Charming fox worms his way to success at world championships

Robert Clark and Richard Skeggs dressed as a fox

A FOX costume helped Oliver Florence, Richard Skeggs and Robert Clark to a top 112 finish in their first World Worm Charming Championships.

The trio managed to coax 38 worms from the ground in just half an hour at the showpiece event in Willaston, Cheshire.

Worn by Skeggs, the vulpine outfit delighted the majority of the crowd, with youngsters queueing to both high five the animal and have their photos taken with him.

There was a moment of controversy however when one young boy became scared at the sight of the big fox.

He had to be comforted by his father after expressing his disapproval at the choice of Skeggs’s outfit.

On the plot, the fox played largely a cosmetic role as Florence charmed the creatures out by twanging a garden fork for Clark to then pick them up and deposit them in a pot.

Before the contest the group has indicated they would be happy with just one worm, so were pleased with their haul of 38 – just over 200 fewer than the winners.

A boy is comforted by his father after seeing Skeggs

“The result was even more remarkable given the team’s preparations, which consisted largely of an inconclusive discussion over whether buying an electronic mole deterrer would be good idea.

“I couldn’t believe the worms actually flocked to the surface when we put the fork in,” Skeggs said. “Florence had a natural touch on the fork and produced some stunning results with his vibrating technique.

“And 38 worms is a most respectable score considering our somewhat lacklustre preparations.”

Leamington-based Clark added: “Richard Skeggs was quite possibly the best dressed attendee at the championships, and definitely the best dressed competitor. You couldn’t hope for a better mascot”

“After a slow start we really came on strong towards the end and we stayed true to our morals.

“We could have scored 41 but chose to leave three worms which surfaced seconds after the klaxon sounded.”

“This year was a warm up for next year’s full championship attack. I can’t wait.”

St Mary's Village Carnival chairman Gordon Gray with a worm

Florence – who was forced to miss the British Championships minigolf tournament for the trip north – was immediately back in worm charming action the following weekend at the St Mary’s Village Carnival in Edlesborough, Buckinghamshire.

There was disappointment however as, with the help of fellow minigolfer Richard Gottfried dressed as a chicken and his 11-year-old nephew Kallum, not a single worm was charmed to the surface and the team lost by two.

Florence said: “I had high hopes going in to the Edlesborough fixture, especially when I found out that we were the only side with specialist equipment of forks and a chicken costume.

“To lose to a group of girls beating the ground with some sticks is really quite galling.”

7 responses to this post.

  1. Best caption on your blog so far “St Mary’s Village Carnival chairman Gordon Gray with a worm”


  2. I read somewhere (the Wack Nation book perhaps) that in Worm Charming water is NOT used as it acts as a sedative to them. Perhaps this is where we went wrong in the tourney in Edlesborough?


  3. Meant to say the ‘Wacky Nation’ book, not ‘Wack Nation’!?


  4. Posted by Coach on July 5, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Some great worm charming there… I think we were secretly sanctionned at the Eddlesborough Fair… allocated a worm-less square when we arrived with professional equipment!

    And some excellent costumes from both of the Richards.



  5. Posted by minigolfollie on July 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Whether to use water is something that needs researching further although we don’t need to worry at sanctioned IFCWAP events as it is not allowed. We should start thinking about our tactics for the UK RPS Championships.


  6. I don’t think they allow Water at the UK RPS Championship either!



  7. Worm Charming Competition at St Mary’s Village Carnival in Edlesborough – report from the Ham & Egger Files:


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