Buckswood School pupils going bonkers for conkers


Guestling’s Buckswood School is keeping the old tradition of conkers going despite many schools banning it on health and safety grounds.

More than 60 students lined up on the school field for the annual conker fight and even the teachers joined in.

Without a pair or safety goggles in sight, they battled it out to see who would be crowned the conker champion.

Juniors had spent the previous weekends, collecting conkers fallen from local horse chestnut trees, drilling them with a hole, finding suitable strings and shoe laces and practicing their swings in preparation for battle.

Head of Juniors, Mr Cassidy said: “The conker fight was a most successful event, and one seldom seen in schools these days due to the tendency to encase children in bubble-wrap.

“As usual a few rogue competitors were sniffed out with one employing concrete secreted into the centre of the conker and another young chancer wrapping his conker in blue-tack and sticky paper.

“A number of conkers, mainly those of the day boys, had clearly been baked, soaked in vinegar and been treated to a host of other alterations – but in the spirit of fair play these were soon disqualified.”

Britain is believed to be the only country in the world where the game of conkers is traditionally played with horse chestnuts in the autumn.

Horse chestnut trees were first introduced to England in the late 16th century from Eastern Europe. The first recorded game of conkers was on the Isle of Wight in 1848 and was modelled on a 15th century game played with hazelnuts.