4, F-4, S-1

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Wych Elm Pride, Carlsburgghh  19th August 2011

As a rite of passage from A Levels to university, the importance of arrers competence cannot be neglected; hence, Sam was offered a family elders (Father Keith and Uncle Dave) darts masterclass down the local.  Uncle Dave was on top form, including an excellent 180 and Sam did well to beat him in two games, the first one being the 180 game where Sam came up with the classic finish – darts one and two on the floor and the final dart bang in the middle of the double.  Dave’s 180 has to be the evening’s highlight but it is run close by K2’s attempt at a bull finish....hitting the double 11!  When Noel turned up, we had five contenders; two players, a chalker, a talker and a stalker.  Appropriately Sam won the last game at 12.30 and can progress to the next stage of life with confidence in his abilities to throw a dart and to subtract.  A top evening (KS) D-11, K2-7, K1-4

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12th August 2011 On vacation 0
New Prince Seafarer, wine, Fostughs  5th August 2011

‘Ruby or not ruby, that is the question’, and the answer is ‘a packet of Scampi Fries’ – you cannot get porky on that diet.  The music-free (bad news) Prince was up to its normal tricks.  No problem with the lighting with two searchlights borrowed from Colditz and an added feature that they go off with lack of action on the oche; I am in favour of this – darts is a snappy pub game, not a version of chess!  The lights may have contributed to the general overheating with most players sweating up in the paddock, but K2 suffered particularly badly with a male-menopausal hot sweat.  You always get a good laugh down the Prince, but it also encourages a form of mild dementia with walk-ons, walk-offs, poor chalking, beer banditry and out-of-body experiences.  As for the arrers, Dave kicked off the first game with a fish and then we threw 100 darts at the double 1 before K2 ended the misery; after that there were wild darts, loads of complete misses (including a failure to hit the board to bust), some brief purple patches and a classic chalker’s comment from Dave ‘The games always seem to improve when I’m chalkaggghhh..’, as K2’s chalker’s dart forced him to take cover behind the dartboard door.  Fortified by a dinner of Scampi Fries, Sheila stepped up to finish the last game early on Saturday morning. (KS) K1-9, K2-7, B-7, S-6, D-5 (K1's bull finish)

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Willoughby ussex Pride at £2.50 per pint 29th July 2011

A very welcome delay to the start of the arrows as Kathy put in a good talking appearance as substitute for her brother.  After that it was a productive evening if one’s name wasn’t Keith.  K2 checked in the first game with a rapid D19 finish and K1 collected the second game with a snappy D8; then Brian effectively claimed the evening with eight consecutive games, despite numerous chances for the Ks to break the sequence – as Bob Marley sang ‘No doubles, no dough’!   There was a brief glimmer of hope as Brian tired and lost enthusiasm, but he recovered to finish off with a hat-trick and the 20th game at 12.10 am.  Good cheap beer, but few punters to enjoy it.   (KS) B-12, K1-5, K2-3

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Wych Elm Pride 20th July 2011

A really excellent, and protracted, evening of darts and some pretty solid drinking of tip-top London Pride.  Everybody showed some form and yours truly had a brief purple patch that was deemed unfair as the darts were going straight – the purple patch culminated in a 180, although I did not actually win that game.  Sherpa Tensing and mates glissaded in to provide some extra crowd noise (they could hear us celebrating as they pulled up in their car).  Noel joined in the match, the talker was talking loud, the chalker was also talking, the players became dizzy and the board became blurred.  Noel was coming through fast on the rails, as the early players became overtired and emotional, but Dave just held on for a well-merited win at 12.20.  A good session! (KS)

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Willoughby

Titanic Longitude, Hop Head, Bombardier, London Pride 

15th July 2011

Rules for a two-man singles challenge: games are 301 straight in, double finish.  A match comprises the best of 25 games; these are divided into five five-game rubbers separated by 10-minute time-outs for comfort breaks, organisation of rehydration and some general chit-chat.  It works well – the match stretched into Saturday, the hydration properties of a good selection of beer were tested and the arrers were competitive and reasonably good at times – Dave had a 13-darter and I managed a 3-dart 100 finish (D20,20,D20).  It only takes two to tango! (KS) K1-13, D-9

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New Prince Seafarer, expensive wine                                 8th July 2011

