Dave Mealey is the only person in the world who can make a traditional Manchester Log end dartboard. This isn’t a boast, it’s a fact. These boards are made by hand from his home in Denton where he has lived for 50 years.
The Manchester regional board is the meaner leaner version of the regulation board. All black, no treble, and only 11 inches in diameter. If good design is as little design as possible then the Manchester board deserves an award.
The other afternoon I took a taxi to Denton to visit Mr. Mealey - it would be a crime if we didn’t hang one of his boards in The Pilcrow. When I arrived I began to see evidence of dart board making straight away, with slices of wood and the smell of oil.
Mr. Mealey started by telling me about the board we've bought, handling it confidently and surely, a sure sign of somebody who knows an object through and through. He talked me through his tools, some recognisable and some not. Some are incredibly niche for the job at hand, including a spec made bullet which he uses to find and stamp the bullseye. The board itself is poplar, a close grain wood with flexibility which is ideal for the job at hand. To keep the board from splitting, it needs to be kept wet at all times.
I left Dave Mealey’s house with three things that afternoon: a damp black dartboard, a handful of unfinished dominoes (he makes those too) and the impression Dave had left on me. Dave is a man who has been making the same thing with care and skill for 40 years, he is a true expert keeping a disappearing act alive. If everything we do at The Pilcrow is as honed as this board we will be very happy indeed.
If you fancy a game on one of Dave Mealey’s boards join us at our launch event.
- JOE (HEAD MAKER)