Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Saturday, 10 October 2009 16:44 UK

Hundreds going for conker title

conkers
The village's conkers championship attracts thousands of competitors

Competitors from 18 countries will take part in the World Conker Championships in Northamptonshire on Sunday.

The annual contest at Ashton, near Oundle, has been forced to move venues after it became so popular organisers needed more space.

John Haddon, secretary of Ashton Conker Club, said they had to move the contest away from the green to New Lodge Fields outside the village.

"Over the past two or three years it's got rather cramped," he said.

"We've had to turn people away because there wasn't room in the car park.

We were worried that we wouldn't get enough and they wouldn't be the right size but as it turns out we've got some really smashing conkers
John Haddon, Ashton Conker Club

"It's not the same as having it on a village green but this is so we can fit all the people in."

He said despite concerns of conker trees flowering early, they still had a bumper crop for the competition.

On Saturday about 2,000 conkers will be drilled and threaded on to old-fashioned leather bootlaces ready for the occasion.

Mr Haddon said: "We were worried that we wouldn't get enough and they wouldn't be the right size but as it turns out we've got some really smashing conkers.

"A 'good' conker is usually 1.25 to 1.5 inch in diameter and as round as we can find."



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