THE British Stone Skimming Championships and Stone Games will once again be held at the lake at Walcot Hall, Lydbury North, taking place this Sunday, July 8, between noon and 5pm, attracting people from all over Britain.

The organisers have been working towards a new look for this year’s event, with fresh, bright lane markings replacing the 10-year-old empty water bottles. The lane has had to be lengthened by 20 metres to accommodate the influx of talented skimmers taking part and the recent world record set at 121 metres.

“Our own record currently stands at 107 metres and was set last year by Alex Lewis who had travelled from Scotland on the train and bus! Our record of 49m for the women is not far off the recent world record of 52.5m,” said Heather Ashton.

But it is not all about the top skimmers.

There are categories for the over 65s, under 16s, under 12s and under fives, with a special prize for the best local.

Most people just have a go to do their best and be part of the occasion. As long as the stone bounces a minimum of three times and stays within the lane it is a success. And, although there is no prize for the number of bounces, there will be a cheer of appreciation for good artistic merit. Even those stones not achieving the set rules will be applauded by the spectators lining the bank.

“Stones will be provided or competitors can bring a supply of their own – but it is not allowed to use man made or adapted stones or any brought in from foreign lands. There is no limit to the number of times skimmers can enter so it’s advised to come well armed.

“Also it is not all about skimming but more like a big village fete. There are lots of field events all involving stones. We have Stone the Crows, Stone Stacking, The Most Stones Held in the Hand, Pebble Net Golf and many more. There will be refreshments on sale and a bar. Some people make it a family afternoon with picnics and umbrellas,” said Heather.

Entry onto the field and parking is free. The skimming costs £3 for each set of four stones (£2.50 for the under 16’s) and the field events are either 50p or £1 a go. All prizes will be simple hand written stones or small certificates with the proceeds from the day going to the RNLI.

n More information can be found on Facebook or the website

n More help is always needed so anyone wishing to volunteer on the day can contact Heather Ashton on 01588 638818.

PIC 1: JILLY Evans and Heather Ashton collecting stones kindly donated by Clive Richards of Mid Wales Stone, who has donated the stones for 10 years.

PIC 2: SAM Angell with the new lane floats and the 120m marker. Sam is ‘learning the ropes” with the aim of taking on a leading role in organisation for future events. After 10 championships he is a welcome enthusiastic, energetic volunteer.