Kingston & Surbiton Pub Review 2012



Visit Date Comments  Score
Wych Elm Pride  28th December 2012

Just the two regular punters for the last session of the year, so a boring one we presume?  Far from it – this was a top darts session lasting beyond midnight.  K2 hit a streak of form where five consecutive finishes were the old ‘one-two’ – ‘bish bosh’.  In the penultimate game of the evening, he was left with 22, an unlikely candidate for a ‘one-two’ – we were, of course, forgetting the classic D8, D3 which was duly delivered.  The best was saved till last when K2 produced  a 3-dart 113 (T20,T17,D1).  And that’s it for 2012 – the Olympic year; get your practice in for Rio 2016.(KS) K1-10, K2-7, N-6

Willoughby Shere Drop, Weltons 14th December 2012

More punters and a first experience of parallel games; the ‘second board’ players outdoing the three of us for noise – which was disappointing.   Dave got off to a flying start with a 3-dart 94 (18, D18, D20), narrowly missed a 102 3-darter in the next game, but after two wins went quiet for the next two hours gaining minor redemption in finishing the final game of the evening.  Good beer, warm pub, good atmosphere (particularly after the TV was switched off) – no complaints; let’s hope the punters keep coming. (KS) Singles:  B-13, K1-9, D-3

New Prince Seafarer  7th December 2012

A man down (Dave’s man-flu returns) so there was more talk and less chalk.  We were briefly joined by a drunken Welshman who couldn’t remember to weed his own garden (get his own darts out) and whose arithmetic was so poor that Sheila briefly was advising – until she went wrong as well.  A good evening anyway in a quiet but warm Prince. (KS) Singles: B-4, K1-1, K2-1, Doubles: S-3, K1-3, K2-3, B-2

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  30th  November 2012

Some cracking darts and some not so cracking darts – I’ll award myself the Jacques Cousteau Award for the evening’s most fish (at least 4!), each 1 cheered on by ‘The Wife’ who attended to offer encouragement.  A good noisy evening and a more acceptable finishing time of midnight. (KS) K1-12, B-12, D-11, K2-11

Waggon Ordinary, Twickenham Naked Ladies    23rd November 2012

An excellent evening of arrers in the Waggon – the loud celebration for Brian’s first game 3-darter (19,20,bull) was completely drowned out by a noisy enthusiastic crowd, whereas noisy celebrations after the 11 pm watershed reverberated around a largely empty boozer.  There’s not much point in professionals playing without a paying audience, so we packed up early.  Remember when we used to complain about the early closing of pubs?  Now we complain about late closing!  Excellent Twickenham Ales and some genuinely exciting darts, including five 3-darters. (KS) B-12, K1-11, K2-10, D-9

Willoughby Twickenham Grandstand      16th November 2012 Just a normal evening down the Willie – a venue rapidly turning into a gentlemen-only drinking club.  Tired punters but at least Dave managed a classic bull finish and again we finished with a 3-way tie.  I guess the aspiration should be to play all night and end on a 4-way tie.  (KS) Doubles: K1-10, D-10, B-10, K2-6 7
New Prince Seafarer, Pride, Liberation, HSB    9th November 2012

A three-man shootout in a desperately quiet Prince.  Again we made the fatal mistake of letting Brian get away at the start.  K2, still firing some wild arrows early doors, only went in for spectacular finishes; a bull, a first dart double top, and a 3-dart 96.  Hard going but we did just about stay the course. (KS) Singles: B-11, K1-6, K2-3

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  2nd November 2012

An attempt to recreate those heady pre-internet communication Friday drinking nights with a small sub-group of garglers in Surbiton, another thirsty sub-group in North Kingston and a lone punter in Woodies; on Monday Dave, Fran and I enjoyed the traditional ‘last-Monday-of the month!’ open air swim at Hampton whilst John ploughed a lonely furrow at Teddington.  The Wych was as normal – a three hour arrers session with some sublime finishing and some ridiculous scoring; in the first game, all four players managed to miss the board with at least one dart – and that set the tone! (KS) B-15, K1-15, D-9, K2-8

Waggon Ordinary, Mixed  26th October2012

Dave had just recovered from a bout of man-flu and decided to play safe by keeping his cycle-clips on all evening in case of a ‘medical incident’; unfortunately at leaving time he had forgotten this, and we spent a good deal of time looking for the clips until they miraculously appeared around his ankles.  A solid evening of arrows with an unprecedented three-way tie for the championship; K2 was the man to miss out, possibly due to the worrying reappearance of the ‘chalker’s dart’ – the most probable cause was a too short break between work and the kick off. (KS) D-9, K1-9, B-9, K2-3

