Steven Betts ready for worm charming

Nantwich accountant Steven Betts has only one number in mind as he gears up for the 38th World Worm Charming Championships in Willaston.

But he won’t be counting his chickens – only his worms – in the hotly contest event which draws in competitors from around the world.

Steven has competed in the quirky village contest six times and hopes to beat his personal best of 111 worms coaxed to the surface and help raise cash for St Luke’s Hospice.

Steven, 35, who works for Barringtons Chartered Accountants in Nantwich, will be armed with a garden fork and spanner when he takes to his plot on June 24.

He said: “People use all manner of techniques from playing drums and stomping to singing and playing a musical instrument on their plot.

“My plan is to ‘twang’ the fork with the spanner and use a combination of vibration and sound.”

worm charming, Steven BettsThe championships attracts hundreds of fanatics to the school grounds of Willaston Primary Academy, Derwent Close, every year.

Participants have 30 minutes to collect as many worms as possible from their 3×3 metre plot.

Prizes are presented for the most collected, heaviest worm and most promising newcomer.

Last year’s techniques included whacking a tennis racquet and jumping up and down, whilst musical accompaniments included a saxophonist, a guitarist, a tambourine player and a drummer.

Steven added: “There’s 144 plots and great excitement on the day.

“I have a long way to go before beating the world record of 567 worms but raising money for the hospice is a great incentive.”

Friends and colleagues are sponsoring his effort and he’s hoping for rain in the days leading up to the event, softening the ground for optimum worm charming results.

Barringtons managing director Phil Wood said: “Our employees are always up for a charity challenge and have taken part in sponsored walks, cycles and
marathon runs but worm charming is a first and we wish Stephen and all the competitors the best of luck.”

This year’s championships are on Saturday June 24.

For more on the event visit www.willastonprimaryacademy.co.uk

For more on Barringtons services visit www.barringtons.co.uk

(Pic, below:  Steven and girlfriend Francesca Tideswell are hoping for a record haul at Willaston Worm Charming Championships)

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