Author Archive | Vic Pratt

Winter League 2021/2022 update

A.D.W.A.S.L.  2021-22 UPDATE

Hi all,

      With Ab. Utd. ‘B’ withdrawing from the winter league and despite my best efforts to find a replacement team we will have only 9 teams this season but at least we will be getting to play some competitive games again.  This means there will be a team getting a bye each week.

      We will have the following friendlies on the 29th of September.

7-45      Ab. Legion                 v      Ab. Utd. ‘A’

8-15      Croft Nomads            v      Spread Eagle

8-45      Penlon                        v      The Vine

9-15      Ab. Utd. ‘C’               v      Ab. Con Club  


      The Heathens have decided to let the other teams have a game but would ask if we could have say 10 mins practice to ourselves instead.  No rolls on sale this night but Sue will be doing the honours thereafter.  There will be further notes along the way but lets get playing again for now.


      Looking forward to seeing you all again.






Basil Collins funeral details

From: Chris King <>
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2021, 11:39
Subject: Basil Collins
To: <>


Hi Vic,

My name is Chris and I am Grandson of the late Basil Collins.

Thank you so much for your kind words in the Abingdon & District Newsletter, it means a lot to the family to see his dedication to the sport still recognised and appreciated. 

I’m not sure whether or not there are members who still remember Basil as an active member or not given the 30 years since his committee role, but for anyone who is interested in paying their respects to Basil his funeral service will be held: Friday September 3rd, 11am at South Oxfordshire Crematorium and Memorial Park, Garford, OX13 5PA. 
Otherwise the family is asking for Family Flowers only or donations to Thames Valley Air Ambulance, a charity Basil was fond of. 

If any are interested in paying their respects to Basil, could you please direct them my way for catering purposes. 

Again, thank you so much for your kind words remembering Basil. His love for Aunt Sally never diminished and it is great to see the community remembering him still too. 

Best Wishes, 
Chris King


Basil Collins

It is with great sadness that the committee has learnt that Basil Collins the original founder of the  Abingdon &District Aunt Sally League has passed away today 11th August.The very existence and much of the history of our League was created by Basil over the last 60+ years,he remained a keen supporter and follower throughout his life attending and presenting trophies up until a couple of years ago.Our thoughts are with his family to whom we send our condolences.

R I P Basil and thank you for being the founding father of our Aunt Sally League.

If any players past or present have any words of tribute that they would wish to be shared on this website please send them to and we will endeavour to publish them.

Abingdon and District Aunt Sally committee


Winter League Update 2nd August 2021

A.D.W.A.S.L. 2021-22

Hi all,

        Hope you have kept safe and well during the last 18 months which has been challenging for everyone.  I’ve not posted anything about the unfinished 2019-20 season as there was really nothing to say – I think Covid said it all.  I would like to take something from that season though but not sure what.  I would like teams thoughts on whether the league tables stand as of 4th March 2020 having played 16 games and if so do we engrave cups accordingly.  Also Top Dolls and most improved players could be kept but would we give trophies or just record them.  I will have to go with the averages as I will need them for the upcoming season if it goes ahead.  I would welcome your feed back on these and any other issues.

      I am about to gets this seasons packs out shortly and I can arrange for registration sheets to be collected if you can’t get them to me.  I think it is going to be difficult as some of you may have found other things to do on a Wednesday night but we must try to get this season up and running.  As usuall the friendly night of games would take place on the last Wednesday of September with the league starting the following week.

      Sadly, since we last met we have lost a couple of  ‘Golden Oldies’ in Ron North and Owen Gill and more recently Laddie Moody from S.S.S.C. Mike Jarvis from S.S.S.C. has been hospitalised and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.

      Captains, can you please get back to me A.S.A.P. and I hope to see you all soon.  Stay safe and well.




Latest update 2021

2021 Season Update

As you know we have been trying to establish some form of organised Aunt Sally for this Summer. There have been and still are many obstacles in our way and they are not showing any signs of going away soon. Lockdown was due to end later this month with an announcement from the Government  scheduled for next Monday. Increasingly it looks like the planned date of June 21st for the lifting of the remaining restrictions is going to be delayed and therefore that will affect what and when we can organise anything with any real confidence that it will happen!