New Prince/Agra Seafarer, Pride, Cobra    19th October 2012

We’ve had the young man’s curry night; skinful of beer, game of arrers, thrown out at closing time and a late meal.  We’ve had the curry night for the older, more discerning diner; early curry followed by beer and arrers.  Now they’re joined by the compromise curry night; a few jars as an aperitif, half-time break for a ruby, and then a return for more beer and arrers.  A great success it was too – some very loud darts, pointless conversation to trump any provided by the nearby spectators and useful time for the ruby to digest before bedtime.   As usual, a fruitful trip to the Prince with a special guest appearance by John. (KS) K1-7, B-5, J-5, K2-3, S-2, D-2

Wych Elm Pride  12th October 2012

Some football (England/San Marino), quite a lot of chat and still time for plenty of darts, lasting the pace till midnight.  Big news of the week was that BADA has finally rumbled our cycling team for a long, determined  and sophisticated campaign of blood doping with performance-diminishing products; full English, Cornish pasties, real ale, aspirins etc.  The Road to Rio looking increasingly like a cul-de-sac. (KS) Singles: K1-11, D-4, N-2 

Waggon Ordinary, Mixed  5th October2012

A Kellys Arms reunion in the Waggon.  Maybe it is time we all turned professional as doing a full-time job as well as playing top darts is proving difficult for all – players are fatigued before they even reach the oche and they are not exhibiting an adequate thirst.  Clive showed us the way forward with a solid 9 hour session; 6 hours to warm up and hydrate and 3 hours of competition arrers.  Another early contender, possibly overhydrated, was dragged away by the wife, who did not look at all happy.  A good session with good ‘Youngs’ beer. (KS) B-9, K1-9, D-6, C-5, S-2

New Prince Seafarer  28th September 2012

Another raucous evening down the Prince; excellent beer and some pretty decent live music.  We know from the Olympics that the Brits love their sport and love making a loud noise while watching it.  There were only five of us but we made a fairly good celebratory racket and certainly stirred the church choir from their slumbers. (KS) K2-8, D-6, K1-6, B-6, S-0

Wych Elm/Willoughby Pride, Chiswick, Hornet, Greensand, medicine (cranberry Juice) 20th September 2012

Dave’s one thousandth pub and, due to potential midwife duties, one of his least thirsty – in desperation he turned to the cranberry juice.  Surprisingly, a game on in the Wych forcing a transfer to the reliable Willy where some rather strange games were played – the treble 20 took a hammering but so also did the 1 and the 5.  The cacophony probably doesn’t help – a radio and two TVs playing simultaneously (KS) Doubles: B-8, K2-5, K1-5, D-4

Waggon Ordinary, Tribute  14th September 2012

Another lively raucous evening, but the road to Rio is looking rocky; family concerns, aching joints, fatigue, concentration problems – it could be another rejection.  There was some concern that Sheila might be ‘on the waggon’ as well as in the Waggon – she finished one game, but nobody stepped up to help her claim another.  Tribute beer – excellent; felt much better than last week on the Bearskins. (KS) K1-9, B-9, D-8, K2-7, S-1

Willoughby Beartown Ursa Minor 7th September 2012

Three Brians, two Keiths, a Dave, Holly, Glen and Malcolm – a good crowd delaying the start of the new dart league until 10.45.  Beartown beer was rated 3.6%, but I reckon it could have been 6.3%; Dave struggling to stay awake, K2 having difficulty seeing the board and your reporter with a distinct wobble on the walk home.  Nothing spectacular in the arrers (Except a Dave finish) but at least we lasted the pace till midnight.(KS) B-6, K1-5, K2-4, D-3

New Prince Seafarer, Fuller Pale Ale?  31st August 2012

A raucous evening coinciding with the end of the much-interrupted Summer League and the closure of the darts transfer window; Bobby George was seen outside the Prince (possibly having a medical) and at 10.59 pm Harry Redknapp picked up Eric Bristow for £5 to join the Sandbanks darts squad.  Very low concentration levels as usual, but also some surprisingly good darts.  Dave demonstrated the skill of partner selection and encouragement by winning nine games and the evening’s championship without one finishing double – Dave is a scoring specialist, a slight problem if the game is singles! (KS) D-9, K1-8, B-6, K2-5, S-2

