Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
Good vibrations as annual worm charming contest goes virtual
The ‘41st (virtual) Willaston World Worm Charming Championship’ was organised by the Friends of Willaston School Association and took place on the afternoon of Saturday 27th June 2020.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year’s Championship was a virtual event held in participants own gardens with wormers live-streaming their exploits via the ‘Zoom’ video conferencing app.
The Championship worming commenced at 2pm with participants assigning themselves a team name and having 30 minutes to charm and collect as many worms as possible from their 2×2 metre plot.
A maximum of two wormers were allowed on the plot at any time but could swap with a maximum of two gillies during the half-hour period.
Techniques to agitate the soil included waggling a garden fork, tapping a garden fork to cause vibrations in the ground, playing music, jumping up and down, and bouncing a ball.
Chris White from the ‘Wistaston Wormers’ team dressed as an earthworm. He also sang and performed on his ukulele to entice worms with ‘There’s A Worm At The Bottom Of The Garden’, ‘The Worm’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Earth Song’, ‘You Raise Me Up’, ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’, and ‘Good Vibrations’.
Kieran Mullan, Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich, competed under the team name ‘The Parliament Charmers’. Kieran mentioned the event in his maiden speech when talking about the constituency, so was keen to take part and add his support this year.
Enthusiastic and encouraging commentary during the worming was provided by Miss Wakefield of the Friends of Willaston School Association.
The team with the most charmed worms were the Brookshaw family from Willaston with an impressive 155 worms. They competed with their daughters Emma, 11 and Olivia, 8 under the team name ‘The Wizarding Worms’. The best decorated plot was won by ‘Team Benbow’.
There was also a worm colouring-in competition to promote the event, for age categories ages 7 & under and 8 & older, with the artwork poster drawn by local illustrator, artist and card designer Hannah Morgan. The competition was won by Isabelle aged 7 and Milly aged 10, both from Willaston Primary Academy.
The event was free to enter with donations welcomed to the Friends of Willaston School Association via a JustGiving page. All funds raised will be used towards a Willaston Wellbeing Project at Willaston Primary Academy.
The World Worm Charming Championship was founded as a community project to raise funds for the school by Gordon Farr (former Headteacher of Willaston Primary School), John Bailey (former Deputy headteacher of Willaston Primary School), and Mike Forster (former Willaston Village Police officer).
Kath Burdett, Secretary, Friends of Willaston School said: “We know that so many people enjoy this annual event, so we didn’t want to break the tradition even though social distancing measure meant we couldn’t run it as we normally would. We hope everyone who took part had a great time and congratulations to the winners.”
For further information relating to The Friends of Willaston School Association please visit their Facebook page.
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