World Conker Championship cancelled after high winds

The World Conker Championships in Northamptonshire has been cancelled due to high winds.

The annual competition at Ashton Conker Club has been called off after bad weather blighted efforts to set up marquees at the site in Polebrook near Oundle.

About 300 competitors from 20 countries were set to take part in the championships on Sunday.

John Hadman, secretary of the club, said: "It is very sad."

Established in 1965, the championship attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to watch entrants from across the globe compete for the Conker Crown.

Future in balance

Competitors from countries such as Sri Lanka, Turkey, America and Bangladesh were all expected to take part in the contest.

But organisers decided to cancel the event for the first time in 46 years after high winds looked set to hit the site over the weekend.

The championship committee are now trying to contact entrants by email and telephone to tell them the contest has been cancelled.

"We just couldn't get the marquees or stalls up," Mr Hadman said.

"We couldn't risk them blowing down on people."

Mr Hadman said the event was too large to be staged indoors.

An extraordinary meeting has been scheduled for November to discuss the future of the competition.

"The future is in the balance," Mr Hadman said.

"We want to carry on but the weather could be just as bad next year."

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