Pub to hold conker championships

CHILDHOOD memories of autumn can be relived this weekend at a pub’s conker championship.

The contest at the award-winning Fox and Hounds pub in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, is taking place this Sunday at 2pm – and safety goggles will not be a requirement.

Some schools have now banned the traditional game on health and safety grounds or make children wear goggles.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council even placed a sign on a tree at the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds warning of falling conkers.

Organised by the West Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), the championship, which is held at the Fox and Hounds, in Barton Road, is now in its third year.

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Kevin Waterson, West Suffolk Camra chairman, said: “We have had no problems with health and safety and don’t envisage any.

“It’s just using common sense and being organised about it.”

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He said he thought that the notion of wearing goggles to play was “ridiculous”. Bernie Ruffles, who runs the pub with his wife Mandy, said: “It goes down well. It’s a village thing really more than anything else.”

Competitors have to buy a �1 ticket to take part and the organisers provide the conkers. Winners and runners-up receive medals and money raised goes to charity.

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