The 2014 World Conker Championships took place on Saturday 11th October at Southwick – near the ancient market town of Oundle in Northamptonshire. The Championship is organised by the Ashton Conker Club who support various charities for the blind and partially sighted and have now donated over £400,000 to local causes. The club have been long time supporters of the PAB and we regularly receive a donation from them to help fund our work.
The Championship first took place in 1965 and teams from all over the world still meet here for the competition which is played out on eight white podiums in the arena until a winner emerges and is lead to the Conker Throne and crowned with conkers! As well as being a fantastic family day out with stalls and sideshows, there is a serious point: To raise money for blind and partially sighted people.
PAB had a small team of volunteers manning our stand for the day. They did a great job of raising awareness and promoting the charity by handing out leaflets and collecting donations – so a big thank you to everyone involved! Two of our volunteers, Jeanette and Marie are pictured above (and in our gallery pages) with a contestant. Please click here to visit our gallery page to see more pictures of the day.
To help raise awareness of the different types of sight loss, we also took along our simulation glasses. These are designed to simulate different eye conditions so that the wearer can get an idea of what living with varying degrees of sight loss can be like. Ioan and William are pictured here enjoying the challenge of playing conkers with limited and no vision by using the glasses and a blindfold.
Ioan said that it was very hard to guess where William’s conker was to be able to hit it, but he thought it could be done if the organisers of the competition had some different rules for people who were blind.
As well as PAB stand, the Guide Dog Demonstration Team were also there to raise awareness and were a big draw with the children! There was live music from the Samba Bandits and Five String Thing with Sync ‘n’ Tap. Traditional dancing was performed by the Peterborough Morris Men and there were traditional pub games and Juggling workshops. There was also a armoured vehicle display, highlighting the role played by the humble Conker in the First and Second World Wars.
Different craft stalls and goodies around the green meant there was something for everyone and a really enjoyable day out. Thanks again to all our volunteers for giving up their time to promote the PAB and to the Ashton Conker Club for their continued support.