Jarpers are ready to get cracking

2012 World Egg Jarping Champion Phil Raine
2012 World Egg Jarping Champion Phil Raine

A WACKY well-established tradition which has become synonymous with Peterlee is set to be held this Easter weekend.

The 31st annual World Egg Jarping Championships will take place at the Hearts of Oak pub, in Oakerside Drive, Peterlee, this Sunday, with registration from 2pm.

The game is similar to conkers, but players use their eggs to “jarp” each other out of the competition by trying to smash opponents’ eggs with the ends of each one.

They take part in knock-out rounds until the winner is crowned and they receive a special egg trophy and a certificate.

Organiser Roy Simpson, 70, from the Oakerside area, who has refereed the event for more than 30 years, said: “We never know how many people are going to take part - they just pitc h up on the day. One year we had a couple take part from South Africa. It’s great to have something quite unique to Peterlee.”

Last year’s winner was Phil Raine and the competition had a break in 2011 due to a fire at its previous venue, Peterlee Cricket Club.

In 2010, Dave Young, from Peterlee, took the jarping title from grandmother-of-seven Ann Watson.

Last month Roy featured on the nation’s TV screens when he taught presenters Rory McGrath and Will Mellor how to jarp as part of Channel 5’s Champions of the World programme.

The competition has attacted people from as far afield as Brighton. Its rules, drawn up during the contest’s inaugural meeting at in 1982, stipulate that “the competition eggs will be boiled in the same container on the evening of Easter Sunday”.