2018 World Conker Championship
The Annual World Conker Championships is usally held in October. This year Karen Holloway won it. She came, she saw, she conkered!
It began in 1965 when a group of anglers in Ashton held a conker contest at the Chequered Skipper public house because the weather was too bad to go fishing. The event was held in Ashton for 45 years before moving to a larger venue at the Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick, Northamptonshire in 2009. Money made from the competition goes to charities such as the Northamptonshire Association for the Blind and the Huntingdon Society for the Blind.
The tournament has been threatened with conker shortages over the years, in 1976 conkers used in the tournament had to be flown in from Jersey, in 1980 freak spring weather was one of the factors that threatened the World Conker Championships causing a conker shortage, and in 1982 a late frost killed off the horse chestnut blossom resulting in a failed conker harvest.
On Thursday 6 October 2011, Ashton Conker Club the organisers of the World Conker Championships were forced to cancel the event over safety fears with high winds being forecasted. In 2012, the championships were cancelled again when a suitable venue couldn’t be found in time.
Concerns for the future of the event were voiced over the Horse-chestnut leaf miner moth, Cameraria ohridella, which has appeared in the region and could have a detrimental effect on the UK’s Horse-chesnut population affecting conker yields.
On the 9th October 2017, Chelsea pensioner John Riley won the men’s tournament at the age of 85, quite possibly making him the oldest world champion on the planet.
in 2018, Her Majesty The Queen and Sir David Attenborough chatted about conkers in a 2018 TV documentary.
Players’ Rules of Engagement for the Noble Game of Conkers as follows:
- Prior to the game, over 2000 conkers (horse chestnuts) of the required 1.25-inch (30mm) width are collected, drilled and strung ready by tournament officials.
- Each game will commence with a toss of a coin, the winner of the toss may elect to strike or receive.
- A distance of no less than 8″ or 20 cm of lace must be between knuckle and nut.
- Each player then takes three alternate strikes at the opponent’s conker.
- Each attempted strike must be clearly aimed at the nut, no deliberate miss hits.
- The game will be decided once one of the conkers is smashed.
- A small piece of nut or skin remaining shall be judged out, it must be enough to mount an attack.
- If both nuts smash at the same time then the match shall be replayed.
- Any nut being knocked from the lace but not smashing may be re threaded and the game continued.
- A player causing a knotting of the laces (a snag) will be noted, three snags will lead to disqualification.
- If a game lasts for more than five minutes then play will halt and the “5-minute rule” will come into effect. Each player will be allowed up to nine further strikes at their opponents nut, again alternating three strikes each. If neither conker has been smashed at the end of the nine strikes then the player who strikes the nut the most times during this period will be judged the winner.
What a joke!
I went to the doctors and said “I feel like a horse chestnut tree”
The doctor said “Don’t worry you’ll conker it!”
Thank you for reading my blog