A highly competitive singles competition with Brian, especially, showing excellent form...and then Sheila turned up (late!) and it was all change.  Concentration levels dropped, beer banditry was rife, Brian’s form went down the pan as he lost the final seven games, and Sheila, taking advantage of a tiring field, coming through on the rails in the final furlong, won the last 5 games (with some partner assistance) and took the evening’s doubles championship.  Sheila ‘The Late Power’ Hunt!  Good stuff. (KS) Singles: B-6, K1-4, D-2 Doubles: S-7, K1-6, D-5, B-2

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Waggon Waggledance, Bombardier  1st July 2011

Dave had just returned from Wimbledon and seemed out of grunt and over-pumped in the fist department; he very soon managed a hat-trick (or is that a bowl-full?) of fish – a reasonably sedate evening ensued with much chatter and some slow arrers.  Concentration levels dropped even lower during a discussion of ‘Pippasarse’, but Brian recovered to record our top 3-darter of 135 (T20, T17, D12) although the proper finish is, of course, (T20, 25, bull).  Good beer, good atmosphere, but perhaps a little quiet. (KS) K-11, D-9, B-7, K2-7

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New Prince Seafarer (free and paid-for), expensive wine   24th June 2011

As it was ‘er indoors’ birthday, I organised something really special for her – a game of arrers down the Prince!  Unusually we had six players and so a previously successful method was reintroduced; rotating doubles with 4 players, 1 chalker and 1 talker.  It’s Wimbledon fortnight (Murray on the box) and there was some crossover into the darts – words of support and encouragement (Go on, my son!) stuck to the darts bag and some mild fist clenching.  However, the best was saved to last – in the last few games, there was a crescendo of grunting, squealing and fist-pumping that was so funny that all (players, talker and chalker) were reduced to eye-watering hysterics – it was so funny, it kept me awake...and ‘the Wife’ thoroughly enjoyed her special night out!  All’s well with the world. (KS) K2-8, B-8, D-5, K1-4, S-4, F-3

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Wych Elm Chiswick, Pride, ESB 17th June 2011

A solid evening of darts; little chit-chat, no interruptions, just a concentrated 3-hour arrers session.  K2 showed good form in the warm-up, but crumpled in the white heat of competition, and Dave finally nailed that elusive finish at 10 pm and then went on to finish more.  Due to excellent partner selection and encouragement, K2 led the evening with 9 games all finished by his partners, but then, as the confidence returned  and the beer kicked in, netted a swift hat-trick.  As it should be, it all went down to the last game at midnight with Brian pipping K2 for the evening’s championship.  Absolutely knackered – must have a sit down next week! (KS) B-13, K2-12, K1-10, D-7

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New Prince Seafarer (free and paid-for), Expensive Wine   10th June 2011

Welcome to Dementia Darts brought to you by the AAA*.  ‘Who am I playing with?’, ‘Whose turn is it?’, ‘Where’s my beer?’, ‘Is it double 18?’, ‘Bratwurst or pork?’,  ‘Who’s coming on?’, ‘Whose chalk?’, ‘Has that game finished?’ – ‘yes, you got a double 3, remember’ – ‘did I?’.  A big crowd in the Prince, and ludicrously low levels of concentration.  K2’s scattergun darts continued and a Jonathon Trott-style angry dart through the windowpane would not have been unexpected.  Dave got the whole evening organised and was rewarded with zero finishes, but about 30 wire-bending near misses.  Sheila turned up late again (some comments were passed!) and stormed to a sensational second place whilst simultaneously organising a barbecue.  Buckets of free Seafarer courtesy of scratchcards. (*AAA - Alzheimers Arrers Association)  (KS) K1-13, S-7, D-6, B-5, K2-3 

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Waggon Bombardier, Tribute  3rd June 2011

Life’s certainties – death, taxes and the transient nature of darts form.  For reasons unknown your reporter has been showing some recent arrers form, especially in the finishing department, peaking in a 3-dart 110 (20,T18,D18) – enjoy it, because the form never lasts for long!  Premature walk-ons, bizarre dartitis symptoms, much chit-chat, tasty beer and a solid 3-hour session on a warm summer evening – good times.  ‘Paint your Waggon’! (KS) K1-14, B-11, K2-11, D-6

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Willoughby Dark Star Hophead, Twickenham Spring Ale        27th May 2011

