The Facts, The Organisation, The Complete Story
2009 Was The Last "Official" Event
The Organization of the event up to the disbanding of the organizing committee of the Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill the Spring of 2011
Following the 2009 Police report that an estimated 15,000 people were trying to get to the event, it was clear that things would have to change.
It is estimated that the hill can only accommodate about 5000 & a report for the HSE confirmed this was the estimated number attending at Cooper's hill in 2009.
In 2009 a report was prepared for the Health & Safety Executive by Professor Chris Kemp Teresa Moore of the Buckinghamshire New University entitled "A Review of the management of crowd safety at outdoor street/special events" containing a study of the organization and running of the Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's Hill.
This report praised the organisation of the Cheese Rolling at Coopers Hill.
This report confirmed that the estimated number of people attending the event was 5000, the hill being full to capacity.
‘The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake’ has always been organized and run by a group of volunteers, most of whom live on the Hill.
Their tasks have been:
For ‘Public Liability’ cover:
The local authority and police required a ‘Traffic Plan’ involving road closures and traffic control
local authorities expressed their concern about the safety of the huge crowds
that were attending
Several meetings were held with all interested parties to try to find a way forward but unfortunately there was not time to sort things out for 2010, so the official event for that year was cancelled.
Reluctantly, it was decided that professional help was needed. Until then, the only income had been from the £5-per-car car park, and more recently media pass charges, and what was now needed was going to cost a great deal more.
Somehow, the number of people coming had to be controlled, and so it was proposed that the event should be spread over a whole week-end, with the traditional races being held on Saturday morning and afternoon, and again on Sunday. This would mean possibly 20 races in all.
The ‘defined’ area and entrances required would need a huge amount of fencing and marshalling, so it would also be necessary to make it a ‘ticketed’ event, with tickets available in advance.
Extra fields would be provided for parking.
It was proposed to change the date of the event from the ‘Spring Bank Holiday’ to the original Whitsun weekend. This could have reduced costs of policing and any other manpower, by avoiding the Bank Holiday.
Suggested plans were for over-night camping, a mini ‘folk’ style festival, activities for children and a revival of some of the ancient ‘Wake’ activities.
There would be catering facilities provided as well as stalls and other attractions.
All this would help towards the enormous costs now involved.
Some sponsorship had been promised, from local businesses as well as National Companies.
Unfortunately, following public consultation, the volunteers were suddenly faced with local opposition to the plans.
Some residents were unhappy with what had been suggested and strongly opposed the camping as well as the mini-festival and the catering plans.
‘scaled-down’ event was proposed; no camping, no mini-festival and no
As a result,
there would have to be a charge of £20 for each person attending, although
children would be free. It was also hoped that a number of free tickets would
be available for local people.
outcry that followed was understandable. An event that local people had been
coming to for generations was now going to be out of reach for many.
There were threats and abuse towards the volunteer organizers, who really weren’t happy to make any charge.
So sadly, and with very great regret, the people who had worked for so many years to keep the ‘Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake’ going decided to withdraw from the organization of the ancient event and are no longer involved.
|Webmaster - Last Edited 08-Jan-2013 20:31:05 avsglos|