GET AHEAD – GET A HAT
In the mid-1980s a landlord from County Durham, England was given a unique present, a hard-hat with two pints strapped to the sides and pipes leading from the pint glasses to his mouth. The flow of beer was controlled by simply turning a small tap on and off. Made exclusively for him by one of his customers, the landlord told an inquisitive reporter, “It’s ideal when I’m queueing up to get on the dartboard.”
In 1970 a certain dart-player had made it to the final of a local tournament in the county of Cheshire, England. However, before the final was held, he moved house down to Bristol, 240 miles away. Not wishing to let the move interfere with his attending the various rounds of the competition and not wanting to let his supporters down, he travelled from Bristol to Cheshire four times (round trips) – the last of these trips was to compete in the final. He lost the final 2-0 and returned home with nothing!!
It sounds like a new super-hero but no. This was the name of a slot-machine popular in Britain in the 1960s. Probably one of the noisiest machines of its kind, the ‘dartboard’ (a dartboard printed on to glass) was illuminated from behind and one of the segments was lit up brighter than the background at any given time. On the insertion of one old penny the ‘play’ button was pressed and held down. The lit segment then flashed around the board making a very loud noisy ‘click’ as it moved randomly from number to number. On releasing your grip of the button, the light stopped. Prizes for stopping the light on any number from 13 to 20 ranged from three old pence to a massive one shilling – that’s a ‘jackpot’ today of about 5p
© Patrick Chaplin 2007