Traditional conker bash'¨brings Portsmouth community together

ONKER enthusiasts of all ages gathered to take part in the classic autumnal game.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:01 pm
CONQUEROR Brooke Tulson claimed victory in the under-7s conker bash
CONQUEROR Brooke Tulson claimed victory in the under-7s conker bash

The Baffins Pond Association held a conker bash in memory of its founder George Benham who died in 2004, leaving behind the testament to his hard work.

Though conker fights are generally less popular in modern times, partly due to stricter school safety regulations, 35 people aged between three and 71 took part in the Baffins Pond celebrations in the Baffins area of Portsmouth.

Steve Williams, the chairman of the Baffins Pond Association, is a self-confessed fan of the age-old tradition of conker bashing.

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He said: ‘This is not just a tradition, it is something that can bring all the community together whatever their age.

‘I’m sure George Benham would have been very proud indeed to know the event and the BPA itself is still going strong.

‘None of this would have been possible without his ambition to get people involved and to make Baffins a better place.’

With an entry fee of £2, the event was a success – with players receiving a drink, a hot dog and a conker.

The bashing competitions were divided into two age categories, with children under seven and those older battling for the two respective titles.

It was seven-year-old Brooke Tulson, of Kirpal Road, Baffins, who triumphed in the youngsters’ tournament.

Brooke’s mother, 42-year-old Gail Tulson, said: ‘Brooke had been collecting conkers for weeks so we felt it made sense to come along for the event. We had a fabulous time.’

The winner of the adult event was Charlene Pelham, 32, of East Shore Way, whose husband Cyril is centre manager of the Baffins Pond Association.

George Benham founded the BPA in the mid-1990s after showing an interest in the environment, particularly the clearing up of Baffins Pond itself and enhancing the surrounding area.

With the collaboration of the local community, George also help set up the compound, an environmental haven and a tea shop which is open most Saturdays between 12pm and 4pm.

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