Waggon Mixed  24th August 2012

No problem getting on the board as the pub was almost empty – good to get back on the traditional pints of (Youngs) mixed, which was very tasty.  A solid 3-hour 30-game arrers tournament including four 3-dart finishes, a shoal of fish and a 180; Dave even had a shot at an 8-dart game!  I have been finishing well for two weeks but experience has shown that this means nothing at all – normal service will soon be resumed.  We had a few handicaps to overcome; a strong tail wind, our own conversation that carried on non-stop throughout the play and a rather noisy group of locals who appeared late on; they had the temerity to mutter complaints about Dave’s over-exuberant celebrations as he hit some late form – they wondered out loud how we found darts so exciting.  Well, darts is very exciting, nothing more to add. (KS) Singles: K1-17, D-7, K2-6

Wych Elm Pride  17th August 2012 

Much Olympic action to discuss; with attendance (mainly down to Holly and Malcolm) at women’s and men’s road race, women’s and men’s time trial, tennis, beach volleyball, rowing, canoe sprints, triathlon, open water swim, velodrome, athletics and modern pentathlon.  Also a pub football competition to enter and some discussion on the start of football the following day.  Surprising that we found the time for 24 games of 301.  One thing we learnt from the Olympics is that you cannot allow the opposition a 13 game start before you decide to finish a game.  I kicked off the evening with an unlikely 103 3-darter (60,17,D13) and continued with rapid finishing to compensate for some desperate low scoring.  Dave was just coming into form when the final bell tolled. (KS) Singles: K1-18, D-5, N-1 

Willoughby Weltons   10th August 2012

The ‘real Olympics’ still adversely affecting the Olympic Rejects darts competition.  This evening we registered the longest ever dart set including the longest ever game lasting just over one hour.  With one team on double-2 finish and the other team on 3, we were forced to take a time out to support the GB super-heavyweight Anthony Joshua and it took a while to restart the action especially as Dave took the opportunity to play three games of pool with his son-in-law.  Oh well, Joshua will move on to fame and fortune and the end of London 2012 will produce the largest ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ ever – so next week we can welcome the return of top competitive arrers. (KS)

New Prince Seafarer  3rd August 2012

Breaking news: the Olympic Rejects Team GB darts players have just been ejected from the 2012 Games for purposefully trying to lose their first round match and avoid a second round clash with Raymond van Barneveld representing the Netherlands.  They appealed on the grounds that they were trying, they just weren’t very good – the appeal was rejected on the ground that nobody could play that badly!  A quiet evening of Olympic discussion down the Prince with no enthusiasm for an un-quivering of the arrers. (GB mens team pursuit and Queen Victoria Rating)  (KS)

Wych Elm Pride 27th July 2012

Unlikely that this evening will be repeated – the normal Olympic rejects darts were replaced by the real Olympics 2012 opening ceremony.  Pete the Barman provided useful commentary ‘what a load of old ***’ – they may well have put the ideas to Pete and if he didn’t like them they were included as a safe bet.  Pete had pitched his alternative austerity opening ceremony costing £729.24 and lasting one minute – Valentino Rossi doing one lap of the track on a Ducati with a page 3 girl riding pillion pursued by Lester Piggott on Shergar.  Without doubt, a unique evening with an early finish to avoid overdrinking. Olympics Opening Ceremony (KS)

Petworth Arts and Darts Social Club Langhams  20th July 2012

Much to recommend this venue; a short walk from the house and a short walk to the curry house, excellent local ale on tap, decent ‘old’ music and no chance of not getting on the dartboard.  An excellent evening of darts with a half-time break for a curry – no real surprise that two players (JR and Mike) who hardly ever play came out on top and Sally finished her first game first dart – what do they say about practice?  All that and bed, breakfast and evening meal for fifteen notes.  Maybe a touch distant for a regular venue? (KS) M-5, J-5, D-4, S-4, K1-3, E-3

