There is a strong argument for banning conker playing in the playground, after all a flying piece of conker is a danger isn't it?
My son broke his arm in 3 places tripping over a buried tyre in the school playground so should we be banning outside activity altogether to avoid injury to our kids.
So lets not let them run free in the fresh air. We should stop them getting muddy knees and grass stained shirts. In fact lets simply stop them having any fun at all - shut them away in the overheated classrooms to become drowzy and pale so that they can safely spread all of the bugs they have between them.
We should recognise that conker playing is a tradition going back years and is about far more that the occasional sore knuckle.
Remember the joy of finding a prize conker in the park? taking it out of is knobbly shell to reveal a beautifully shiny and smooth conker - a prize to excite and behold. Asking your self if this truly could be a 'sixer' or even more? The unbeaten champion of conkers in the playground.
I remember as a boy, returning from a fishing trip with my dad when I was about 11 knowing that the golden leaves represented our annual visit to the woods where I would fill a wellington boot full of these beautiful brown shiny fruits. A whole wellington boot no less! While my mates were scratching around under the odd horse chestnut tree in the park or throwing sticks high in the branches to gather the last beautifully ripe ones hanging temptingly 15ft above their heads I had hand fulls, all plump and perfect for a weeks conker playing at school.
I remember using my dads old hand drill to make the perfect hole, as central as possible making sure to be gentle so that the drill bit wouldn't crack the skin.. Any slightest split would be the weak point and after a few good hits could spell the end for this particular specimen.
Once the drilling was done, time to find the perfect boot lace - generally out of my rugby boots and tying the best possible knot so that the conker would sit on it and be supported by it so that the lace didn't rip through the outer shell.
And then the excitement of playtime - 10 maybe 20 of us all with our conkers ready to to battle...getting the prefect length of lace so that you had the best combination of power and accuracy.
Elated by the first sign of a split in your mate conker or groaning as you saw you had taken some damage. Seeing your opponents conker disintegrate making the you proud owner of a two'er or a three'er or maybe this year the exceptionally rare six'er which would be retired as a prize to be coveted.
Do I remember the sore knuckles? yes a bit but far more than that I remember the joy of being a kid - in the woods conker hunting with my dad, the laughter and fun in the playground with my mates and the everlasting memory of those beautiful, silky and shiny, perfectly formed conkers and all the fun that they represented.
So should we ban conker playing?
What? and deprive our kids of all those wonderfully exiting times and lasting memories?
Not in my book!
Member since: 10th July 2012
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