Oxford

World Pooh Sticks Championships seek new Oxfordshire venue

Pooh Sticks Image copyright Rotary club of oxford spires
Image caption The game involves competitors dropping sticks from one side of a bridge into the water, and seeing which emerges from the other side first

Organisers of the World Pooh Sticks Championships in Oxfordshire are looking for a new venue.

The Rotary Club of Oxford Spires has organised the event on the River Thames at Day's Lock in Little Wittenham for the past 31 years.

But it said "logistics" at the site had now become difficult due to a change in the use of land.

They hope a new venue can be found near Oxford, Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford or Witney.

Image copyright Rotary Club of Oxford Spires
Image caption The event has been held on the River Thames at Day's Lock in Little Wittenham for the past 31 years

The club said the "ideal venue" would have one or two bridges over the river, access for the safety boats and space for parking as well the registration and games tents.

It is now appealing to landowners and said the event could be combined with existing village fetes or sports club open days.

In 2013, the championships were cancelled because of high river levels on the Thames.

The game originates from author AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh novel, The House At Pooh Corner.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The game originates from author AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh novel, The House At Pooh Corner

Pooh sticks game rules:

  • Select a stick, face upstream, side by side with fellow competitors
  • Choose either the oldest or the youngest competitor as a "starter"
  • Competitors must hold their stick at arms length over the stream, usually from a bridge, at the same height as the shortest competitor's stick
  • All competitors must drop, and not throw, their sticks into the water at the same time, on the starter's call
  • The players must then cross to the downstream side of the bridge and wait for the sticks to emerge
  • The owner of the first stick to float from under the bridge is the winner

Source: Rotary Club of Oxford Spires

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