Go bonkers for conkers as championship returns to Sussex brewery

Staff at Langham Brewery, near Petworth, are gearing up for this year’s Conkers Championships, which are set to kick off on October 8 from 1pm to 6.30pm.
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The ‘brewery in a barn’ has played host to the championships since 2008, and each event has proven more popular than the last. It’s £5 to take part, and all funds go straight to Chestnut Tree House.

All conkers will be provided by the organisers, and both the junior and senior competitions will be governed by world championship rules, so would-be athletes are advised to swot up before letting fly.

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Alongside the games themselves, there will be a well-stocked bar featuring a range of ales, soft drinks and snacks, food from the nearby Cocking Farm Shop, live music, a tombola, morris dancing, mini-steam engine rides for the little ones, cake decorating and craft stalls. To sign up, visit Langhambrewery.co.uk

Last year's junior champ.Last year's junior champ.
Last year's junior champ.

"We really do encourage everyone to come along, and it’s all about helping Chestnut Tree House, because they need all the funding and support and awareness they can get,” said event organiser Lesley Foulks.

"Sometimes we have people from Chestnut Tree take part, and they do it because they’re so passionate about the work they do.”For Lesley and the rest of the team at Langham Brewery, the Conker Championship is one of the biggest and most exciting events on the calendar. Not just because it’s a lot of fun, but because it gets right to the heart of everything they stand for as a business.

"We set up as a traditional craft brewery back in 2005. We’re a state of the art brewery now, but we’re based out of an old granary barn and we support one of two traditional floor malters left in the UK. For us there’s something really solid and reinforcing about the continuity of keeping traditions like that alive. And conkers is a tradition. It’s a shame that you can’t play it in schools any more, but we’re helping to keep it alive.

"We do have googles and safety equipment for those who feel a bit worried, but you can also do it the old fashioned way, and just take what nature throws at you.”

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