Time to conker the world as championship returns

Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Rui Vieira/PA Wire
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Horse chestnuts are being collected, hardened off and polished in readiness for an international contest that is returning to the sporting arena after an absence of two years.

The World Conker Championships are back with a new venue - The Shuckburgh Arms at Southwick near Oundle. They will be held on Sunday, October 13 from 10.30am-3pm when 192 contestants will battle it out to find a new world champion.

Players from as far afield as the USA, Italy and Switzerland have entered and there will be junior and adult competitions.

For the first time since 1965, when the tournament began on the green adjacent to The Chequered Skipper pub in Ashton near Oundle, men and women will play head to head. Tina Stone from Glapthorn, ladies champion in 1994 and 2004) will take on Ray Kellock from Rushden, men’s champion in 2008 and 2010.

Pub hosts David and Stella Dixon will be laying on two special ales produced by local breweries for the occasion and there will be a variety of food stalls as well as pub meals available. A craft fair will be held in the village hall, with teas and home-made cakes on sale. Music will be provided by Five String Thing plus Sync and Tap and there will be dancing by Peterborough Morris Men. Children’s activities are being organised and an exhibition of autumn-themed artwork by Glapthorn School pupils will be in the village church.

Money raised from the championships will be donated to local charities for the blind and partially sighted, Since 1965 £390,000 has been raised.

See the www.worldconkerchampionships.com website for more details or follow them on Twitter - @worldconker