Patrick Chaplin: Book & Product Reviews

Make Mine a Double

MAKE MINE A DOUBLE - THE STORY OF HULL DARTS

Make Mine a Double by Dave TaylorRegular readers of Darts World will have noted, writes Patrick Chaplin, that I am always keen to encourage research into darts, especially at a local level.

In the August issue of Darts World, I praised the efforts of Eddie Austin in his mission to record the entire history of the Shropshire County team. Then, out of the blue, came Dave Taylor’s impressive work Make Mine A Double – The Story of Hull Darts.

This is exactly what I have been looking for.

A former Humberside ‘A’ player, Dave spent over two years ploughing through back issues of local newspapers at the Hull Central Library, in search of information about darts in the city. Ably assisted by Malcolm Richardson, a local sports reporter and darts enthusiast (Malcolm also provides the Foreword to the book), Dave has produced a fine piece of historical research about darts in Hull since the 1950s.

Dave describes his work as ‘a labour of love’ and this is felt throughout the book. Indeed, not since Roger Nickson’s The History of the Greater London Darts Organisation, published in 1992, has there been a book that so reflects a man’s passion for his chosen sport.

The book is well written and chapters range from ‘The Early Days and Legends’ (including fragments of data going back to the 1930s) right up to the present day. Dave also takes time to record ‘Ladies darts’, provides mini-biographies of the legends of the game in Hull (including Dick Allix and Tony Green) and dedicates an entire chapter to ‘Young Players’.

As a Darts Historian, I found the book absorbing – and you will too. Dave tells of the days back then, when the ladies had six throws to the men’s four and of the majority of games being played on the Yorkshire Board. Dave reveals how the treble (or ‘London’) dartboard was not introduced into the majority of Hull pubs until the 1970s. However, he did discover that the first trebles dartboard was hung up by Tom Poppleton, landlord of the West Dock Hotel, a couple of decades earlier, around 1954. It was to Tom’s pub that players who had entered the News of the World went to learn to throw at the trebles board and to throw from 8 feet - the local throw being 7 feet. This is priceless historical data.

The book is also a detailed record of the significant achievements – collectively and individually - of Humberside County darts and of the larger than life characters that you always find in the sport. For the latter, take the example of Darren Gee, who played for Humberside during the 1980s, whose party trick was to eat a burger while it was still in the box!

Apart from also having one of the most original titles for a darts book Make Mine A Double is profusely illustrated with both colour and black and white photographs. Dave Taylor’s work will be of interest to anyone wishing to learn more about darts - and darts in Hull in particular – and for anyone thinking of producing a similar history for their city or county, Make Mine A Double makes an excellent template.

It is such a shame that all of Dave’s research material was lost in the June floods otherwise we might have looked forward to Volume Two.

Make Mine A Double – The History of Hull Darts costs £10.00, including postage and packing. (Dave is donating 5% of the income from sales to a local hospice.) To purchase a copy, readers can e-mail Dave at   or phone Dave on his mobile on 07742716403. He will take details and make the necessary arrangements.

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© Patrick Chaplin 2007

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