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Darts ..... you live and learn

I met a Lisburn man recently who was visiting his niece here in the Niagara Region. We started talking about "darts" and he was telling me that the original Temperence league was founded by members of the ARP during WW2. E-Post(Low Rd.)D-post(Longstone) and B-post(Co.Down)were just three of the six team league back then. I don't remember anything about darts from home as I only started playing here in Canada around 1975 I would certainly appreciate any other input on the subject.
I am off on Wed.(3rd)to enjoy a family vacation out on Vancouver Island for three weeks, will talk when we get back.


Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

I have to post this while I remember some of the details, so I hope you can pick it up when you come back on.

In the late 60s, early 70s, I seem to remember a very flourishing darts league in and around Lisburn.
There may even have been 2 distinct leagues, but I could be wrong.
There was certainly a league which was public house based which had a lot of teams in it with extensive reporting in the Star each week during the winter.
I seem to remember a “Temperance League” running at the same time which involved The Institute and Blues supporters clubs amongst the teams. This latter memory may be completely “off the rails” and may, in fact, have been a Table tennis league in which the Boys Club played.
I am almost certain there was a team from Lisburn that played in the higher echelons of the Belfast Darts League. I have a distinct memory of a team called Victory being involved.
I am sure someone else will be able to add more detail and maybe even correct any errors I have perpetrated.
Just to spark off another discussion there was also a very good snooker/billiards league in the town - over to you young Donald.

Re: Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

Beano/Low Roader,

I can remember most of the pubs in Lisburn having a dart team in the sixties, including the Legion. I played for Billy Napiers on Thursday nights and traveled as far as Portadown for friendly matches. There was always snacking food provided for after the game, sandwiches and pickled foods like onion beetroot and tripe, followed by a good singsong.
Darts were taken more seriously back then in NI, when someone was throwing, there was no talking or noise allowed and the marker (score keeper) was not allowed to move.
All lights were out except the dart board light, of course the rooms were generally very small, and no one could leave or enter the room until the game was finished, the players always had the best order.
Standard darts had brass barrels with wooden shafts, some home made, and players folded their own flights from 2” squares of brown wax paper.
Who can remember the old cork dart boards that had to be soaked in water (usually in bin lids) to let the darts stick, otherwise they were rock hard. No triples or “25” back then, only doubles and a bulls eye.
Anyway, there’s a decent photo on page 42 of Mavis Heaney’s book, containing some very well known County Down men, and some interesting info on the dart league.


Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

Beano , Terry,
My dates should have read 50s and very early 60s as I left home in 1963.
I should not answer questions late at night.
The papers would have been the Herald and the Standard.
Sorry about that.

Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

Billiards and darts were the main "sports" for the working men in the fifties and sixties, not only around Lisburn. The British legion had teams for both games, St Josephs hall, Wee Hall ( Dabbler remember? )Temperance Institute, Hilden Rec, Tullynacross and the Reading rooms in Hilden beside Bells shop also.Most pubs had a dart team.
Snooker players names like Duffy, ONeill, Dornan, Ganley, Spence spring to mind and team names, Hayloft, ODowds, Mooneys, Chimney corner, Robins nest also. Each billiard player had a handicap which ranged from minus fifty to plus forty

Re: Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

Hillsborough also had its share of dart teams. My uncle played for the Hillside. But I really don't a thing about playing darts!! Maybe the Lord can give more information on the Hillsborough teams?

Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

. Elizabeth , in my day in and around Hillsborough Darts were played in a lot of places. I was " Under Age " and not allowed to frequence such places as THE HILLSIDE BAR. or Ritchies Pub. But I did play darts in Byers Nissen Hut on the Bluegate Road . Sammy @ Charlie"[Charles]" Briggs were very good Dart throwers.As was my Brotherinlaw Artie Doherty.
My son's run a Dart Tournment Here in Canada each Year,About 20 players on 2 dart boards. This has been going on for a good number of years.
Another place we played Darts and Table tennis was in Edenticullo Hut Anahilt,on the Ballynahinch Rd.out of Hillsborough.

When I am on the Forum I will let You in on a Trip we are taking to Norin Ireland in June. Main purpose is for a wedding but I am sure we will squeeze in a few side trips etc.
So these days I have been busy planting in the garden ,Spuds ,Tomatos,Beet,Carrot,Beans,Onion, Radish,Rasberry bushes etc. A bit early for this area but the weather has been in the 20,s or if you prefare 70 degrees this past 10 days.
The Lord.

Re: Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

Thanks, Lord Downshire for the good information on the dart players.

Hope that you and the Lady D. will have a great time in Hillsborough.

Hope your veggie garden will do well. We haven't done much yet as the weather has not been too cooperative. One day hot 70-80 degrees, the next day 40 degrees. That's the mountains of Western North Carolina for you! Oh well, as the old saying goes, "Cast not a clout 'til May is out!"

So long,


Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

Darts in Hillsborough has a long history, I know they were playing darts in the Hillside in the early 30s,or longer,but that is as far my memory goes.
I am not sure when Ritchies started, I do remember them playing each other in the league. They also travelled to different pubs in the area around Hillsboro.
There was one at the Maze I do not remember the name.
Later the Plough also had a team,when they played Hillside it was a full house.a very popular sport in those days.
I left Hillsboro. in 1953 I know Hillside was still playing in 59 or60.
I hope you Lordship has a great trip home,and a very good dinner.

Re: Re: Darts ..... you live and learn

Lord Downshire Good to see you & Lady D are having a trip back to Norin Ireland for i believe a family wedding in June, you sure will catch up with family & friends & hope you have a dander around the borough, I think they played darts in Ritchies Hut opposit the O hall. we leave to go up to north Queensland on 29 May for our annual migration < 3-4 mths> then we are having visitors from the borough. Lord & Lady D I hope you both have a wonderful trip. The Black Man.