The annual Cheese-Rolling Festival at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire, took place, as usual at 12:00 midday on the Late Spring Bank Holiday Monday*.

"2011 Race Is A Great Success As Rebels Tackle The Cheese Rolling"

Rebel cheese rollers defied the weather to take part in a traditional race down a steep hill to catch a 8lb Double Gloucester.

Hardcore thrill seekers staged their own event after the world-famous Cheese Rolling was cancelled for a second year running.

The race had been advertised on social networking sites, with a page set up on Facebook and people posting messages on Twitter.

There was a large police presence at entrances to Cooper's Hill, at Brockworth, near Gloucester, but the event went ahead.

The bizarre annual event attracts participants, spectators and media from across the world.

Several hundred spectators braved the fog and rain to watch around a dozen daredevils pursue the Double Gloucester 200 yards down the steep - 1:2 gradient - slope.

Competitors slip, somersault and tumble their way to the bottom in spectacular fashion during the bone-crunching races - and the first person to grab the cheese wins.

At 11:35 Chris Anderson made a demonstration run down the hill, showing his skill at remaining on his feet for pretty much the whole descent! - Here he is returning up the hill, clearing the remaining debris and organising spectators to ensure a safe event.

This year champion local cheese roller, Chris Anderson, 23, won all three adult male races...

At 12:00, on May 30th, the 2011 Cheese Rolling commences with the first men's race...

Chris is leading the field by a long way with a backward somersault in the first race!

Chris faces the gathered press after winning the first race...

After winning the first race, Mr. Anderson, from Brockworth, Gloucester, said: 'That's the biggest fall I've ever had, ever.

'I got far too much speed up and had a big fall.'

Mr. Anderson recovered from his tumble to win the further two adult men races and walk away with three Double Gloucester cheeses.

He's way ahead again in the second race, the cheese is at the bottom of the picture.

... and after winning the second race...

Here is Chris with, in the green T shirt, a competitor who took second place, and came all the way from Sweden, just for the one race!

(Third place in the second race went to Ryan Fairley)

The ladies prepare at the top of the hill for the women's race...

They're off...

They're all down...

Just past half way down and looking very determined...

14-year-old Jo Guest, from Wolverhampton, came out on top in the women's race.

Jo Guest, 14, left, from Wolverhampton, holds her prize after winning the women's race

Finally the third men's race...

Once again, way ahead of the nearest competition, it's Chris...

 

Now Chris has all three cheeses from the men's races.

Interviewed after the event, asked how he was feeling, Mr. Anderson, who is planning to join the Army and might not be back next year to defend his crown, said: 'Amazing, brilliant. First time I've won all three'.

'I'm knackered now and cold and wet.'

'The first was the worst, I took a real tumble on the first race. I had a £5 bet to win all three.'

Mr. Anderson, who is a civilian MoD worker, said that this year's unofficial event passed off without any injuries.

Referring to the cancellation of the official event Chris Anderson said 'It's better with the official because you have got ambulance cover, but this is what it is all about, you have got all the locals here'.

'It's a Brockworth tradition and it's keeping it going for the people of Brockworth.'

I had to win, it's in my blood.'

This year, there were no reported injuries!

The children's uphill race...

They are all off to a good start.

The field begins to spread out...

Well in the lead now...

Almost there... (and disappearing into the mist and low cloud!)

Can you name the winner?

 

Video of the 2011 Cheese Rolling At Cooper's Hill In Slow Motion By Gloucester Based CordialAV 

SoGlos Video of the 2011 Cheese Rolling At Cooper's hill

Cheese Rolling Championships - Gloucester 2011 - Yoho Media Video

The tradition of cheese rolling at Cooper's Hill continues unbroken by recent events.

Chris Anderson with Josh carrying his three cheeses - Will Josh be a future winner?

.....and so, the event over for another year, everyone returns home with their memories of an excellent but rather wet day at the Cheese Rolling at Cooper's hill.

Looks like this pair were competitors.

The annual cheese rolling event, usually held in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, on the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May, is known for commonly causing injuries to those taking part, with sprains and broken bones common.

