Tuesday, 11 October 2011


This weekend we collected some nuts from a nearby horse chestnut tree, grabbed a drill and some string and prepared our boys first conkers.

Conkers is a traditional game played in England with the shiny brown nuts from horse chestnut trees. The game dates back to the 16th Century when horse chestnut trees were introduced from Europe.

The game was played every Autumn and was a particular favourite in school playgrounds. I remember playing the game for hours. Unfortunately the game has now been banned from most schools on the grounds of 'health and safety'.

Conkers is a two-player game. Player 1  has to hang his conker by the string, holding it at arm's length, whilst player 2 swings his conker, also by the end of its string, to strike the conker.Blow by blow the game continues until one of the conkers dies.

 It becomes more complicated when the scoring starts. 
 If a conker has never been used before and succeeds in breaking another unused conker, it scores "one" and becomes a "one-er." If in its next game it breaks another new conker, it becomes a "two-er" and so on. BUT if this "two-er" is broken, its score is added to its winner  which, if it was previously unused, becomes a "three-er" (one for the conker it's just broken plus that conker's previous two.) If the conker that broke it had already broken others, the scores of BOTH conkers are added together and awarded to the winner. I remember having conkers of values 20 + and reused them the next year.

Some people try to harden their conkers by adding vinegar, baking, or leaving them in an airing cupboard. Others believe that the oils from your hands harden the conker and so they should be kept in a pocket all year.

We had a great afternoon and it brought back some great school memories. I'd forgotten about the large red lumps that appear on your lower arm and the danger of flying conkers! We ended up with a 3-er by the end of the challenges. We'll keep this for next year.

Had to browse ETSY and just have a look to see what came up with a conker search. Look what I found!

Friendly Conker
Stained Glass Window Decoration
 The Round Window
Conker Cozy - Lazy and Vain

what a conker gift card -
Martha and Hepsie


  1. What no safety equipment! where are the goggles, body armour & steel toe capped boots!! I hope you did a risk assessment!!! :-)

  2. LOL in those days the more bruises you got, the better the game. :-D

  3. Ouch, I remember it well. Love the Etsy finds too.

    Lynda x

  4. Aww childhood memories...of sore fingers lol! Great post, love the conker items 'specially the card :-) LOL@ the risk assessment hehe x

  5. Too sad the schools are protecting kids from actually BEING kids!

    Thanks for the fascinating insight into a game I've never heard of since I'm an American. Sounds like loads of fun!! =)

    My Sweetie Bean

  6. Thanks for mentioning my conker cozies!

    x Isabel