When: 14th October 2018, 9.30am – 4pm (games begin at 10.30am)
Where: The Shuckburgh Arms, Southwick, near Oundle, Northamptonshire PE8 5BL
£: Admission for spectators costs £5 for adults, £2 for children and £10 for a family. Parking is free. To take part in the championships costs £10 and players should enter in advance online
What is it?
The 2018 World Conker Championships will take place on Sunday 14th October at The Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick, Northamptonshire.
The World Conker Championships first took place on Ashton village green, surrounded by horse-chestnut trees, in 1965. The contest is rumoured to have started after the regulars at a local pub couldn’t go on a fishing trip. Instead they decided to have a game of conkers, with a small prize for the winner. Today the event is staged nearby in Southwick, with competitions for men, ladies, and juniors.
All conkers and laces for the championships are supplied by Ashton Conker Club. Each player takes three alternate strikes at the opponent’s conker. The game is decided when one of the conkers has been smashed.
The adult competition kicks off at 11am with a parade of players. The competitors play on white podiums in the arena and have to play through various rounds until a winner emerges. The winner is then led to the Conker Throne and crowned with conkers.
This year’s competition will be MC’d by BBC Five Live’s Mike Sewell, and the opening ceremony will by carried out by the King Conker, Lord Robartes and the Town Cryer.
In addition to the championships there will be plenty of family friendly entertainment throughout the day. This year’s entertainment will include children’s rides, a juggling workshop, pub games, Morris dancing, stalls and a guide dog demonstration.
There will also be a small English Civil War living history encampment and music from the Palmerston Arms Ukulele Band.
The proceeds from the World Conker Championships will go to charity. Since 1965 the event has raised £415,000 for good causes.