World Conker Championships near Oundle cancelled because of Covid

Another popular event won't be taking place

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 3:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 3:50 pm
Action from a previous championships.

The coronavirus situation has proved too tough a nut to crack for organisers of the World Conker Championships near Oundle.

Thousands normally flock to the event, which was supposed to be held on Sunday, October 11, in the grounds of The Shuckburgh Arms in Southwick.

But with restrictions on gatherings and with Covid-19 case rates in parts of the county still high, the championship committee has taken the decision to cancel it this year.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Organiser St. John Burkett said he was "very disappointed".

He said: "We waited as long as we could to make the decision and we did consider socially-distanced options, like a longer conker string and people standing a long way apart.

"But in the end with very high levels of Covid-19 in parts of Northamptonshire we felt it would be a bit irresponsible to bring people, especially the older generation, along.

"And there would have been so many people that couldn't take part that it would not have felt the same at all."

Instead members of the committee will play a few socially-distanced games on the day and film them.

And Mr Burkett urged people to send in videos of them playing conker games in their bubble to [email protected]

They will pick a winner who will be invited to next year's championships on October 10, 2021. Next year's competition will be sponsored by smoothie makers innocent, who were due to sponsor this year's event.

Anyone who had entered this year will be given the option of a refund, to carry it on to next year's event or for their fee to be donated to charity

In 2011 the championships were called off at the last minute after bad weather blighted efforts to set up marquees at a site in Polebrook.

Last year the main arena was hit by flooding, forcing the podiums to be moved. Jasmine Tetley, 26, fought off competition from across the globe to win the crown.

Since its inception in 1965 the championships have raised more than £420,000 to charities to help the visually impaired.

Message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive.

We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you