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Team takes Aunt Sally on tour
OXFORDSHIRE’S favour-ite pub game Aunt Sally has gone on tour. Cowley Conservative Club’s Aunt Sally team went to Portugal to spread the word about their number one pastime.
Ex-pat Jeff Beil from Wheatley invited the club over last month and arranged a friendly between them and the locals.
Residents in the village of Vale Fuzeiros, in the southern region of Faro, took to the sport with great enthusiasm after the 12-man Oxford team showed them how to play. Club chairman Doug Turner said: “After a few demonstration throws by the Con club, the villagers became really interested and joined in a match between two mixed teams of ‘professionals’ and locals.
“The match was played in great spirit.”
The owners of the Bar O-Gralia, in Vale Fuzeiros where Mr Beil lives, played host to the tourists.
Club member Peter Surman, 54, said: “We set up the alley right next to the bar, and they put on a meal for us as well. They want us to go back next year now, and they said they will be practising. I reckon they will be beat us next time.”
The Story Behind The Game:
Aunt Sally has been around for several hundred years, and it is thought to have originated in Oxfordshire.
It is played by throwing batons at a “doll” – a wooden skittle known as Aunt Sally.
One theory traces its origin to Royalist cavaliers stationed in Port Meadow during the Civil War. The soldiers created a game similar to skittles, where the aim was to throw at the effigy of a woman’s head, with a pipe sticking out of her mouth, and break the pipe. Today, the game remains most popular in Oxfordshire. To view a list of leagues go to trad games. org.uk