This weekend, the 49th World Pea Shooting Championships will be taking place in Witcham village, Cambridgeshire.
The championship has been held in Witcham since 1971. The contest is said to have been invented after the village schoolmaster, Mr Tyson, caught some mischievous pupils amusing themselves by pinging their unfortunate schoolmates with peas. This gave Mr Tyson the idea to hold a Pea Shooting Championship and it was an instant success.
The original championship was invented as a way to raise funds for the village hall. Today the contest takes place as part of the Village Fair and attracts competitors from all over the world. The event still raises money for the village hall.
This year the fair will open at 12pm and the pea shooting will begin at 1pm. Registration for the games will take place on the day. Anyone, young or old can take part. The maple peas and all-important shooters can be bought in advance from the village pub, The White Horse. The pub also has an all important practise area.
For those who haven’t tried pea shooting before, don’t worry, it is very simple to master and the rules are straightforward.
The target is made up of three circles of putty. The inner circle scores five points, the middle circle three points, and the outer circle one point.
Peas must be fired by blowing with the mouth. Competitors play against one another in knock-out rounds. Names are drawn from a hat to decide who plays who. Each competitor has five peas to shoot during the knock-out stages, and ten peas in the finals. For the team games, the top four scoring teams qualify for the finals.
This year there will also be a prize for the most inventive pea shooting device in the junior category.
There will be plenty of other entertainment at the Village Fair including a bouncy castle, face painting, novelty games, stalls, a BBQ and ice cream. Cream teas will be served in the village hall. There will also be a licensed bar in the village hall, with a selection of cask ales on offer.
When: 13th July 2019
Where: Recreation Field, Witcham, near Ely, Cambridgeshire CB6 2LB
£: To enter the championship costs £4 for adults and £2 for juniors. The team championship games cost £10 for adult teams and £4 for junior teams.
More info: www.witcham.org.uk