Getting ready for nutty championships

Steph Withall, from Burton Latimer, dressed as a bee, at last year's event
Steph Withall, from Burton Latimer, dressed as a bee, at last year's event

Final plans are being made for the annual World Conker Championships.

The championships are held at the Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick, near Oundle, and see 192 players from far and wide battling it out to be crowned the World Conker Champion.

Entrants will have a fierce battle on their hands as Sophie Knox, from Harrogate, and Simon Cullum, from Kettering, will be defending their titles under the watchful eye of M/C Mike Sewell, from BBC Radio 5 Live. The other special guest is writer and actress Katherine Jakeways, Katherine is the creator of North by Northamptonshire, a popular comedy series on BBC Radio 4.

This year the championship is sponsored by Hoopers, brewers of traditional British drinks.

For those wishing to take a break from the heated battles, the Guide Dog Demonstration Team will be putting the dogs through their paces, and there will be entertainment and music from a selection of local bands, as well as craft stalls and goodies around the green. Cakes and refreshments will be available in the village hall. Landlords Roger and Helen will also be serving an excellent selection of ales from “The Shuck”.

The championships will also commemorate the outbreak of the First World War with a display of little known facts about how the humble conker played an important role during the war.

Each year the championships raise money to support the blind and visually impaired.