We had a pretty positive response to the options we put out last month with around 30 clubs responding with the vast majority wanting to play games in some form. 24 teams indicated that, failing a normal league being possible, they would be up to playing friendlies in organised sections. Some teams are sensibly combining A and B teams to make sure they have enough players although as you will see from the guidelines there is a lot of flexibility in team numbers.

Since those initial responses the number has fallen to 22 which would give us potentially 4 sections and provide 10  or 8 fixtures with 2 sections of 6 playing 10 games and 2 sections of 5 playing each other Home and Away.

 Some guidance from the committee, and we stress it is only guidance, because   the normal league rules and regulations would not apply includes  

  • Games would be played on Wednesdays cos that is Aunt Sally night but possibly any other night by mutual agreement between the respective Captains and Licensees
  • Teams can comprise any number of players from probably a minimum of 6 a side to a maximum of 12 a side played over 3 legs with 2 points for each leg won and 1 point for drawn legs.
  • Borrowing or lending players between sides to balance numbers per side is encouraged
  • “Rolling” substitutes to provide everyone with a throw in at least 1 leg
  • Players can play for more than one team during the “short season”
  • No food needs to be provided
  • Lazy dolls can be used by agreement to reduce “pick up”
  • Hand sanitisation should be available and encouraged “on site”
  • No “winner or loser “ trophies, no entry fees required
  • Games could start on June 30th (subject to Gov’t lockdown ending in June or if that’s delayed until July 5th from July 7th finishing either in late August or early Sept.
  • No registration of players and new players encouraged (even from Oxford!)



We will now, over the next few days, confirm that those teams that said they would be up for it still are and give another chance for any other team to join (2 more would be ideal, making 4 sections of 6) whilst we work out the best way to organise the sections to enable us to get under way whenever we can without breaking any Covid guidelines.

Aunt Sally is a fun game and we all need some fun! And our pubs and clubs need our support and our money or they will find another use for the space where Aunt Sally pitches once stood! Regrettably we know a number of our teams have already lost their pitches either through pub closures or the space being used, understandably, for other reasons.

We have a responsibility to keep our game alive and, as  aCommittee we are committed to doing our best to make that happen and get back to normal from 2022 


2021 update

Abingdon Aunt Sally Association – A message from the Committee (otherwise known as the unknown gang of 5!)

As May approaches we have turned our thoughts to Aunt Sally in what continues to be a very strange and difficult world. We would, this week, have been eagerly anticipation our retreat to the pub every Wednesday for the next 18 weeks without any need for any excuse other than it’s Aunt Sally, I can’t let the team down we’ve only got 8 players and it’s 8 a side!


We think it’s fair to say that like 2020 it just won’t be possible to organise a full league again this year. Pubs have only just re-opened and only for outdoors and table service, some haven’t yet re-opened and some may never re-open. It will be mid May before anyone is allowed inside and June 21st before we can think that anything is like normal as we knew it, but even then some features of lockdown like  social distancing, hand sanitation and mask wearing are still likely to be required

As a Committee e have a duty of care for all of our clubs and all of their players with regard to the playing of organised Aunt Sally.

We know many people want to start playing Aunt Sally as soon as they can, many are still very cautious and understandably so, others may choose not to play at all in 2021 and maybe many will, after a season’s break may never come back having got out of the habit!

With all of that in mind we want to hear the views of all of our pubs and clubs as to what we can do and should do for the Summer beyond June effectively a maximum of 12/13 weeks, half a season! Whatever feedback we get, 2022 will not be our official 61st season, that hopefully will come in 2022.

So what can we do? We are open to suggestions and some have already been aired and they are the options listed below! This is not exclusive and that is why we are asking for your responses, which ideally we need by 16th May. Please see what your players think, what your landlord/steward thinks, that will help us decide what to do. There is no doubt that here is an appetite to play for many and whatever we decide some Aunt Sally, the rattle of wood against wood  (or in most of our cases the silence of wood passing  fresh air or wood against iron) will be resounding around the Vale and South Oxfordshire  probably on Wednesday’s  throughout the Summer providing pubs and clubs re-open and stay open!


