Conkers still played

Buckswood Conkers SUS-150710-083027001
Buckswood Conkers SUS-150710-083027001

The traditional playground game of conkers has been banned in many schools due to health an safety concerns but it is still in full swing at Buckswood School.

Students at the Guestling based school enjoyed taking part in the annual Conker Fight.

A spokesperson for the school said: “With a faint whiff of vinegar in the air, 60 students in the junior school, took to the front field; and without a pair or safety goggles in sight, battled it out to see who would be crowned the conker champion.

“Teachers and students entered into the spirit of the event and the new international students soon got into the swing of things in this very British sport.

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.

“Within minutes, the air was filled with cries of “Strings!” and “Ouch!” Despite all sorts of tricks employed by some to create the everlasting conker, it was the ‘honest conker’ that prevailed and won the match, proving that soaking conkers in vinegar and baking them in ovens is no match for a freshly picked conker in expert hands.”

Conkers used in the fight were harvested from the school’s grounds.

Buckswood is situated on an estate an with a vineyard, orchard, farm, woods and a riding school.

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.

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, also known as cobnuts.

The origin of the name ‘conker’ is unclear, but one popular explanation is that it stems from the French word cogner, meaning to “hit”.