Saturday, 28 April 2012

Elephant & Castle, Bloxham, Banbury

As if being a thoroughly traditional and welcoming village boozer which features regularly in the Good Beer Guide, and the 2011 North Oxford CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year were not enough, the Elephant & Castle at Bloxham also features an excellent range of traditional pub games. This part of the country is an Aunt Sally stronghold, a game I first encountered in the 80's on a cycling holiday around the Banbury area. Put very simply, it's a little like Long Alley Skittles, except that the pins are thrown at the ball! In common with many pub games, it's an easy game to learn, but very difficult to master.

The Elephant & Castle field 'A' and 'B' teams in Division 4 of the Banbury & District Aunt Sally League, which means there will always be a home game to see on a Thursday night during the Summer should you be in the area.

The interior of the pub is quite roomy, meaning there is plenty of room for a number of games, including this Bar Billiards table.

The Aunt Sally Pitch is looking a little overgrown after the Winter break, but the fixture list shows that Elephant & Castle 'A' should already have played a home game. Perhaps it was rained off!

The Shove Ha'penny Board is tucked neatly away beneath a table in the bar, which is home also to a Darts Board. This is a beautifully smooth piece of wood, quite large by the standards of commercial boards.

No comments: