AUNT SALLY AT CHARNEY BASSETT
The Chequers Inn Aunt Sally team plays in the Abingdon & District League.
For those not familiar with this traditional outdoor Oxfordshire game a white wood ‘dolly’ (shaped like a skittle and measuring about 6 x 3 inches) is placed on a dog- legged metal spike 39 inches high. Each player (a team consists of 8 players) throws 6 short battens at the dolly one at a time from a distance of 10 yards to try and knock the dolly off without hitting the spike. A successful hit is known as a ‘doll’ If the spike is hit first this is called an ‘iron’ and does not count. The team which scores the most dollies wins the leg and a match consists of three legs. These formal proceedings are followed by the beer leg……losers pay. Matches are played on a home and away basis every Wednesday during the Summer whatever the weather.
There are many theories on how the game started. One theory is that the game was started by bored Cavaliers on Oxford Port Meadow, whilst another is that the game developed from a cruel practice at local pubs which involved onlookers throwing sticks at a live chicken placed on an upright ….with the one who killed it taking it home for consumption.
The game has retained its popularity with over 60 pub and club teams in the Abingdon Summer League alone. For more information on this popular summer game go to the Abingdon & District Aunt Sally Association website or ask at the Chequers Inn.