A 3-way challenge and a determination to complete 30 games.  No crowd again, but the darts were of a reasonable standard, particularly when K2 kicked into action after 2 hours and 3 pints.  Dave was getting negative and struggling to finish, but still managed an excellent 3-darter 98 (20,T18,D14).  Just before midnight, there are few better ways to finish the 30th game than K2’s spectacular 85 (10,25,Bull!).  Excellent tasty beer although we only managed 4 pints in 3 hours. (KS) K1-14, K2-12, D-4

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Deea/Wych Elm Kingfisher, Cobra, Chiswick, Pride, ESB  21st May 2011

‘Dinner and Dance’ – the dinner was normally pretty good but there was never much dancing; however, with ‘Dinner and Darts’ one gets a good dinner and then some top darts.  An excellent turnout for the dinner and a number of guest appearances in the darts.  When Brian and John were paired at the start, the crowd was expecting the worst, but Dave in particular raised his game (and his voice!) and Sally, Evan and Fran featured on the scoreboard; in fact, I thought the A-list pairing were fairly fortunate to share in an unprecedented 5-way tie for the evening’s trophy.  Another excellent evening celebrating the three birthdays. (KS) D-4, S-4, E-2, K1-4, F-2, J-4, B-4, N-0

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New Prince Seafarer, various coloured wet and dry wines  13th May 2011

The Prince continues to deliver – the same music that Dave loves and a really good crowd which promises that the pub has a future.  The darts were of a higher quality with Sheila (late again!) still showing tip-top form.  Good darts, wild darts, poor chalking, disputes over rules – all the ingredients of a top evening.  I cannot decide whether Sue’s support encouraged Dave or just made him nervous? – probably neither!  Oh... and the Seafarer is a tasty brew. (KS) B-10, K1-8, D-6, S-5, K2-3

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Wych Elm

 

Chiswick, Pride 6th May 2011

The start of a new league and the promise of better things; it kicked off with a 3-dart score of 2!  Form did improve later, but seriously guys, how can one expect to play reasonable darts when simultaneously discussing weddings and then, for some reason, funerals?  As before, Brian stormed ahead and K2 threw some wayward darts to worry the chalker, but there was a twist in the tail.....Noel pitched up, teamed up with Dave, and completed the evening with a hat-trick to give Dave a share of the evening’s trophy.

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New Prince, Surbiton;  
Bar de Vincennes, Clecy, Normandy
Seafarer, Red Wine?;  
Leffe, Coffee, Whiskey 
29th April 2011

A European double-header to complete the darts league.  While Brian was narrowly defeating Sheila in the home leg, the away leg featured an automatic scoring dartboard that fortunately had broken, allowing free use with traditional pen and paper.  Dave, still exuberant after a shock win over the French at ‘Babyfoot’, teamed up with John for a hat-trick of wins, including two 3-dart finishes.  Some of the crowd were drunk, illegal smoking was rife and the bar was threatening to close at any time, but the adverse conditions were overcome in a sparkling display of British dartsmanship. (KS)
UK:
B-5, S-4  
France: D-3, JR-3, K1-0, K2-0, F-0

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Waggon Tribute 22nd April 2011

The Fibonacci Sequence in arrows; K2 kicked off with 3 games, K1 followed up with 5 games, and then Dave, improbably, clocked 8 consecutive games.  K2 then made a start (1 game) at 13, but it was really too much to ask!  An evening of top darts down the Waggon, with some tasty Tribute slowly imbibed.  In a small triumph for the secular society the pub now stays open to a reasonable hour on Good Friday. (KS) D-11, K1-10, K2-4

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Deea/Wych Elm Kingfisher, Chiswick, Pride, ESB    15th April 2011

‘Dinner and Darts’.  The call for an early dinner was overwhelming and hence the inaugural ‘Dinner and Darts’ event.  It attracted a really good turnout from the punters now unable/unwilling to partake of the traditional late curry.  The general opinion was that the Deea food was very good.  Mike and Evan demonstrated that all our so-called darts practice was a waste of time; they won their first game with precise arrows – fortunately they had to depart early and spared us further embarrassment.  Somewhat bloated (forget the Nan next time), we lasted the pace until midnight to see in my birthday (old git!) and Dave’s wedding anniversary.  ‘Dinner and Darts’ – a resounding success! (KS)

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Waggon Ordinary, Tribute, Elm! (Gem actually), Red Wine      8th April 2011

An evening where the ORAA (Olympic Rejects Arrers Association) was trying to boost its Respect Campaign.  Excessive swearing on the oche, particularly in the presence of cameras, could lead to a 2 match ban and the players were asked to show more respect to the chalker and not hassle him/her about poor maths, general disorganisation and even a refusal to chalk.  The normal raucous evening down the Waggon, with non-stop rabbit all evening.  The amount of cursing suggests that the Respect Campaign has not yet been entirely effective. (KS) Part 1: B-6, K1-4, K2-4, D-2 Part2: B-5, D-4, K1-4, S-3, K2-2

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Willoughby Twickenham Grandstand      1st April 2011

The chair:punter ratio in the public bar is most impressive – no lack of choice if one wishes to take the weight off one’s feet.  The beer is also tasty, but without John’s encouragement, we struggled to get them down at a decent speed.  Absolutely no excuse, but we failed to challenge Brian yet again who, after a slow start, won comfortably.  Dave was suffering from hosting Chinese for two weeks; this affected his darts (which were dreadful until a late burst) and also his mental arithmetic and scoring ability.  Decent beer, good music, interesting decor, no interference on the oche, but still a rather tired evening. (KS) B-13, B-9, D-4

7
Prince/Hatter/Prince Seafarer/Bombardier/Seafarer, Cobra  25th March 2011

Blocked board and strange live music down the Prince led to a quick recce and transfer to the Hatter (that’s the Vic, Sheila!); not really geared up for top class arrers, with no chalkboard (electronic or traditional) and a cluttered oche.  However, we made do, coping admirably with the revolving board, taking the opportunity to chip away at the new plaster and paint.  After losing a dart down the radiator and knocking the board off the wall, the Prince was re-recced and we transferred back, away from the one-man rave in the Hatter back to the strange Prince music.  Sheila showed fantastic form, finishing her first four consecutive games, even coping with the half-time walk from Hatter to Prince.  That cannot be luck – it’s skill and practice!  Dave particularly enjoyed the music – ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘New York, New York’ are his favourites on the oche.  The pub was so much fun, we only just secured a late birthday curry in the Agra.  An eccentric but thoroughly enjoyable evening, with a special welcome for John’s first trip from Petworth – the lack of darts for the previous nine months, of course, made no difference! (KS) K2-6, S-4, K1-3, D-3, B-1

10
New Prince Seafarer, Red Wine   18th March 2011

After abortive quick reconnaissance visits to the Spring (crowded) and the Waggon (blocked), we had to settle on the Prince for the top darts competitions.  With Dave returning from a West Indies training camp, there was a marked improvement in play and I particularly enjoyed a 113 finish (20,T19,D18).  The background rabbit had changed from all things fish to all things air freight – bring back the fish!  Sheila, now a regular dartsperson, joined us for some exciting doubles.  Can one feel guilt over a winning dart?  Dave looked slightly sheepish when his final winning double gave Brian yet another evening’s championship and deprived Sheila of a potential famous well-merited win. (KS)
Singles: B-6, K1-4, D-3
Doubles: B-6, S-5, D-4, K1-3

8
Willoughby Twickenham Grandstand, Odyssey  11th March 2011

An exciting game of rugger, with a last minute Newcastle Falcons’ try, witnessed by a pub audience of three (B,K1,K2).  Absolutely no trouble getting on the board, good beer, no distractions – so we really are running out of excuses for poor play.  The two Ks were unable to muster a decent challenge to Brian and the last game of the evening was the worst (K1 vs. K2!), so even the beer isn’t helping.  A Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor masterclass on the big screen briefly offered some hope, but to no avail.  New equipment, more practice? ... who knows! (KS) B-12, K1-5, K2-5

6
Waggon Bombardier, Ordinary, Tribute,  Red Wine   4th March 2011

A game of arrers down the Spring?  Not a chance, with a large mob of punters kettled under the dartboard.  Rather surprisingly the pre-planned transfer to the Waggon was a great success.  After scoring 1 with my first 3 darts two weeks ago, I introduced the heavier dart and, with a touch more concentration, kicked off with ...180!  The highlight was, without doubt, the return of Sheila to professional Friday night darts.  After hours of training on the home board (like Brian), she threw precise darts, producing high scores and a couple of crucial finishes.  She also added some impetus to the conversation, leaving your reporter unable to put a sentence together by the end of the evening.  Excellent evening – the Waggon rolls again! (KS) 
Singles: B-3, K1-1.K2-1   
D
oubles: K1-6, S-5, K2-5, B-4

