Arrows, whisky and wild, wild scenes on the oche

The trophy-winning darts team from the Fawcett Inn, Southsea, in 1953-1954
The trophy-winning darts team from the Fawcett Inn, Southsea, in 1953-1954
A little fuzzy perhaps but here we see Portsdown Hill Road where it meets London Road. The George pub would be on the right behind the soldiers. 'Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: PoWs forced to cut height of Portsdown Hill

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This picture of the victorious 1953-54 darts team from the Fawcett Inn, Southsea, has given fresh hope to Keith Limburn.

He got in touch after spotting Fred Golding in the front row, second from the left.

Fred interests Keith because he was in a Portsmouth darts team with his late father, Arthur Limburn, that pulled off one of the greatest shocks in the sport’s history in the city – a bit like Celtic beating Barcelona.

For years Keith has been searching archives for a report of the historic match about 1944-45 which he believes might have been in the old White Hart, on the corner of Kingston Crescent and Kingston Road, North End, Portsmouth. Or it might have been at The Beresford, North End.

Keith says the match was between a Portsmouth area team and the unbeaten London side of Jim Pike, Leo Newsted, Harry Head and John Ross. Also in the Portsmouth team were Fred Golding, Bert Gibbs and AN Other.

Keith says: ‘The FA Cup was on display on the bar as Pompey were the holders and it was full of whisky.

‘The London team were unbeaten on their travels round the country. Each leg was 1001 and my uncle Ron says the pub was jammed with spectators. The atmosphere was electric.

‘My father’s favourite double was 16. People used to place bets on him going out on this double in his local, the Clacton Arms at Wymering.’

Apparently, Arthur, who was in his early 20s, went to the oche needing double 16 for the team to win. But nerves got the better of him and he struggled with his first two darts, leaving him with double one.

‘His third dart went into that double and the place erupted. He was knocked down in the wild celebrations and the team were allowed to drink from the FA Cup.’

What Keith is looking for is a cutting, perhaps from The News, containing a report of the match.

His dad reckoned a framed copy was on the Beresford’s wall, but no-one is certain.

Please get in touch if you can shed any light on the match or the cutting and I’ll pass it on.

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX