In Issue 117 of The Northumbrian, Tony Joisce mentions the name ‘cobnut’ and described a game where a hazelnut was thrown at a pile of smaller nuts. In the west end of Newcastle in the 1920s we called the nut a ‘japnut’ and used them to play a game similar to conkers.
You learned to use a green nut which did not break easily. We drilled a small hole through the nut and threaded a string through it. You took turns with your opponent to swing and strike his japnut. The first one whose nut cracked was the loser and the winner ate his opponent’s japnut.
- D. J. Skinner, West Fleetham, Chathill.