When: 23rd June 2018 at 2pm (gates open at 1pm)
Where: Willaston County Primary School, Willaston, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6QQ
£: Entry into the championships costs £5 for a two-person plot or £10 for a team plot (entrants need to apply in advance).
What is it?
The 39th annual World Worm Charming Championships will take place on Saturday 23rd June in Willaston, Cheshire.
Ever since 1980, the village of Willaston has been the centre of the worm world as people gather to compete to charm the most worms out of the ground.
This quirky contest is governed by the International Federation of Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes (IFCWAP). Each competitor has a 3 x 3 metre plot and 30 minutes in which to charm as many worms from the ground as possible. No digging is allowed but other methods such as playing music or creating vibrations with a garden fork are often used. Apparently the best method for charming is that of hand vibrating a four tyne garden fork, partly inserted into the turf. This method has become known as ‘twanging’.
Mr Tom Shufflebotham first set the bar in 1980 when he raised 511 worms, but more recently Miss S and Mr M Smith managed to charm a whopping 567 worms. The event also has a prize for the heaviest worm, and the current record is 12.08g. Winners usually receive a trophy in the shape of a golden rampant worm for charming the most worms, and a silver worm trophy for charming the heaviest worm.
Gates will open at 1pm on the day and the official worm charming commences at 2pm. This is then followed by the counting of the worms and the trophy presentation at around 4pm. There will be entertainment taking place during the day, including inflatables, fete games and a BBQ.
For those worried about what becomes of the many charmed worms, fear not, they are released (after the birds have gone to roost) in the evening.