PUPILS at a school in Southsea have been salting, baking, marinating and even painting conkers with nail varnish to give them a fighting chance to be crowned King or Queen of the conkers.
More than 100 10-year-olds at Mayville High are taking part in a week-long conker competition designed specifically to engage the boys in English.
As part of the project the youths have created posters, researched rules and will write about their experiences.
The event is a breath of fresh air at a time when some schools are banning conkers from the playground for health and safety reasons.
Alfie Macdonald, 10, kept his conker in vinegar for two days before sticking it in salt and baking it in the oven.
He said: ‘I won my first game and I’m confident I’ll do well. It’s been great fun designing the posters and I look forward to writing about it.’
Max Fortune, 10, who dunked his conker in sugar and fruit juice before freezing it, added: ‘Banning conkers is silly. We’re having so much fun and at the same time learning a lot.’