Bonkers for conkers at Fenland annual championships

Wisbech Lion Clubs Conker championships.

Wisbech Lion Clubs Conker championships. - Credit: Archant

Vintage playground fun was a smash hit at an annual championship event in Fenland where grown men battled for supremacy using just a piece of string and a conker.

Wisbech Lion Clubs Conker championships.

Wisbech Lion Clubs Conker championships. - Credit: Archant

Around 80 people turned out for the conker championship at Wisbech in which hopefuls dropped like flies as each round progressed.

Organiser Kevin Rodgers said: “For most of us the school playground is a hazy memory and we all still think we can play like when we were children.

“Sadly our skills are not quite as finely tuned but we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

“The only qualifications needed are a sense of fun and the ability not to take things too seriously,” he said.

Lions Club members prepared all of the conkers and strings for the event to make sure nobody cheated for what was the 12th year of the Wisbech & Fenland Conker Championships.

The desire to conquer the winning title was fierce and teams from ten different Lions clubs from as far as Halesworth and Beccles battled it out for supremacy during the weekend event.

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“The level of skill was high,” said Mr Rodgers.

“We started the event some years ago as a bit of fun and although it is still a good laugh it is surprising how all of us have become quite competitive about it.”

Winner of the men’s championship was Bill Batrick from Wisbech Lions.

Ladies champion was Mandy Hawksley from Halesworth.

Team winners were Peterborough Lions and non Lions team winners were 2007 world champion Ady Hurrell and his brother Maurice, who travelled from Scotland to compete, along with fellow competitor Phil Lavender.

Mr Rodgers and the Hurrell brothers moved on to the World Conker Championships in Southwick, near Oundle but sadly none of them brought back any titles to the Fens for 2013.

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