Worm Charming Championships

Did you say "Worm Charming"?

On Saturday 5th July 1980 local Willaston farmer's son, Tom Shufflebotham amazed a disbelieving world by charming a total of 511 worms out of the ground in half an hour. True, there had been rather dubious unsubstantiated reports of a similar activity in Florida, USA some 10 years previous, but this was the first time a true competition with strict rules had been held. The village of Willaston, near Nantwich, Cheshire has been the venue for the annual World Championships ever since.

A regulatory body of control was formed to compile and enforce a total of 18 rules governing all aspects of Worm Charming. The International Federation of Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes (IFCWAP) not only exists for Worm Charming, but will look after the interests of other zaney sports such as indoor hand gliding, underwater Ludo and ice tiddly-winks (similar to curling but the tiddles go further).

The International Committee of IFCWAP is formed by Mike Forster, Chief Wormer and Mr Gordon Farr, Former Headmaster of Willaston School, who now enjoys life long Presidency and meets only once a year and at other times of national crisis. For example, when the New Zealand flat worm was discovered a number of years ago in some parts of the country, the threat to the common earthworm was of great public interest in Willaston and volunteers from the village still regularly patrol the site of the Worm Arena for at least 8 weeks prior to the event leaving no stone unturned, for that is where this hideous creature preyed on "Willy Worm".

If you would like to take part in next year's World Worm Charming Championships, the event is to be held on Saturday 23rd June 2018.  The gates open at 1pm and Charming starts at 2pm.  Please arrive in enough time to register and collect your worm pot!  Plots cost £10 or £5.  A £10 plot is a 'tag team' plot where unlimited team members can take part on a tag basis with no more than 4 members in the plot at any one time.  Those plots are around the outside of the worming field.  A plot for £5 is in the centre of the worming field and can have a total of 4 members.

Any plot with more than 4 members will risk disqualification. 

You need to bring your own worm charming equipment (no liquids allowed) which can be safely stowed in your plot after registration. 

Application forms for plots will be available nearer the time

If you are a charity, business  or just raising some extra funds you can also have a stall on the day of the event.  Stalls will all be outside on the school grounds and cost £15 or £10 for a charity.  Stall holder forms will be available nearer the time.

 

For more information, including the full rules, please click on the website www.wormcharming.com 

 

Worm Charming news!!

To download news clips of last year's event click here

from atlasobscura - click here 

To watch a Youtube clip of the worm charming event click here