Willoughby Spitfire, Weltons Ace  13th July 2012

The recent JT trial has shone a bright light on the murky insalubrious world of Friday night amateur darts, where well paid ‘young men’, supposedly role models for the younger generation, use industrial language copiously and trade insults to secure any small advantage.  A marathon 3-hour session, where Sam joined in, finished with his first attempt and then went quiet.  Dave, heeding lessons from the Tour de France, tucked into his partner’s slipstream and didn’t show his devastating finishing burst until 10.45 from whence he came good and shared the evening’s title with Brian.  You could tell it was summer – on the journey home the hard rain was warm! (KS) D-13, B-13, K1-7, K2-6 , S-3

Waggon Waggledance 6th July 2012

Good to roll back to the Waggon and sample some excellent Waggledance ale.  Arrows rising to a peak of quality and then declining as the focus goes and the chit-chat kicks in.  The Team coach, Mervyn ‘The Banker’ King, won’t like it, but with an Olympics call-up now a distant dream, it is good news that lively conversation and general beer-fuelled sociability is taking precedence over serious hard training on the oche. (KS) K2-11, B-9, K1-8, D-6, S-2

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick  29th June 2012

Missing the jug of pride, the early start and the footee down the SRFC, but it’s back to a traditional venue.  Some pretty impressive darts mixed in with the rubbish and we had a bull finish from yours truly trumped very quickly by Brian’s 180.  A standard ‘loud’ evening. (KS) D-8, K2-8, B-7, K1-6, N-5

Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club Bar / New Prince Jug of Pride and a shipload of Seafarers   22nd June 2012

A rapid return to the SRFC for a jug of pride and a serving of ‘bubble and kraut’ – this had goals (2-4) but lacked tension.  Some excellent darts down the Prince; I kicked off with a 3-dart 87 (D20,15,D16) and Dave chipped in later with a 65 (3,T10,D16), but Brian held his nerve to clinch the deal in the final game.  The football had obviously provided sufficient tension for one or more of the punters in the Prince – sweated up in the paddock and in serious need of a Brut splash-on. (KS) Singles: B-8, D-6, K1-5

Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club Bar / New Prince Jug of Pride and a shipload of Seafarers  15th June 2012

At last a new venue and an excellent choice – good cheap beer and some proper footee food – just lacking a dartboard.  An England Euro game against Sweden and under the new Hodgson era, a solid defensive low-scoring game guaranteed – a £2 punt at 40/1 on an England 3-2 win seemed highly unlikely but that’s what happened, so a profitable enjoyable evening.  Later on in the Prince we reproduced the game on the dartboard with Dave/Brian as England and K1/Sheila as Sweden – Sheila, on top form, took on the Olof Mellberg role whereas Dave was cast improbably as Theo Walcott.  Just to add to the excitement, Sweden was awarded a small trophy during the match, possibly for winning goal of the month. (KS) Doubles: D-3, B-3, K1-2, S-2 

Willy Spitfire  8th June 2012

With Brian away and K2 having to leave early for the Paris-Roubaix, it was down to Dave and I to generate some atmosphere after the finish of the Euro 2012 clash featuring impressive Russians.  With the encouragement of loud punk music the crowd were expecting some top darts – however, they were very wrong as most games took an age to finish, generally on double 1.  Cannot think of a decent excuse – just very poor play, but at least the Spitfire was good and we lasted until midnight. (KS) K1-10, D-7, K2-1

Wych Elm Pride 1st June 2012

With K1 and K2 knowing that they really should have been cycling in Brittany, it could have been a downbeat evening.  However, opting for a singles challenge left a ‘talker’ free to socialise with Malcolm and Holly.  Noel’s mate Richard appears a top player and stormed into 5-0 lead.  He was undone by the ‘Hodgson Method’, whereby a period of diabolically bad play lures the opposition into a false sense of security and then the trap is sprung.  When the opponent (me!) scores 5 with 6 darts (5 1s and the 6th dart falling out of the 1), even a top player is likely to be distracted.  Richard did recover to beat Noel in the midnight decider.  All the diligent practice was used to good effect in a generation game 3-0 defeat of the daughter and future son-in-law in the Waggon on Sunday evening – they knew the game was up when ’The Wife’ nailed a D20 first dart to win the first game. (KS) R-8, N-7, K1-6, K2-5

Willoughby A squadron of Spitfires 25 May 2012

After the recent drubbing in the Prince, it’s good to see Dave keeping up the top form and winning again with a highlight the classic intentional double-double20 finish for 80.  One lone spectator shuffled in and, given the choice of the final of the Copa del Rey (nothing happened after 20 minutes) and championship darts, surprisingly chose the arrers; he lasted about five minutes.  Excellent Spitfire beer and a quality venue, but still few punters! (KS) K1-11, B-11, K2-9, D-3, F-1

