They are all bonkers for conkers at Langham Brewery

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It was the tenth anniversary of Bonkers for Conkers at Lodsworth on Sunday (October 7) and Langham Brewery celebrated with its biggest ever event.

The fiercely contested competition is played strictly according to world championship rules.

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“Braving yet another year,” said organiser Lesley Foulkes one of the brewery partners, “the Langham team were joined by fearless umpires Spike, Adrian and Ben who helped to ensure fair play, LJ Smith and Monica Constable, who helped with registration and restringing conkers and ‘Conker Queen’ Katie Hart who supplied the players with their pre-strung conker from large brown envelopes, so no cheating!”

The event was compered by Simon Goodale, who kept order among the competitors new and old.

After several hotly contested rounds and a three cornered nailbiting final, the 2017 senior champion and winner of the coveted Langham Cup was Lodsworthian, Deryck Hamon.

There was also stiff competition for the junior plate, but victory went to first timer Evan Williams, with last year’s winner, Freya Leggatt runner up.

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The crowd was entertained by The Petworth Town Youth Band and ukulele trio Yukon Bass.

Local craft stalls offered bargains inside and outside the brewery, including Noble and Stace Chocolatiere, the Steamy Steam Punk Seamstress, and Stan the Walking Stickman from Lodsworth. Two steam engines courtesy of Alan Barsby and Peter Hawkins, offered rides and there was face painting while the ‘seniors’ enjoyed award winning Langham ales and barbecue beef from the Cocking Farm Shop.

Donations were still coming in, said Lesley, but she was expecting a record breaking total to go to The Chestnut Tree House Hospice, caring for children with progressive life-shortening conditions.

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