A Story From Brian (Flab) Ford

A little remembrance from Cyprus.  Its along time ago and sadly I didn't record it and consequently there are some gaps caused by my poor memory for things which at the time didn't seem that important.  I have fortunately got a piece ripped from the notices on Pt 1 orders so the date is right and hopefully because of other events in my life so is the year.

Back in the late 50's and into the 60's there was a strong interest in Marathon Darts Events and so, with collusion of others, I organised an attempt on a then world record which was held an RAF team in Nicosia. Having received official sanction from the CO we set a date and further details.

I'm not sure what the present rules for such events are but back in those days a MILLION and ONE by eight players was straight in and finish on a double with every player throwing in turn and in the same sequence for the duration of the event and a single board with each player retrieving his own darts.  Sounds easy!!

The following excerpt from the Notice section of Part 1 orders of early 1959 throws a little more light :


A Darts Team will be attempting to break the World record time for 1,000,001 up at present held by the Cpls Club, RAF NICOSIA,  IN 47hrs 17mins.

It is entended to commence this attempt on this World Record at 0900 hrs Fri 4 Mar in the Unit Gymnasium.

We are requesting volunteers, who are prepared, to work in shifts through-out Friday/Saturday nights as : Scorers, Computors, Statistics and General

Assistants for the Darts Team.   Names to Cpl Ford.

The competition is continous throughout.

The above is typed exactly as it appeared on Orders including punctuation and spelling. I doubt my remaining scrap of paper will copy very well !

Along comes Fri 4th of Mar and we assemble in the Gymnasium.  Eight throwers, with darts, and numerous helpers with Brunswegas (its a long time.  Is that the spelling?) and other sundry mechanical calculators, notepads, chalk, blackboards, coffee urns and promises of access to a bar as needed.  And, most importantly, two chronometers.  Someone acquired some "Wakey" tablets but no one actual got to take them!

The plan was for for every form of scoring to be independent and this we achieved together with each form of scoring working both ways.  In one form adding the scores to reach the required total and in the other form subtracting as normal in darts, starting at 1,000,001.  2 spare calculators were continuously used to cross check at frequent points.

Promptly at 0900 hrs we started throwing and, if memory serves me correctly, WOII 'Chimpy' Freestone took the first throw and we were up and going.

The scorers and recorders and checkers did sterling work reporting regular that all totals were checking and the throwers were excelling themselves and it was soon found that barring misfortune we were going to be several hours ahead of target and thankfully a second nights sleep wouldn't be lost.

Late afternoon Saturday the end is well in sight and soon we are down in the last 1,000 and soon chasing a double. Having tried on double twenty a couple of times we quickly dropped it to double one and 32hrs 32mins and if memory serves 18 seconds Baz Cairns nailed it with his and our first attempt.   A WORLD RECORD!!!   Sadly NO !!  A pub team in Cornwall started after us and finished sooner coming in some 3 hrs quicker.

Apart from 'Chimpy' and Baz' already mentioned I can only remember 3 more of the throwers (anyone throw any light) who were  Wilf 'Bill' Beavan (Chief Clerk of the Regt), Eric 'Henry' Parsloe and myself ('Flab')   The scorers, calculators and other helpers fare even worse in my memory which is really not right since they the most important part in our efforts.  The three I can remember are Mick Hamilton, Al ??? and Bill Powell.

It is almost 46 years ago now since we made our bid to claim fame and as a personal postscript on this memory I would like to thank once more everyone who made the attempt possible.  THANKS!!!!


A reproduction of the original notice.


Throwing Len "Chimpy" Freestone CSM  (was at a Bridge too far)
Eric "Henry" Parslow  (facing left)
Next to throw Bill Beardon (Unit chief clerk).


Throwing Baz Cairns
Next to throw Brian "Flab" Ford
In glasses Al ?.


Al ? Baz Cairns Bill Beaven

Throwing Chimpy Freestone
Mick Hamilton (behind arm)
Front scorer Al ?

Baz Cairns Flab Ford Eric Parslow(hidden)
Who is about to throw Joe Dalziel???