So, the potential options so far

  1. We could establish for those pubs and clubs who want to play “unofficial leagues to match teams of near similar strength based on 2019 averages, perhaps with each side playing each other once with no trophies but perhaps some form of token prize for the league champions. We, the Committee could record scores based on telephoned or emailed results being sent to nominated committee members. No fees, registration forms or match cards would be required/provided. We would simply record the match result and maintain  league tables.
  2. We could encourage teams to organise friendlies only with no records, rewards or committee involvement. This would keep the game alive and encourage people to play. The challenge with this is all organising would need to be done by the teams themselves and they could possibly organise local mini leagues to encourage as many pubs and clubs to participate and could play whenever or wherever they want with as many or as few players per side.
  3. We could possibly arrange an Aunt Sally “extravaganza” to incorporate some of our normal competitions, 5’s, 4’s, 3’s Pairs and Singles at a single venue maybe on a weekend when all of the tournaments are entered either on the day or perhaps more sensibly beforehand with all games started and finished on the same day with a bar and perhaps a barbeque  throughout the day.
  4. We could encourage some mixed non /pubclub fixtures, for example Abingdon v Didcot, North Abingdon v South Abingdon any thing to keep people playing and as importantly supporting our local pubs and clubs who have supported Aunt Sally for so many years.
  5. We could obviously all do nothing. and just write the 2021season off  as we had to in 2020.

We are sure that there are many other options which we haven’t thought of and that’s why we want to hear from you all so that  providing the route to the end of lockdown continues we keep Aunt Sally alive and kicking in and around our area!


Xmas 2020 Update

A Christmas update for all


Well, we are approaching the end of 2020 and the country is still in the grip of a pandemic which, as we all know led to the cancellation of our season for very obvious reasons. Whilst many of us would all have wished for a different outcome the reality of a loss of the season was nothing in comparison to what so many have suffered in terms of health, jobs and financial hardship including many of our own Aunt Sally community.

As 2021 fast approaches we would normally be planning for our AGM and subsequent 2021 Registration Night. That would be in anticipation of a season ahead, but at this stage with the virus still raging that would be at best insensitive and at worst just plain foolhardy.


So no AGM, no registration night planned until the Spring at the earliest and maybe not even then. There has to be a real and sustained improvement in the situation before we can even contemplate thinking about a 2021 season and what that might look like. Your 2020 committee will let you know what next, but in all likelihood it will be March before we are able to even think about it.


In the meantime, we know Aunt Sally is the very last thing on everyone’s mind even the most avid supporters of the game. We hope you can have an enjoyable Xmas, look after yourselves, your families and your friends and here’s hopefully looking forward to a better year ahead for everyone.

Best wishes and most of all stay safe


Summer league 2020 Update

Unfortunately and after quite a lot of soul searching regrettably the Committee have decided that like the league all of our planned competitions will be also cancelled for 2020. The reasons for this are quite simple,the Covid virus is despite all of our hopes clearly still with us.Despite the easing of the lockdown several of our pubs and clubs have still to reopen and of those that have it will difficult to maintain the guidelines particularly social distancing. there is also a genuine reluctance of many individuals to return to normality particularly time spent in pubs.That is not surprising as many of our players are classified simply because of their age and known health conditions in the vulnerable category.

We have not taken this decision lightly and we did consider several options, but on balance it was felt the right decision was to cancel this years league and competitions entirely. The only exception may possibly be The Founder members trophy where no pre – entry is required you just turn up and play at a single suitable location.We will look at the possibility of holding that perhaps on a Sunday in the latter part of August and will let you know.

Competition entry fees already paid will either held over,donated to an NHS charity or repaid to the entrants.Please could secretaries/Captains let The Treasurer know your preference by the end of July who  will be arranging repayments including to those  teams who have already asked for their entry fees to be repaid.Please also indicate to whom cheques should be made payable to as we have no record of who made payments back in February !

On a slightly brighter note we know that a few teams have or are arranging friendlies which is great and we are sure your venue is also delighted.In doing so can we please ask you to follow all the relevant guidelines relating to social distancing,sanitizing hands, equipment (dolls and sticks) regularly,ensuring track and trace is in place at the venues.You might also want to consider using a lazy doll, picking up your own sticks and giving food a miss !

Sod’s law that much of the summer so far has been really good weatherwise and cruelly it seems especially so on Wednesdays !!

