Cheers to the county’s first Aunt Sally world champion

Henry Johnson from Yarnton on his way to becoming the new Aunt Sally World Champion held at Charlbury Beer Festival at the weekend.

Henry Johnson from Yarnton on his way to becoming the new Aunt Sally World Champion held at Charlbury Beer Festival at the weekend.

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

THE county has its first ever World Champion at the game of Aunt Sally after a tense afternoon on Saturday.

The game was founded – and is played almost exclusively – in Oxfordshire, but for the past three years the World Champion has been from Gloucestershire.

But this year Henry Johnson from Yarnton was crowned the winner at the Charlbury Beer Festival in a hard-fought battle against Abingdon’s Barry Parker.

Mr Johnson, who plays in the pub team at The Black Prince in Woodstock, saw off Mr Parker with a perfect six dolls in the final.

A doll is when a player successfully manages to knock the wooden dolly clean off the plinth without hitting the metal spike it rest on.

A hushed crowed gathered to watch the final battle, which had been delayed after a heavy downpour stopped play before the quarter-finals.

Winner Mr Johnson, who has been playing the game for 25 years, said: “I feel absolutely great because I have had a hard run against some top players.

“I will of course try and retain the title next year.

“I am going to celebrate with a few drinks down at the Black Prince.”

Despite the hit and miss weather, more than 2,000 people were expected to have joined in the day’s festivities at Charlbury Cricket Ground. Organisers think numbers were down slightly on last year because of the rain and think it is likely to raise about £15,000.

Related links

Money raised at the event is handed out to local community projects.

Oxford Mail:

  • Morris dancer Geoff Griffiths doesn’t let the rain stop him

Festival chairman Nick Millea said: “The beer trundled along quite nicely, there were lots of happy, smiling faces, kids being entertained and we have a new world champion.”

Eight-year-old George Foster played Aunt Sally for the first time at the event.

George, of Hempton, said: “It was really fun. I watched some of the World Championship, I think I could take them on.”

Geoff Griffiths, 56, of the Charlbury and Finstock Morris Dancers, enjoyed a dance in the rain. He said: “It has been a great atmosphere.

“This is the highlight of our year. I’ve made sure to come back here from a business trip in Malta.”

  • AUNT Sally is a traditional Oxfordshire game, usually played by two teams of eight.

Players compete by trying to knock the ‘dolly’ – a ball or skittle – off a spike by throwing ‘sticks’ from 10 yards. The aim is to knock the dolly off the spike without hitting the spike.

The modern rules see the game played over three legs. Each player throws six sticks per leg. The team with the highest number of dolls scored wins each leg.

The game is thought to date back to the 17th century.

  • Our top stories:

Acts jump through hoops as Big Feastival begins

Oxford Mail:

12:00am Saturday 30th August 2014

SOPHIE Greenwood showed punters at the Big Feastival how to hula yesterday, as the event opened with musical performances from Reggae Reggae sauce entrepreneur Levi Roots and Abba tribute act Bjorn Again.

CONNOR MURDER: Couple recall 'confrontation with psychopath'

Oxford Mail:

6:40am Saturday 30th August 2014

TEENAGER Denise Stratford says killer Will Blencowe’s footprint is still on her window after he tried to break into her home, a week before he murdered Connor Tremble.

Cyclists rush in as 'Boris bikes' are relaunched

Oxford Mail:

6:40am Saturday 30th August 2014

MORE than 200 people have signed up for Oxford’s “Boris bike” scheme after it relaunched earlier this summer.

CONNOR MURDER: 'Connor touched the hearts of so many. It was amazing.'

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 30th August 2014

CONNOR Tremble’s mother said the outpouring of love following her son’s murder showed how many lives he touched.

Depressed woman died after hospital discharge

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council county hall

6:30am Saturday 30th August 2014

A WOMAN with a history of depression found dead the day after being discharged from a mental health hospital died of natural causes, a coroner has ruled.

Sowing seeds for learning

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 30th August 2014

VISITORS to Harcourt Arboretum have been sowing the seeds of a good time this week.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:14am Mon 30 Jun 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

World Championship with the best players not taking part. What a farce.
World Championship with the best players not taking part. What a farce. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree