Conker contest, England


What could be quirkier than the idea of doing battle armed only with a nut and a piece of string?

Nutty enough in the school-yard, the people of Northamptonshire have taken this ‘sport’ to its competitive extreme. Think less ‘Just William’, more modern gladiatorial contest.

The Ashton Conker Club takes foul play very seriously indeed. To eliminate the chance of conkers being tampered with, it provides them for competitors ready drilled and laced. There are even regulations about the length of string that must be kept ‘between knuckle and nut’.

The championships are held annually on the second Sunday in October. Spectators and juniors can turn up on the day – but adults wishing to compete should register in advance.

Written by - Photo by Mike Stevenson

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