Stay Safe,take care and lets look forward to all getting back playing together again safely in 2021

Your 2020 Abingdon Aunt Sally Committee



Summer League 2020

Abingdon & District Aunt Sally Season 2020


It is looking increasingly unlikely well, actually impossible, in the current and ongoing  pandemic crisis that we are going to be in a position to stage our Aunt Sally season this year, our 61st as an Association and the first time that the league will not be contested. Our thoughts earlier in the lockdown were that we might be able to resume playing in July  and at least play half of our planned fixtures, but with the continuing extension of the lockdown and, in particular, the restrictions affecting both social  gatherings and the opening of pubs and clubs we now have to be realistic and cancel the 2020 season. Hopefully we will come back as strong as an Association and with renewed enthusiasm for our game in 2021! 

That leaves us with a dilemma as we have already collected entry and registration fees for 2020 and these were banked in the Association’s account back in February.


As a Committee we have agreed to give all teams a say on what we do with the monies collected and we have come up with 3 options.

  • We can arrange re-imbursement to each team of the monies paid by them. This would have to be in the form of a cheque.
  • We can waive 2021 league entry and registration fees for all teams next year  and  possibly reduce the 2022 fees by 50% £20 per team of 14 players to encourage teams back playing when life returns to something like normality.
  • We can make a donation of all of the fees collected to the NHS Oxford Charities in recognition of all of the efforts, stresses and commitment those working in the NHS have, and are still going through.

We are asking each team to have one vote each on their preference via their nominated Captain or Secretary and will abide with the majority decision from the 60 teams who entered the league this season.  

Each of these options are not ideal, the first depends on getting the fees back to the right people. It could be an individual, the pub/club landlord or steward, or everyone registered with that team. We have no way of knowing who actually parted with the money!

The second assumes all teams who entered this year will be up and running again in 2021 to take advantage of the no registration fee.

The third option is the easiest to administer, but may not be a majority choice as it only goes to one source.

We do want your views. We should have 60 votes to register and we do ask that you don’t just make the decision yourself ask your teammates and your landlord/steward if you possibly can, but please reply either to me or to Vic Pratt ideally by no later than May 31s, preferably by e mail. Our e mail addresses are

In the event that the restrictions ease and pubs and clubs re-open at some stage before our normal end of season (mid September) we encourage teams to start playing again via inter team competitions or friendlies and should it be possible we will even try  to arrange some of our team and individual Competitions perhaps over a couple of weekends late in the Summer.

Remember as well as we want to be playing again our pubs and clubs even more will need our support and our money!

Stay safe!


Winter League special bulletin


Sadly we were unable to complete the 2019-20 season but I’m hoping to at some point in the not to distant future and hopefully we can all get through this difficult time to do so.  Having had quite some time on my hands I’ve decided to come up with some stats to cover the 12 full seasons I have taken charge and kept records for.  These stats are from 2007-08 season til 2018-19 season.  If  lockdown goes on for much longer I may well add to it and if anyone actually reads it you are as sad as I am.  Until we meet up again , stay safe .

Total number of players involved


Total amount of games played


Amount of doll’s scored


Total number of 6’s recorded


Total number of blobs recorded


Most doll’s in total

    B.Parker     2,203

Most doll’s in  ‘A’ Section season

    D.Dix   222   2014-15

Most doll’s in ‘B’ Section season

    P.Barrett   177   2012-13

Most 6’s in total

    B.Parker   32

Most 6’s in season by an individual

    7   D.Dix   P.Adams

Most 6’s in season by a team

    12   Ab. Utd. ‘A’   2017-18   2018-19

Most blobs in season by an individual

    22   M.Ashmall   2011-12

Most blobs in a season by a team

    52   Ab. Utd. ‘C’   2017-18

Most appearances

    217   S.Martin

Most consecutive games

    157   S.Martin

People who have recorded the dreaded XXX

R.Holmes (3)   V.Smith (2)   J.Carter (2)   M.Putt   T.Lach


A.White   P.Stone   M.Ashmall   F.Tracey   N.Green   R.Burkett




If you have actually read down this far I hope you enjoyed it and in no way did I intend to embarrass anyone, you know I wouldn’t do that lol