On Sunday evening a peaceful view of
the hill already prepared for Monday's event.
Fences have been carefully removed
and set aside.
Undergrowth on the hill has been cut
The hill is scanned for stones and
other dangerous objects which have been removed.
It has been hard work, but now the
hill is ready for the 2014 Cheese-Rolling.
A fine sunny day on
Monday dawned sunny and bright on
the hill, but by the 12;00 start clouds had filled the sky.
The conditions on the day were ideal, neither too hot or too cold, and no
(The rain of the previous few days provided ideal ground conditions for the
event, softening the surface a little, but there was not too much of the
muddy conditions which some previous years had suffered.)
Picture Courtesy of Adam Wood
2014 the Cheese-Rolling At Copper's Hill Took Place On The Late May Bank
Holiday (Monday 26th May 2014) As Usual Commencing At Midday.
Eventual crowd figures were estimated at 5000.
after 11:00 and Chris Anderson sits calmly and watches the crowds arriving.
(He knows this hill so very well and many seek his advice before the event.)
Meanwhile just behind him on the
plateau, tactics are discussed between prospective competitors.
Looking down, we see the spectators
are arriving, it's been a long walk for many from the nearest car parking,
but with the roads closed, safety has been assured for the pedestrians.
The whole area was made a traffic-free zone for the safety of the
pedestrians, but most chose to walk the small cross-country footpaths,
rather than taking the rather longer walk via the roads (though for some,
the road route may well have been quicker as at least one of the footpaths
became so congested, walkers made very slow progress.
... and YES,
for the benefit for those who have not stood here on the hill, it really is
Picture Courtesy of Adam Wood
Chris, ever with an eye for safety,
constantly paces the hill & clears debris.
Everyone is safely behind the orange
tape marking the course.
No need for fences, the simple orange tape is sufficient for the purpose!
The Cheese for the First Race is
relayed up the hill to applause from the spectators.
(This year the Cheeses are all real Double Gloucester - Plus an additional
Gouda Cheese from Holland.)
It will soon be there!
The spectators are still arriving,
filling the hill - only 8 minutes to go to the start.
At the start line, competitors
receive last minute advice and instructions from Chris.
Time for last minute (rather large!)
refreshments, ready to go!
The Catchers from the Brockworth
Rugby Club are ready
Photographers are well behind them in relative safety!
There's a good view also from the
lower fields behind the houses at the foot of the hill.
(There's no crush there, but from there they can't see the finish line
The First Men's Downhill Cheese-Race
is off to a fast start!
Keeping up with the cheese so far...
At least 5 runners down and only a
few meters into the first race...
Flying down... But the guy on the
right has problems to solve...
Josh Shepherd on the left - Sure
footed and out in front by a long way now...
Josh Shepherd, 19 from Brockworth
wins the first Cheese-Race race of the 2014 event!
(Australian Sheldon Ronald took
second place and would better this in Race 4 by winning that one.)
The competitor in the orange top was
winded but soon recovered and didn't need treatment.
for the Mens Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 1
Lyons (Brockworth, GLOS)
Next race, the Boys (14 and Under)
Uphill Race gets off to a spirited start...
Hugh strides from the early
leader... But he's soon overtaken...
Pulling away from the rest of the
Time for a quick look behind, is
What an amazing lead! - This is
Kasper Wickens-Shaw 12 from Foston's Ash.
...And of course he takes first
...winning a small Double Gloucester
Cheese for his efforts!
(This is the second time that Kasper has won the Boys Uphill Cheese-Race.)
for the Boys 14 and under Uphill Race
Ash Birdlip, GLOS, UK
The excited crowd eagerly awaiting
the second downhill race with great relish.
And still the spectators continue to
arrive at Cooper's Hill, eventually reaching an estimated 5000 in total.
Competitors for the second race are
organised and prepared...