9
Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick, ESB, Kingfisher 25th February 2011

The success of a birthday curry is judged by the number of ‘guests’ attracted to the event.  We had 10 persons for the pub, 8 for the Richmond Road Ruby and 4 for the darts cameo.  A talk before the chalk often enhances the darts quality and this evening was no exception.  K2 gave up the ‘chalker’s dart’, your reporter, in desperation, brought out the heavy ordnance, and the play was rapid and exciting with the treble 20 taking a severe peppering.  The beer was good, the 6 non-darters fitted around a table, the curry was tasty and your scribe was able to walk home.  Let the good times roll! (KS) B-6, K1-5, D-4, K2-3

10
New Prince Old Hooky, Front Row                                               18th February 2011 The managers had been calling for a midwinter break for years and their wishes had finally been granted.  So it was with great anticipation that the refreshed players stepped up to the oche at the Prince.  Your reporter, fortified by an injection of performance-enhancing drugs, three darts in hand, focussed on the board, and scored.....1!!  So much for the break, the players were even more jaded than normal.  The beer was fine, the pub quiet, but a vital spark was missing.  So, where do you go when your contract is paid off and you are released by the Rejects?  The Sunday League, I guess? (KS) B-11, D-9, K2-8, K1-7 7
Willoughby/Wych Elm  Twickenham Grandstand, Chiswick, Pride 11th February 2011

Disappointing after the previous week.  A guaranteed game of arrers down the Willie/Wych...except tonight.  A surprise beer festival down the Willie featuring an unwelcome return of Bossog and a crowd of players down the Wych.  The substitute dominoes is really a test of who can make the most noise laying their tile.  Just as we were giving up, the board cleared at 11.40 allowing a cameo performance until 12.30 with Noel on top form, Dave finishing well and K2 wishing he had gone home. (KS) Doubles N-6, D-4, K1-3, K2-1  

6
Spring Grove/Wagon Bombardier, Ordinary, Tribute to Aluminium 4th February 2011

Too many ‘rugger buggers’ down the Spring, so an early transfer to the Wagon, where a glut of screens and TVs have sprung up and there is another crowd of ‘rugger buggers’.  Good news is that the dartboard is now accessible, as long as the blocking table is unoccupied.  Limited beer at the Wagon, including a metallic Tribute, that Dave thought was OK, but then didn’t finish.  It was good to talk, but it’s better to chalk! (KS) Doubles K1-0, K2-0, D-0, B-0

4
Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick, ESB 28th January 2011 A couple of scores of 1, a few 2s, a tank-full of fish, some wild darts, a cracking bull finish (Brian), a 97 2-darter (Noel) and possibly the worst consistently poor standard of play from yours truly since he were a lad – just the one finish in nearly 3 hours – still searching for a reasonable excuse.  Dave rose off his sick bed to claim a deserved win.  A reasonably raucous atmosphere down the Wych, to which we contributed some hearty shouting and swearing – good times! (KS) D-11,B-10, K2-9, N-7, K1-3 8
New Prince Seafarer, ‘Stilton’   21st January 2011

The Prince needs some music; a loud background conversation relating to food became very off-putting when it focused on different species of fish.  To add to the nosebag themed evening, we also had to sample a beer (name forgotten) with a quite distinct aftertaste of cheese – you certainly wouldn’t want more than one pint – no problem, as the Seafarer is excellent.  The singles league got underway, and your reporter is rather embarrassed to have won courtesy of a late burst of beer-enhanced quick-fire finishing – however, this cannot cover up the poor form exhibited over the preceding two hours. (KS) K1-10, D-8, B-8

7
Willoughby Odyssey, Pride  14th January 2011

A flat, tired evening with some totally uninspired darts – just one three-darter in two weeks!  Doubles is definitely better with 5 players (NB John!)  – more incentive to play well and avoid the chalk.  Maybe it’s just the January blues?  However, the traditional solution to poor play is to blame the equipment and pop down the shops to buy some new arrows – I may well do just that! (KS) B-10, D-9, K1-8, K2-7

6
Spring Grove Bombardier, Ordinary 7th January 2011 A cracking start to the 2011 season with Dave clinching the first win of the new year with the final deciding game.  The darts were pretty reasonable, but unusually there is nothing special to report.  The normal good raucous atmosphere down the Spring that is so far successfully bucking the trend for empty pubs. (KS) D-10, B-9, K1-8. K2-8 8

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