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How to go bonkers for conkers – and welly wanging

Londoners welcome fall at the Hampstead Heath Heritage Festival. See what 'welly wanging' is really all about

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People have a go at ‘welly wanging’ during the Hampstead Heath Heritage Festival, a celebration of old England in London, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012.

Matt Dunham/AP

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A man tosses a wellington boot (yes, that’s pretty much what ‘welly wanging’ is).

Matt Dunham/AP

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Conkers hang ready for competitors before the start of the annual conker championships at the festival.

Matt Dunham/AP

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Conkers is a traditional British children's game played in early autumn, using the seeds of horse-chestnut trees with a piece of string threaded through them.

Matt Dunham/AP

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Players take it in turn to hit their opponent's ‘conker’ until one of the chestnuts is destroyed.

Matt Dunham/AP

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These conkers are ready to rumble.

Matt Dunham/AP

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Contestants competed in five different age categories.

Matt Dunham/AP

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It’s not exactly a graceful activity.

Matt Dunham/AP

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Apparently, even the words ‘conker’ and ‘wanging’ are not enough to make these two gentlemen at the festival crack a smile. Tough crowd.

Matt Dunham/AP

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