There are three places in Barrow with darts teams. The Three Crowns has two teams the ‘A Crowns ‘ and ‘The Crown Jewels ‘ and they both play in the Loughborough and District Pubs and Clubs League on Thursday nights. The Navigation Inn plays in this league too with their team known as Wagg’s Gang as three members are Waggs. The Conservative Club has two teams: one is a men’s team which plays in the ‘ Spot On Tuesday Night Singles League’ and a women’s team in the ‘L and J Loughborough Ladies League’ which play on Wednesdays.
It’s all rather confusing and I haven’t even begun to write about variations in the numbers of legs played, if they are Singles, Pairs or Team and if the scoring is down from 501,701or 1,001! The one thing I did learn was that the last leg is the ‘beer leg ’ and if you lose it you hand over a couple of quid to the winning side. Just a token payment now in memory of a time when beer was cheap and the losing team bought beer for the winners. Usually the beer leg is followed by a good darts supper put on by the home team’s pub.
But why is this old pub game still going strong when there are so many alternatives around these days? The answers were all enthusiastically positive! It’s such a friendly, sociable game. You keep old friendships going, often teams have been together for decades, and yet meet new people when you play other clubs. There’s the competitive ‘ skilled’ side to it too which can add a touch of excitement to the night. And of course it’s in a pub so you can drink a few beers - on average about four. All the men’s teams agreed that you needed a drink to calm your nerves. But there were other suggestions too including that darts kept your brain going especially if you ‘did the chalking’ in your head. And what’s the secret to being a good darts player? No secret - just practise, practise and more practise!
Many thanks to all the people who have talked to me over the last few weeks. There’s so much more to say but sadly little space to write it as I wanted to include the pics. However, I must say I very much enjoyed researching this article. Thanks again.