World Conker Championships Cancelled

7 October 2011, 12:18 | Updated: 7 October 2011, 13:07

High winds and safety fears have led to the cancellation of Northamptonshire's World Conker Championships.

Thousands of people had been expected to head to the event at Ashton near Oundle on Sunday 9 October 2011. 

Organisers say they have had to call it off because high winds have made it impossible to put up the marquees and prepare the playing area.  They say they are very sad to have cancelled the event, but it would "simply be too dangerous to try and proceed."

It's the first time in the event's history it's had to be cancelled because of the weather.  The organisers say they hope to be able to put on the 2012 event as normal.

The competition first took place in 1965 and has grown every year since.  Teams from all over the world head to Ashton to take it in turns to hit each others' conkers - each held on a twelve-inch string - while standing on eight white podiums in a playing area.

The eventual winner is led to the Conker Throne and crowned with conkers.

The event also raises money for charities for the blind and visually impaired, with £21,000 raised in 2010.  Over the history of the event, more than £400,000 has been raised.

In a statement on the World Conker Championships website, the organisers have said sorry to all those who were hoping to take part, or watch.
It says "Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. We will be in touch with all competitors to discuss the 2012 World Conker Championships."