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World famous Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling is on for May Bank Holiday

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 22, 2014

  • Cheese Rolling

  • Chris Anderson

  • Diana Smart with a Double Gloucester cheese

Comments (4)

Hordes of madcap runners are expected to tumble down Cooper’s Hill after a Double Gloucester at next month’s ‘unofficial’ cheese rolling – and this year the cheese will be real.

The world-famous race sees competitors flinging themselves down Cooper’s Hill chasing a 9lb Double Gloucester cheese but last year a foam ‘cheese’ was used causing upset among traditionalists.

In 2013, the Gloucester Citizen revealed police had advised cheese maker Diana Smart not to supply a Double Gloucester for the traditional event, but it went ahead with around 5,000 watching on the hill overlooking Brockworth and Witcombe.

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Sadly one champion competitor will not be able to race this year.

Chris Anderson, 26, has won 13 races in eight years but ankle ligament damage has sidelined him from the event expected to go ahead on the Spring Bank Holiday on May 26.

“It’s a shame, what’s happened to it but it couldn’t be held officially because of health and safety,” said Chris, a serving member of the Rifles Regiment based at Chepstow. He plans to watch however.

“If I wasn’t injured I might well be there at the top of the hill. It looks like my cheese rolling days are over, for now at least.”

Churcham cheese maker Mrs Smart, 87, who last year was told by police she could be seen as an organiser of the event and so liable for damages if she provided a cheese, plans to do so this year.

“I have been asked to provide some cheese, so why not?” she said.

Since the early 1800s, a cheese has been chased down the 200 yard, one in three, hill. But after an estimated 15,000 spectators stretched the venue and organisers to near breaking point in 2009, organisers of the 2010 event were forced to cancel.

A commercial event foundered and in 2010 it returned as an ad-hoc event.

There was no official medical cover last year and there may not be next month.

A Gloucestershire Constabulary spokesman said it had not spoken to anyone who may be taking part in this year’s event, and declined to comment

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4 comments

  • RoadWombat  |  April 22 2014, 3:20PM

    "we all know what it'll take to ban this stupid event!" I'd love to know your definition of "ban", Douglas. The hill is publicly accessible, as far as I am aware there is no law stating that one cannot run in a public place and I don't know of any prohibition on rolling a cheese down a hill (if that's what takes your fancy!). So, please, tell me how it is to be "banned". The police have no interest in "banning" it even if they could - their only concern is any traffic congestion that might be caused and to try and enable access for ambulances etc. should they be required - so there;s no mileage there. The only legal aspect would be if someone who was hurt decided to try and sue someone they thought responsible. That would be something private between the parties concerned and, indeed, whom would they sue? There is no central organisation of the event. The producer of the cheese has previously been cited as a possible target (hence why the police pointed that fact out to them last year) but any attempt would be unlikely to get anywhere in a civil court. I suppose someone in the crowd could sue an out-of-control runner who ran into them, but that's about it. So, no, there is no way to "ban" the event. And a good job too - there are too many nosey parkers trying to tell everyone what is good for them. It's not something I'd do - I'm not brave (or stupid!) enough), but I'd be the last to try and stop someone else doing it if they so wished.

    |   4
  • TruthSeeker7  |  April 22 2014, 1:16PM

    Have to love these old rural and crazy events. Only in gloucestershire :P

    |   5
  • Douglasknows  |  April 22 2014, 11:21AM

    we all know what it'll take to ban this stupid event!

    |   -17
  • LordGagas  |  April 22 2014, 8:51AM

    Good

    |   9

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