In 2009, the injury toll of 18 was described as 'low' by St John Ambulance. Ten of the wounded were spectators.

The unusual event has been celebrated for centuries and is thought to have its roots in a heathen festival to celebrate the return of spring.

The last time the official cheese rolling was staged was in 2009, when spectators packed the site and surrounding area.

The venue was designed to cope with just 5,000, so last year's event was called off over health and safety and traffic congestion fears.

But this year a plan was hatched to move the date of the racing to June and to make it a two-day festival.

Those plans were scrapped - meaning it was cancelled for the second year running - over the 'threats and abuse' after it was revealed that people would be charged up to £20 to attend.

The group behind the event at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire said they had been abused by angry cheese runners who accuse them of profiteering.

The event, usually held in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, on the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May, is known for commonly causing injuries to those taking part, with sprains and broken bones common.

In 2009, the injury toll of 18 was described as 'low' by St John Ambulance. Ten of the wounded were spectators.

Three cheese-chasers were taken to hospital for treatment - two with suspected spinal injuries and one with a dislocated shoulder. The rest had cuts and bruises.

Six people fainted just watching the event and four other spectators suffered minor injuries. One of those had fallen out of a tree and was taken slowly down the 100ft slope on a spinal board.

Sunday 29th May 2011

Race is on as rebels pledge they'll tackle cheese rolling

May 30th - Late Spring Bank Holiday Monday - Local Cheese Rolling Event To go Ahead - Unofficial but Traditional?

 

For some months, there has been much speculation in the local press, and elsewhere, of another impromptu event on the Late Spring Bank Holiday Monday (Monday May 30th.), at Cooper's Hill, similar to the 'unofficial' one organised last year (2010). 

Coopers Hill Local Nature Reserve is well worth a visit especially in the springtime.

A local nature reserve, 2 miles south of Brockworth on A46, with nationally important beech woodlands and a waymarked walking trail.

At the top, and again at the bottom of the famous hill, sturdy picket fencing has been erected...

...to prevent access to and erosion of the hill.

 

Events and facts prior to the successful Cheese Rolling on 30th May 2011......

 

A view from the top of Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire, where the famous Cheese-Rolling takes place.
This picture is taken from the start point of the race, and the finish is visible below. The actual running surface is concave, and hence cannot be seen from this point.


 

Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill, 2011 and into the future....

Currently there is no information as to whether and future Cheese Rolling Events at Cooper's Hill will be staged.
In recent years the event was held on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday (The last Monday in May) in 2011 this is the 30th May. 

Plans for a new, official, ticket only, 2011 Cheese Rolling Festival at Cooper's Hill, planned for June have been scrapped.

The British Government has updated its advice, warning that the threat of terrorism is now severe in the UK and Europe.

 


The Facts 2011 - The Complete Story

2009 - 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 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.
Special mention was made, regarding the important advice given to the public at in general by this web site (www.cheese-rolling.co.uk), information that was not made available in concise form elsewhere, specifically relating to the unique circumstances surrounding this event and the location at Cooper's Hill.

This report confirmed that the estimated number of people attending the event was 5000, the hill being full to capacity.

The organisation and events prior and leading to the final cancellation in 2011.

‘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:

  • Clearing the slope (cutting back new growth, removing hazards etc.) over several week-ends
  • Procuring fencing (orange sheep-fencing for crowd safety and ‘Heras’ fencing to protect properties) and erecting it all
  • Employing St. John Ambulance personnel (whose services are absolutely essential for the event)
  • Liaising with SARAID (the rescue team necessary for retrieving casualties from the slope)
  • Employing a security company (to act as marshals for public safety)
  • Arranging insurance (for ‘Public Liability’, not runners)
  • Buying cheeses
  • Inviting guest ‘Rollers’
  • Producing and printing certificates and programmes
  • Arranging and managing car-parking (until very recently providing the only income)
  • Holding countless TV, video and radio interviews
  • In latter years, providing Media Passes (another help for the income and to control the huge numbers who want access both to organizers through the preceding week and to priority ‘spots’ on the slope on the day)
  • Hiring and manning a PA system
  • Organising a group of volunteer ‘catchers’ (to catch runners at the foot of the hill)

  After 2009, the small group of volunteers, who formed the organizing committee, was faced with various demands from the insurance company, police and local authorities.

