World Worm Charming Championship

Worming   a tag team plot

The ‘38th World Worm Charming Championship’ took place on the afternoon of Saturday 24th June 2017 within the grounds of Willaston Primary Academy, Derwent Close, Willaston, near Nantwich, Cheshire. 

The Championship worming commenced at 2pm following an inspection of the plots by the International Federation of Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes (IFCWAP).  

Participants in each of the 144 plots had 30 minutes to collect as many worms as possible from their 3x3 metre plot. There were 'traditional' plots for two adults and two children and 'tag-team' plots for teams who wished to change their pairings throughout the charming period. 

Techniques included the traditional method of vibrating a garden fork, along with alternative methods such as whacking a tennis racquet and a cricket bat, jumping up and down, windmills, broadcasting water music and playing a recorder. 

Willaston Primary Academy Headteacher Clare Grehan thanked the volunteers and visitors for their ongoing support. 

The Chief Wormer's trophy was awarded posthumously to Will Forster by last year's winner Mrs West, who has been a teacher at Willaston Primary Academy for thirty-two years. Will was a former pupil of the school who had charmed worms from the age of three, then progressed to helping with setting up and securing the site and had also filmed the event on several occasions. Will had battled cystic fibrosis all his life and has sadly passed away. The award was received by his partner Carly Whickman. 

Most Promising Newcomer Award was won by Clover/Maxwell in plot 76 with 99 worms. 

The Heaviest Worm trophy was won by Baldwin/Viggars in plot 29 with 5.54 grams.  

The Championship trophy for Most Worms was won by the Love-Rouse family in plot 27 with 137 worms. Second place went to the Boden’s in plot 90 with 121 worms and third place went to Debbie Eccles and Steve in plot 17 with 120 worms.  

The championship also included representatives from Wales, India, South Africa, Germany and the Philippines. 

Event organiser Mike Forster gave his sincere thanks to all the volunteers and visitors for their continued support of the event. 

Events in the playground and arena included singing from the Willaston Primary Academy Infant Choir, dancing by the X Academy of Performing Arts, and a demonstration from the Willaston Scouts. 

The arena and adjacent areas were surrounded by charity stalls, an inflatable slide and food and drink outlets.  

Charities represented included Cystic Fibrosis, Willaston History Group, Crewe and South Cheshire Voluntary Group of Diabetes UK, Hope House, and WaterAid.  

The BBC were on site to record audio for an episode of the BBC Radio 4 series ‘Natural Histories’. The earthworm episode will be aired later this year.  

The main sponsor was Bristol Street Motors (Vauxhall). The event was also helped and supported by ASDA, Morrisons, Chatwins, Innovation’s, Snugburys Ice Cream, Sainsbury’s, Cheerbrook Farm Shop, Alton Towers, Crewe Alex FC and Apex Connected. 

The event took place in dry and sunny weather and was enjoyed by several hundred people.

Jonathan White