'Worm charming' event for North Yorkshire village church

An earthworm
An earthworm
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The village village of Markington, near Harrogate, will hold its Worm Charming Championship on Markington Cricket Field this Sunday afternoon, May 29, in aid of Markington Church's roof repairs.

The event will be held at 2.15pm on the boundary, where each competitor or team of up to four will operate a worm-charming plot of two metres by two metres in a competition lasting 30 minutes.

Worms may not be dug from the ground; only vibrations or noise can be used; no water or chemicals will be allowed, but any form of music may be employed to charm worms out of the earth.

A garden fork of normal dimensions may be stuck in the ground and vibrated; a piece of wood, smooth or notched, may be used to strike or "fiddle" the fork's handle to assist vibration.

This traditional technique of hitting the fork with a stick remains the most popular method, but others range from playing music to tap dancing on a plank; tapping cricket stumps with a bat to dancing to rock music.

Competitors may collect worms only from their own plot; the competitor who charms the heaviest weight of worms will be declared the winner and will receive the Markington Worm Charming Trophy and a bottle of champagne.

An additional prize will be given for the most novel charming technique.

Entries cost £5 per plot with all proceeds going to St Michael's Church, Markington. To enter, or for further information, please email suehouseman@hotmail.com; text 07711 563959 or hand in your entry in the Worm Box at Markington Post Office.

The Worm Charming Championship will be followed by the Markington Duck Race on Markington Beck with prizes including £50 cash, a day at Ripon Races for two and a £30 meal voucher for the newly refurbished Yorkshire Hussar pub in Markington.