Stickmaking championship

The UK national stickmaking championship is coming to Coventry and Warwickshire

The UK national stickmaking championship is coming to Coventry and Warwickshire for the first time.

The Kenilworth Show – one of the region’s biggest agricultural events – is to host one leg of the competition at this year’s show at Stoneleigh Park on Saturday, June 10.

It will mark the second year of stickmaking at the show, which saw over 100 sticks entered into the 2016 competition.

Stick-making is a traditional country craft, in which stickmakers refine and carve sticks – traditionally made from sheep’s horn – into their own creations.

There are 33 stickmaking competitions across the UK each year and it is estimated 8,000 people regularly make sticks in the UK.

Breaking away from championship conventions, there will be a competition for U12s, which is not usually part of the national championships.

Ian Moore is the secretary of the British Stickmakers Guild and lead organiser for the Kenilworth Show event and he hopes that the competition will encourage younger people to take up the traditional craft.

He said: “We had a lot of local entrants last year and hopefully we’ll get people participating from a wider geographical area this year considering it is part of the national competition.

“Hopefully we can make it interesting for people, add to the show and broaden the interest in stickmaking in general.

“I hope the show is a success, but not only for stickmaking but for the whole community. As a local person I very much support it.”

The British Stickmakers Guild has more than 2,000 members, including members from Australia, New Zealand, Tazmania and Canada.

Heads of the sticks usually resemble British countryside birds and mammals – including kingfishers, grouse and hares.

Judges will select the winning sticks in the 14 different classes at the Kenilworth Show, including two novice classes for people who have never entered a competition before.

Organisers are also planning to hold a demonstration of stickmaking on the day.

Charlie Weetman, director of the Kenilworth Show, said: “We’re delighted that Ian is bringing back stickmaking to this year’s show – showcasing the very traditional craft.

“Last year the interest in the stickmaking was fantastic, we hope that with the national element this year it will attract even more stickmakers from around the country.”

For more information on the Kenilworth Show visit www.kenilworthshow.co.uk