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:

Army will apologise to paratrooper after bullying claim at RAF Brize Norton upheld

Oxford Mail:

4:11pm Wednesday 1st October 2014

THE Army has said it will apologise to a paratrooper who lost three limbs in Afghanistan after his complaint of bullying was upheld.

Witney job centre cordoned off after suspicious package scare

Oxford Mail:

11:38am Wednesday 1st October 2014

A job centre was cordoned off after reports of a suspicious package.

Two road closures next week on A34 and in Oxford

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

10:52am Wednesday 1st October 2014

PARTS of the A34 and Walton Street will be closed next week as roadworks are carried out.

Thames Water under fire from residents who say they’ve been left in the dark

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

ANGRY residents flooded out of their homes say they are being left in the dark by Thames Water a week after disaster struck.

One lane of Botley Road shut for emergency work

Oxford Mail: Burst water main closes Lower Hall Lane in Chingford

9:00am Wednesday 1st October 2014

THAMES Water started emergency roadworks in Botley Road last night.

WATCH: Right royal occasion as RAF hands on helicopters + video

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

PRINCE Andrew joined RAF personnel and Royal Navy staff as they paraded at RAF Benson yesterday to mark one of the base’s helicopter squadrons being officially disbanded.

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