Wych Elm Chiswick, Pride  18th May 2012

At 11pm, the spinning head of Ray Winstone was offering ‘Bet in play now’ odds; Richard/Noel 4/6, Brian/K2 5/4, Dave/K1 50/1.  Given the desperate performance last week in the Prince and an even worse performance in the Wych, the odds against Dave/K1 were rather mean – the low scoring (at least two 1s!) meant we were unlikely ever to get on a double, let alone get one.  However, Raymondo had failed to account for the beneficial effects of Pride and the marked improvement when hydration levels become optimum.  With much dodgy rabbit and some serious over-celebration, a burst of finishing left Dave/K1 the most unlikely and undeserved champions.  K2, performing valiantly with an injured shoulder, had an excellent 91 2-darter and a very good attempt at a 167 3-darter, but there was no repeat of the 10-in-a-row from last week. (KS) D-8, K1-8, N-7, R-7, K2-5, B-5

New Prince Seafarer, Sprinter, Butcombe, London Pride  11th May 2012

A couple of certainties with the Prince; good tasty beer and Sheila turning up and adversely affecting Brian’s form.  This evening all change, firstly with the Seafarer actually smelling and tasting like a crusty old seafarer just home from a long voyage.  Secondly, following Shelia’s appearance, Brian’s form picked up and with the assistance of K2 won 10 games of doubles on the spin, a rare occurrence.  It wasn’t that Dave, Sheila and I weren’t scoring well or were missing the doubles by miles – we just weren’t putting a dart in the double.  Like Steve Kean and Blackburn, just bad luck! (KS) K2-14, B-11, K1-4, D-2, S-1

Willoughby Pride of Oxford 4th May 2012

The new league begins – the league that will be disturbed by the Euros, the Olympics and summer holidays; so it wasn’t very promising that the concentration levels were seriously affected by a Blackpool/Birmingham 1st leg playoff (just the 4 of us watching) and an ‘imminent’ declaration of the new London Mayor.  Some slow, uninspiring darts with fish matching tons.  Excellent fruity beer for hydration but otherwise unmemorable sport with Olympic selection now looking highly unlikely. (KS) B-11, K1-11, K2-9, D-3

Waggon Tribute, Ordinary 27th April 2012

We’ve heard of the ‘ironman triathlon’ – well, this was the tungstenman version – cycling, drinking, darts.  K2 cycled to Brighton and back, cycled over to the Waggon and was still going strong after midnight when he claimed the evening’s prize – should count double points.  An excellent sociable evening in the Waggon, with some good beer and reasonably proficient arrers. (KS) K2-10, B-8, K1-7, D-6, S-3

New Prince Seafarer  20th April 2012

A 3-way battle and again Brian gets away at the start leaving Dave and your reporter to play off for second and a place in the Europa League.  A large crowd of women seemed to put Dave off with their banter, whereas I didn’t hear a word they said due to my extreme focus on the darts.  A word of praise for Seafarer – a tasty, very drinkable beer of low strength and hence no hangover. (KS)

Wych Elm Chiswick, Pride, ESB   13th April 2012

A rare appearance by John who recently has been focused on starting the ‘Arts and Darts Movement’ in Petworth.  In the words of golfer Gary Player, ‘The more I practise, the luckier I get’ – John didn’t have much luck tonight, with zero finishes!  There are two possible responses: 1. Retire; 2. Return soon with determination to improve.  Another excellent ‘Dinner and Darts’ event with nine for dinner and a 7-man darts doubles competition, which usefully left two free to talk and hence improve the general social ambience. (KS) N-8, K1-8, B-8, K2-5, D-3, R-3 J-1

Wych Elm Pride, ESB                                                6th April 2012

A depleted team, but still a solid evening of top arrows.  Your reporter, in desperation, had purchased a new set of darts; I had just explained that the darts were still ‘virgins’ after nine games – no treble 20s and no double-outs.  The wife was particularly cruel in her criticism (eg ‘timid darts’) and general mocking.  Then, completely out of the blue, a ludicrous 180!  How does this happen?  After that, things picked up.  Fran was made an offer – finish one game and you can forgo the chalk for a permanent talking role – she duly obliged.  K2 chipped in with a bull (16,B) followed by yours truly (20,18,B) and all we were lacking for a full house (180, 100+ finish, 3-darter, Bull, Fish) was the 100+, although there were a few valiant attempts. (KS) Singles: K1-14, K2-8, N-6, F-1

