Village gearing up for return of World Pea Shooting Championships

23:03 09 July 2014

World Pea Shooting Championships at Witcham, MP Steve Barclay

World Pea Shooting Championships at Witcham, MP Steve Barclay

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The hotly-anticipated World Pea shooting Championships return to Witcham on July 12 with dozens of eager competitors set to compete.

World Pea Shooting Championships at Witcham, Chantele from SuttonWorld Pea Shooting Championships at Witcham, Chantele from Sutton

The championship, back for it’s 44th running, has been held in Witcham since 1971 and funds raised have always been used to support the village hall.

Like all good stories, the peashoot has a curious and amusing origin.

The village schoolmaster, Mr Tyson, caught some mischievous pupils amusing themselves by pinging their unfortunate schoolmates with peas and he confiscated the offending weapons.

World Pea Shooting Championships at Witcham, past winner Ian AshmeadeWorld Pea Shooting Championships at Witcham, past winner Ian Ashmeade

At the time the village had identified a need for a village hall and they were seeking ways to raise funds, Mr Tyson came up with the idea of a world peashooting championship.

The idea was an instant success and was central to each year’s fund-raising activities.

The popularity of the event has continued to grow over the years, with visitors coming from as far afield as the USA, Scandinavia, France, Spain, New Zealand and Holland to take part.

The fair begins on the village green at 12 pm, with the pea-shooting competition under way at 1pm.

This is the main fund raising event of the year for the upkeep of the village hall. Entry on the day is £4 and £2 for juniors, adult teams £10, and £4 for junior teams. Peashooters and peas will be on sale.

Alongside the championships will be an animal experience, novelty games, face painting, draws, bottle stalls, bric-a-brac, barbecue, and cream teas.

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