VIDEO: Kettering man conkers the world

Hundreds of people had a smashing time as the World Conker Championships returned to Northamptonshire.

The event, which had to be cancelled for the last two years, took place at the Shuckburgh Arms, in Southwick near Oundle, today (Sunday), with almost 150 people taking part.

Simon Walton from Rushden

Simon Walton from Rushden

For the first time, men and women took part in the same competition, but with a female and male winner each being crowned.

The overall men’s winner was Simon Cullum, from Kettering. He said: “We usually just come here for the real ale, but this year we had to take it a bit more seriously.”

Ladies’ winner Sophie Knox, from North Yorkshire, beat Simon in an exhibition finale.

Competitors dressed in a variety of fancy dress costumes, with Sophie competing as the Pink Panther.

Stephanie Withall, who entered dressed as a bee, said she had come along because she liked how quirky the competition was. “It’s just a typicaly British event,” she added.

Organiser StJohn Burkett said the weather had put a slight dampener on the occasion. But he added: “We have had a good crowd of people turn up.”