  1. The insurance company required a ‘defined area’ for the attending public to validate any insurance.
  2. The local authority and police required a traffic and parking plan, to control the number of vehicles arriving.
  3. Local Authorities concern over the increasing numbers of visitors.
  1. Insurance

For ‘Public Liability’ cover:

  •  The public viewing area was ‘a disaster waiting to happen’! There would have to be a ‘defined, fenced area’ which would control the number of people on the hill
  • A huge amount of fencing would be needed, and professionally erected
  • There would have to be designated entrances to enable the numbers to be controlled, so the  event would have to become ‘ticketed’
  1. Traffic

The local authority and police required a ‘Traffic Plan’ involving road closures and traffic control

  1. Local Authorities

Various 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. 

  • An ‘Events Management’ company was consulted
  • A ‘Marketing’ company was also called upon to help raise sponsorship.
  • The local authority was asked to draw up a ‘Traffic Plan’

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.

So a ‘scaled-down’ event was proposed; no camping, no mini-festival and no catering.

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.

The public 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.

To contact www.cheese-rolling.co.uk (this site) Email info@cheese-rolling.co.uk

 


 

Since 1988, the cheeses have been hand-made by Mrs. Diana Smart of Churcham, using milk from her herd of Brown Swiss, Holstein and Gloucester cows.  
Since 1988, the cheeses have been hand-made by Mrs. Diana Smart of Churcham - She is the only person in Gloucestershire now making Double Gloucester cheeses by hand, using traditional methods.
She is the only person in Gloucestershire now making Double Gloucester cheeses by hand, using traditional methods.

The Double Gloucester Cheese Explained - The Single Gloucester Cheese too!


Car Park Location
(O.S. SO888147)
(N51:49:51 - W2:09:50)
(UK Postcode GL3 4SB)

 A total of 93 Penalty Charge Notices were issued on the 25th May 2009 in the vicinity of the cheese rolling event by Tewkesbury Borough council for parking offences. 
PCNs are charged at £70, however if payment is received within 14 days of issue, the charge is reduced by 50% to £35.

BBC Local Weather Forecast for Gloucester including Coopers Hill

Latest Weather Satellite Image (Visible)     Latest Weather Satellite Image (Infra-Red)     Latest Rainfall Radar


The festival was originally held at midsummer but was moved at some time to Whitsuntide, taking place on Whit Monday.

In 1967, the Bank Holiday was moved from the Church's Whitsun Festival to become a 'Spring Bank Holiday' to be on the last Monday in May each year.

The 'Cheese Rolling and Wake' was also moved to that day.

Notice on the hill.

 

Events Leading Up To The 2011 Event:

Following the failure in 2011, for the second year running, to arrange an "official" cheese rolling, the self appointed organising committee has been disbanded and an application has been made to Companies House to have the company CHCRC Ltd (from which members of the organising committee were drawn) struck off the official companies register.

However a very successful Cheese Rolling event was organised by local enthusiasts who were not prepared to allow the tradition to be killed off. This was very similar to the successful "unofficial" cheese rolling in 2010, being held on the Late May Bank Holiday Monday as per recent tradition, starting at 12:00 midday.

The "Committee" no longer exists, therefore the references to "Official" and "Unofficial" events are no longer relevant, we will therefore, refer to the Cheese Rolling without further qualification.

Police were in attendance on the local roads to ensure safety and prevent vehicular access to the site. 
Policing appeared, however to have a "lighter touch" than the somewhat heavy presence last year, also appearing more good humored in approach.

Certainly the event this year was well organised, with a very obvious, caring and considered approach to safety for both the competitors and spectators alike.

Will there be a "white knight" in the form of a new organisation, with a new vision, to step in and organise the event commercially in the future, only time will tell? 

Maybe Red Bull could give it Wings?.

