Conkers Fights – a thing of the past?

Conkers fights – do they still go on?

Conker fights: back in the day before red tape

Conker fights: back in the day before red tape

Here we were in our secret and again largely untapped location collecting our yearly stash and that very idea and question suddenly dawned on me.

We’d only come into the village for a walk and to an event to climb the church tower (but got duff information for the latter – it was the day before!), but finished off with ‘we’ll get a few conkers while we’re here’

A few turned into a couple of hundred at least by my estimations. Well, for one there was loads (obviously – see below) and it was one of those Pringles moments – once you pop (or pick in our case) you can’t stop.


So it came to pass upon gathering the horde that I questioned the kids – do they allow you to take conkers into school and have conkers fights?

Sadly it seems no. ‘Conker fights? What’s that?’ tells its own story.

A bit of further investigation and it is almost as if conker fights have been outlawed (yes, you can blame health, safety, red tape, blah de blah).

So while the advent of playing conkers in the playground is seemingly lost to the current and, most likely, future generations, maybe conkers will have to go ‘underground’ and can only be found on the street.

Shame really. Today’s kids will never know have the pleasure of owning a ‘twenty eight’er’ or the disappointment of having their prized chestnut smashed to pieces in front of a baying school playground crowd, whilst getting fingers and knuckles battered and rapped in the heat and fervour of conker battle.

However, typically a quick search yielded better news, news that conker championships do exist with, get this, an annual World Conker Championships event near Oundle in Northamptonshire.

Interestingly, a few days later the very same subject came on the local morning radio – Free Radio’s JD Show, whereby he (JD – middle, below) asked the same question, and what’s more he was looking for conkers to challenge his co-presenter Roisin (on the right, below).

Conker hunters and challengers: JD Show on Free Radio

Conker hunters and challengers: JD Show on Free Radio

Never one to miss an opportunity, so thanks to the power of social media I promptly

The response was swift. JD replied, ‘yes please, producer Tom will contact’.

But sadly the logistics of Coventry to Rugby was too much of an ask to bring the whole thing together and opportunity for cross-region conker fight on air was lost.

Still, whilst conker fights may not be alive and kicking in the majority of schools, they do in our back garden and neck of the woods.

And no, our secret location for conker picking is not for disclosure.


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