World Conker Championships near Oundle cancelled because of Covid
Another popular event won't be taking place
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.
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.
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