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World Conker Championships was held near Oundle attracting 2,000 people



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People went nuts over the recent World Conker Championships, which sold out of competition tickets.

The event took place for the 54th time and proved just as popular as normal.

It was hosted in Southwick on Sunday (October 10), with about 2,000 guests coming to experience the day.

The World Conker Championships had around 2,000 guests on the day. Photo: David Pearson
The World Conker Championships had around 2,000 guests on the day. Photo: David Pearson

There were activities for everyone to enjoy including stalls and games, a ukulele band performance, a chance to meet a guide dog, and a food area.

St John Burkett, a member of the organising committee, said: "The event went really well. We had the weather on our side and people were pleased to get out and about after coronavirus."

The official rules for the World Conker Championship state that you are not allowed to use your own conkers, instead having to draw one from a bag.

The event had something for all to enjoy. Photo: David Pearson
The event had something for all to enjoy. Photo: David Pearson

These conkers are supplied by the Ashton Conker Club and have fallen naturally from the trees.

Each contestant takes three alternate strikes at the other player's conker and if neither has cracked after five minutes, a knock out round commences with each player taking nine more strikes.

"Everyone can take part and have a go," said St John. "Some people come along for their first time and get really far through the competition."

The event proved to be a good family day out. Photo: David Pearson
The event proved to be a good family day out. Photo: David Pearson

The event provided hand sanitiser around the venue, and social distancing was encouraged to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

St John said that feedback was extremely positive this year, with people saying that the event was 'professional' and 'had a lovely atmosphere'.

"It's a really good day out for everybody," he added.

Chelsea Pensioners John Rayley and Charmaine Colman observing. Photo: David Pearson
Chelsea Pensioners John Rayley and Charmaine Colman observing. Photo: David Pearson

"People kept saying how much they were enjoying themselves."

The event helps raise money for charities that support people who are visually impaired and this tradition has continued since the first conker championships in 1965 when a group of friends couldn't go on a fishing trip due to the weather.

They decided to play conkers instead and the winner received a small sum of money to help his visually impaired relative.

The event has been running since 1965. Photo: David Pearson
The event has been running since 1965. Photo: David Pearson

"It's a traditional English event,"said St John.

"The definition of English evolves constantly and it now represents everybody."

This year, Jasmine Tetley from Long Eaton in Derbyshire reclaimed her 2019 title for this year's World Conker Championship.

Conkers are provided by the Ashton Conker Club. Photo: David Pearson
Conkers are provided by the Ashton Conker Club. Photo: David Pearson

Ady Hurrell from Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire was declared the Men's Conker Champion.

According to St John, the majority of men will strike really hard, which can seem intimidating but this isn't necessarily the best tactic.

"I enjoy every aspect of conkers," he added.



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