New Prince Seafarer, Sprinter? 30th March 2012

You don’t find Sir Chris Hoy practising synchronised swimming or Rebecca Addlington throwing the discus in her spare time; my Olympic dart dreams may have been sacrificed by indulging in an illicit frame of snooker – dart form was badly affected.  Sheila turned up later, fatigued, but still able to show us how to finish the game.  Brian has been raising the bar recently and we have been consistently jumping under it.  A quality evening up the Prince. (KS) Singles: B-8, D-3, K1-3 Doubles: B-9, S-6, D-5, K1-4

Wych Elm/Willoughby Cobra, Pride, Chiswick, Sundancer   23rd March 2012

Dinner and darts with a depleted squad; John had rather eccentrically contracted the ‘Dhaka Caca’ before the ruby!  Excellent food again and it was all set up for the Wych Elm challenge except rather surprisingly there was a crowd already playing.  As it was Dave’s birthday, and he had missed three weeks on an unauthorised break, there was no alternative than a transfer to the Willoughby where darts are virtually guaranteed.  K2 showed excellent form to win and Dave demonstrated again the effect of a lack of practice. (KS)  Singles: K2-6, K1-4, D-2                      

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick 16th March 2012

A depleted squad with John’s permanent transfer to the Petworth Dartsmen and Dave taking an unauthorised mid-season break with Carlos Tevez in Angola – no wonder the Team was jaded and the final whistle blew before 11.30.  Those extra games were taking their toll – qualification for the Europa Darts League, surprisingly through fair play, is proving a poisoned chalice.  Joe Brown and Don Whillans abseiled in for some chat, but the quality of the darts just got worse.  Brian took the singles and K2 collected the doubles title, but frankly we are in need of new blood and possibly some loud music – beer alone is failing to provide sufficient stimulus.  A quiet evening. (KS) Singles: B-5, K1-2, K2-2, Doubles: K2-8, B-6, N-6, K1-2    

Willy Odyssey, Twickenham Grandstand    9th March 2012

The Team was rather tired, so an early sensible but rather sad decision was made to blow the final whistle at 11.30 pm rather than seeing in the new day.  Brian was showing his early form winning five straight games while rugby league was on the box.  Then the game-changer – Rick, trying to drive out the few remaining punters, played his favourite CD of TV theme tunes; Steptoe, Joe Scarlett, Captain 90 etc.  This was much better than it sounds, with K2 able to name most of the tunes and, more importantly, Brian’s form badly affected so he spent a long while chalking.   Unfortunately, after 30 minutes he recovered his composure and produced a run of six straight games – at least Keith(s) won 12-11!  A somewhat strange evening, fuelled by excellent beer. (KS) Singles: B-11, K1-6, K2-6

New Prince Seafarer  2nd March 2012

The Team not in the best of health; K2 with elbow and knee problems, yours truly with knackered legs and Sheila suffering from overwork in the physiotherapy department; so it was no surprise that Brian took the evening.  Good live music, although it went a bit Woodstock towards the end, decent Seafarer beer and a good long session – generally you’re guaranteed a decent evening in the Prince. (KS) Singles: B-7, K1-2, K2-2;  Doubles: B-7, K2-5, K1-4, S-2

Wych Elm Pride, Chiswick, ESB 24th February 2012 Dinner and Darts – 12 for dinner in the Deea followed by 10 for darts in the Wych Elm.   K2, whose birthday we were celebrating, assembled the weaponry but decided to keep his powder dry, preferring a solid evening of talk and stalk.  A long and enjoyable evening ended in the best possible way – a champion shoot-out between Dave and Brian (who won) on the chimes of midnight.  I recommend a rare 10, if only for being out on the sauce for 5 hours! (KS) B-7, D-6, K1-4, N-4 10

Naked Ladies, Ordinary

17th February 2012 Dave turned up with a personal coach, which had the desired effect of producing some snappy well-celebrated finishes.  K2 also found a purple finishing patch, so how the hell did I win?  Partner selection again.  Brian paid the penalty of thinking that a top professional can take a winter holiday and miss training.  An excellent evening down the Waggon, enhanced by the 200C increase in air temperature from last week – has Spring arrived? 8
Wych Elm Pride   10th February 2012

Absolutely freezing conditions and your reporter also under the weather - the doctor should prescribe some medicinal London Pride and a solid session on the sauce.  The New Year’s first visit to the Wych was a great success as we were joined by Holly and Malcolm and later on by ‘Mallory and Irvine’, but still managed an excellent singles competition without any break in the conversation.  It may have been a view through the beer goggles but everybody seemed on good form with a severe battering of the T20 and a deserved win for Dave; Noel even managed the elusive Shanghai 120 finish, concluding a 9-dart 301.  I was considering a rare award of 10, but the clientele were too old and we had to survey the far reaches of the saloon bar to confirm that Holly wasn’t the loan female customer.  Serious hangover Saturday only cured by a handful of paracetamol washed down by some pints of ‘The Wife’s Bitter’ in the Bricklayers, Putney – hair of the dog! (KS) D-10, K1-8, K2-8, N-4

New Prince




3rd February 2012 A Siberian wind whistling through the Prince’s darts arena; players nestling up to radiators between throws and a danger of catching ‘chalker’s neck’.  Not surprising that there were a shoal of fish, a few 2s and a couple of 1s mixed in with some pretty solid arrows and another demonstration of rapid finishing by Brian; there were even a few attempts to emulate Dave’s three in the treble 1 trick from last week (see photo).  The club’s accountants will be deeply concerned; following Sheila’s early departure, the total attendance at the 3-hour match was just one – maybe a punter who had overheated in the front bar, where drinkers were spotted sitting comfortably in T-shirts.  A chilly session but, in the spirit of Shackleton, we stayed the course. (KS) B-11, K2-10, D-9, K1-8 7
Willoughby Golden something and Golden something else   27th January 2012

Back to the Willy to take advantage of the beer sale – this week two golden beers that were both very nice.  It’s always been a disappointing experience watching football in the Willy.  With Spurs sneaking a 1-0 win on the big screen, unfortunately Rick announced that Fulham were live on the laptop in the front bar.  Playing away to Everton (P10,W0,D0,L10) the result was predictably miserable and badly affected my darts all evening, although Brian was spurred on to some top finishing that made him the sure winner, despite one 3-dart score of 1.  Later an incident occurred equivalent to the ‘golf club up the tree mystery’; ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Disappearing Dart’.  Admittedly it was late (12.15) and a few bevvies had been quaffed, but I stepped up to the oche with three darts in hand, threw one dart, looked down to see only one dart remained in my hand with a flight on the floor.  Despite moving all the furniture and searching high and low, the other dart never reappeared.  Noel informs me that the Willy is a Bermuda Triangle for arrows and is confident that the dart has rolled under the skirting board – we’ll never know! (KS)


Winter Cheer, Mixed, Ordinary


20th  January 2012 A dark, gloomy day in January and the players were looking tired and jaded.  Not much choice of beer and the dartboard was only just hanging together.  The recipe for a rather miserable evening; however, despite generally poor darts, the banter was quite jovial and the evening cheerful – good practice for the annual Golf Dinner and Dance. (KS) 7
Willoughby Odyssey 13th January 2012 Good to see a beer sale down the pub – a fee beer with each nine bought; remember to return in a fortnight for more.  It may seem contradictory but, although Dave and I seemed to play rubbish most of the evening, the overall standard seemed pretty high with treble 20 taking a battering and some rapid finishing!  Brian took a while to get started and K2, dartitis-free for the third consecutive week, held on for an excellent win.  After an epic skinful of Odyssey it was good to head home(r) just after midnight. (KS) 9
New Prince Seafarer, B***? (forgot) 6th January 2012 Happy New Year and a new opportunity to up the drinking and play some better darts.  K2 quietly reached the 1000 Friday pubs last week; his form improved accordingly and stayed good this week.  Dave should join the ‘1000 pub club’ sometime late this year, Brian in 2014 and John, at present rate of progress, around 2140, just before his 190th birthday.  A rather tired evening with Sheila arriving late and then leaving early after realising that wallpaper scraping, allotment digging and providing massage is not optimum preparation for a top professional dartswoman.  I was on good form, but feel a little bit of a cheat because I took the opportunity for a sneaky Friday morning lie-in till 9.30 and hence felt lively and refreshed as midnight approached; definitely to be repeated! (KS) 8

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