Now, is certainly the time for a new organisation to step in, take over and organise a traditional event for Monday 28th May 2012.

 

The Recent Historical context to the 2011 Cheese Rolling.

 

In 2010 CHCRC Ltd, the organisation responsible for staging the "official" event, decided to cancel the 2010 event.

 

Following the cancellation of the 'official' event in 2010, an 'unofficial' event was staged by a loyal group of local fans of the Cheese-Rolling, who were determined that the event should still take place.

It seems certain that some form of Cheese Rolling event will happen on the Late Spring Bank Holiday Monday, as many loyal and enthusiastic locals are determined not to allow the age old tradition to die.

 

There is much speculation in the local press, and elsewhere, that again, in 2011 an unofficial event may well take place, with many loyal fans vowing to enjoy the Bank Holiday Monday, 30th May 2011, at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire, and marvel at the hill that so many people have seen fit to try to run down after a 7lb Double Gloucester cheese.

Brave? Fearless? even Stupid? but what a spectacle to witness.?

To watch Chris Anderson, winner of many cheeses in recent years, run, leap and tumble down the hill, only to regain his footing and run over the finishing line is truly unbelievable!

 

Grateful thanks are extended to the individuals and organisations who give their support to Cheese Rolling and this web site 

 

Various articles appeared over the last few months, in the local press and on the BBC website which speculated on suggested, possible changes to the event in 2011. 
It was obvious from the first promises of great things to come that there would not be the funds to support the suggested improvements which included the provision of a large screen and live TV coverage of the event.
A total of 10,000 tickets needed to be sold for the event to be viable.
(This equated to a ticket only proposed income of £200,000 + the many & varied various concessions.)

Tickets, promised for availability in March, never actually went on sale, maybe due to a realisation that at this price only a small proportion would be sold.

The proposals also suffered from the lack of serious sponsorship!

 

[It's hard to see how making the event a two-day extravaganza was going to alleviate traffic problems in the area. 
The site has an approximate capacity of 5000 total - therefore selling 10,000 tickets would have meant the site was full to capacity for two whole days with the attendant traffic problems snarling up the area for a whole (normal) weekend rather than the usual Bank Holiday Monday..
What consideration too, for the householders and farmers on Cooper's Hill, they endure the chaos on Late Spring Bank Holiday Monday with resignation and stoicism, after all, it's only a day and they were all aware of the famous event prior to choosing to live there, but to inflict a two-day event, on a normal weekend, on them was just too much to bear.

A figure of 15000 people attending the site, repeated again and again, is a distortion of the truth. A report for the Health & Safety Executive, sets the attendance at an estimated 5000 in 2009. The 15000 figure, was reported to have been quoted by a police source and included people, who were in transit, some many miles away, who would have wished to get to the event, had not traffic congestion and an accident intervened in their plans.

(The constant repetition of this, often mis-quoted figure played it's part in the difficulties affecting and ultimately preventing the staging of the "official" vent in 2010 and 2011).

Now the event appears to have returned to it's ancient roots, non-commercialised and organised by locals.] 

 

Richard Jefferies, Press Officer, CHCRC Ltd. said: 
“We were told by the local authorities that the event must change if it is to continue". 

 

In an article in the local press on 11th March, it was claimed that the cost of staging a new format event would be a six figure sum. 
Unless this sum could be assured, the event would again be cancelled.

In previous years the event has cost, at most, in the order of £7000 to stage.

 

It is evident that many people, including, nearby residents, the organisers and the police, would wish to see an end to the world-wide popularity of this event. 

 

An excellent 2010 Unofficial Cheese Rolling Event at Cooper's Hill, was successful in maintaining the unbroken tradition of the event.

 

Whatever the future holds for the event, full information will be made available, as a free public service, to the public in general via this web site.   

 

[*The Late Spring Bank Holiday, is determined by statute as the last Monday in May each year.]

 

To contact www.cheese-rolling.co.uk (this site) Email info@cheese-rolling.co.uk

 

Webmaster - Last Edited 01-Jul-2011 20:18:29 avsglos

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