The following is extracted from an email from darts historian Patrick Chaplin.
Darts is even more difficult to research than pub history as there were hundreds of leagues. Also hundreds of exhibitions were being played at any one time and local newspapers were dreadful at reporting any of it. I remember back in the early 1980s, the former world champion Leighton Rees visited a nearby town. It was advertised in the local rag but there was never a report to be found. It may well be that the Denny Gower event has been lost to history although, having said that, an appeal via Rye News might produce something.
“Round the Board on doubles” is exactly what it sounds like. A player throws for each double on the board in sequence, ending with the bull’s-eye (double 25), in as few darts as possible. In competition it was often timed and the game varied by either retrieving your own darts or having someone retrieve them for you.
Yet another variant is for the player to “stab” each double with a dart from arms length in the fastest possible time. Given that this advert cites a time of only 9 seconds, I reckon that Denny’s achievement was in this version.
I cannot trace Denny’s achievement being recorded in Darts World.
There were so many claims for so many difficult “records” through the years that space simply wasn’t available and in any event few reports like this were received by the editor.
I believe Denny Gower held exhibitions in Hastings, and at the Crown and/or the Cinque Ports in Rye.
Are there any darts players who remember the 1970s and early 1980s and who may well have seen Denny play, be it an exhibition or local championship match, or attempting the “round the board on doubles” record?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you remember seeing Denny and we will pass on your email to Patrick Chaplin
180! Fascinating Darts Facts by Patrick Chaplin
The Pubs of Rye, 1750-1950 by David Russell is available from The Rye Bookshop, 25 High Street, the Heritage Centre, Strand Quay; Adams, 9 High Street; or online. Other books by David Russell are The Pubs of Hastings & St Leonards, The Pubs of Lewes, The Swan, Hastings and Register of Licensees for Hastings & St Leonards.