Conkering fear to enjoy a traditional pastime
AT many schools, the game was consigned to the history books many years ago on health and safety grounds.
But one school in Bristol has chosen to fly in the face of nanny state regulations by reintroducing conkers to the playground.
Cleve House School's second annual conkers competition got under way yesterday – and there wasn't a pair of safety goggles in sight.
Dressed in the school's blue and white tracksuits, pupils at the independent school in Wells Road, Knowle, did battle in the playground yesterday afternoon.
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Joint principal Elaine Lawson said the inaugural event had proved such a huge success last year that the competition – won this year by William Edlin, eight, and Emily Grimes, five – was back by popular demand.
She said: "Conker matches were a regular event in the playground during my childhood at this time of year.
"Last year was the first time most of our pupils had ever played the game, and they enjoyed it so much, as did staff and parents, that we wanted to give them another opportunity."
The game has declined in popularity in recent years amid fears over playground safety.
Mrs Lawson said: "We believe it is excessive to make the children wear protective goggles but it is made clear that any contestants are playing on a voluntary basis, and they will be well supervised.
"We are awarding trophies to the winners again this year, but overall the conkers tournament is a bit of fun."