London, June 29 (ANI): Scores of British people employed a range of musical talent and tricks as they tried hard to win the title in the World Worm Charming Championships on June 27.
While some strummed their guitars, others tap danced on a plank to the theme from Star Wars to bring out worms.
The winner of this year's competition was Sophie Smith, aged, ten, from Willaston with a new world record of 567 worms.
Worm charming is an ancient, noble and mysterious art, which, while intended primarily to bring worms out of the soil also manages to bring out the worst in its ultra-competitive practitioners.
The traditional technique and still most popular technique to bring out worms is to stick a garden fork in the ground, and hit it with a stick
The consequent vibrations bring worms to the surface where they are collected by an assistant, known in competitive circles as a ghillie.
However, the sport is rapidly evolving with new methods to bring out worms
"You've always got to be thinking ahead," the Telegraph quoted Helen Forster, 32, who tap dances on a plank to the theme from Star Wars as saying.
"Everyone's looking for a breakthrough," she added.
Some of the participants have also been using cricket stumps, which they clobber with a bat.
One of them even bends over a xylophone played with bottles for extra effect. Some techniques, while strictly legal, have proved controversial.
One involved sticking knitting needles into the ground, which critics claimed impaled more of the creatures than it charmed.
There are plenty of tales regarding unethical and dubious practices in a bid to win the competition.
One participant was banned for life after concealing worms in his trouser legs to sprinkle on the ground - "we got suspicious when we saw him wearing bicycle clips," the Telegraph quoted championship organiser Mike Forster.
Some have even tried to chop worms in half to double their totals.
The annual event, held in the village of Willaston, Cheshire, is now strictly regulated by a code of gentlemanly conduct devised by The International Federation for Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes (IFCWAP). (ANI)