Horse Chesnut

This trees flowers make Chesnuts when they are fertilised and mature.

Chestnuts are big brown nuts or seeds. They have hard shells and children gather them up in the autumn to play the game Conkers.

The local children throw sticks up into the tree to knock the chestnuts down. Then they make holes through them and thread them onto string tying a knot at the bottom so the Chestnut (or Conker) doesn’t fall off.

They take turns to swing one conker against the other until one of them cracks and breaks up. There are various tricks to try and make the chestnuts harder, like for instance soaking them in vinegar.

The more conkers a child hits and breaks, the more important the child’s conker is. If it’s only broken one it’s a ‘oner’ a six would be a ‘sixer’ the winner is the person whose conker does not disintegrate and beats all the other ones.

Probably not a game played much these days. But I remember playing it until my friend conker accidentally hit the knuckles of my hand. Ow!