Meanwhile a couple of Canadian girls
Anne Marie D'Amico and Stephanie Borg 26 make their way to the start line
for the women's downhill race.
After this they will go skydiving in Switzerland in their adventures.
Meanwhile they're off in the Second
Mens Downhill Race...
Ryan Fairley is in front of the
cheese so far, that's maybe not a good place to be?
Ryan's still on his feet and in the
lead... (Ryan 24 is from Brockworth)...
Ryan Fairley (now amongst the
catchers) wins the Second Mens Downhill Race, well in front of the rest of
Amongst the rest of the field, a
competitor retires with a shoulder injury...
...and after some brief treatment
from the on-site medic...
He is carefully assisted from the
...and in the meantime Ryan receives
his Double Gloucester Cheese and the attention of the Press.
for the Mens Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 2
Wakeman (Brockworth, GLOS)
Greater Manchester, UK
And now... An interruption from a
The noise from the circling
helicopter briefly stopped the event because the safety announcements and
communications from top to bottom of the hill could not be heard until it
In view of the widely circulated
costs of operation of force helicopters (Devon
and Cornwall Police state that the all inclusive operational cost is £1700
per hour of flight), it would be interesting to hear from Gloucestershire
Police as to the operational reason and their intentions for deploying the
craft over a peaceful, well organised and law-abiding gathering. Maybe at
the same time they might care to comment on their risk assessment concerning
the possibility of the drowning out of ground communications whilst they
circled the event for some considerable time.
Maybe also, in view of the recent Glasgow Pub Incident in November 2013, the
cause of which is yet to be established, consideration should have been
given to over-flying a crown of some 5000 people.
cause of the crash was a double engine flame-out; the cause of which has not
yet been determined.
This un-necessary deployment potentially affected the
safety of spectators and competitors at the event by disrupting ground
Once the communications could again
be heard on the ground, the event continued with the Girls (14 and under)
The girl in white on the right got
off to a good start, but the one in maroon is coming up fast!
Mollie D'Arcy Rice (From Nailsworth)
Pulls ahead, look at that reach!
trains at Stroud running club and is the current Gloucestershire cross
...and Mollie wins, well ahead of
and bringing up the rear, with a
VERY determined look on her face, is this brave entrant...
She is encouraged to keep going
right to the top, everyone willing her to get to the top...
and to the applause of the crowd,
she arrives at the finish line!
for the Girls 14 and under Uphill Race
And so to Race Three, the Women's
The cheese is ready...
Chris, ever vigilant, checks that
the field is clear...
Lucy Townsend is in the lead again
this year... This is the third year running she has led the field!
The rest of the field, more
cautious, sliding rather than running...
Lucy Townsend, 17, from Brockworth
(Just to the right of number 7), wins again for the third year running.
She joins the previous women in the roll of honor, each having won three
Here is Lucy, pictured in 2013 - She
also won in 2012!
for the Women's Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 3
Walden (Brockworth, GLOS)
Sister of Aaron Walden past multiple winner of the cheese.
This is the third consecutive win for Lucy - An
equal all-time record
Next she and fellow Canadian Stephanie Borg will now go skydiving in
Switzerland in their quest for adventure
The third and last Uphill Race is
the Open Mens / Women's Race...
Off to an even start...
Soon the order is sorted out...
Suddenly there's a leader pulling
away from the field...
Here's Spiderman, mid field... Still
determined to do his best...
Here, the early leader arrives at
the finishing line to receive his Double Gloucester Cheese!
Anne Marie D'Amico and Stephanie
Borg 26 make their way to the start line for the women's downhill race -
After this they will go skydiving in Switzerland in their adventures.
Here comes the famous Double
Gloucester Cheese for the Fourth (Mens) Downhill Race.
...and here, finally and to great
applause from the crowd, the last competitor in the open Uphill Race arrives
at the finish line.
for the Mixed, Open Uphill Cheese-Race
Now the last of the Famous Double
Gloucester Cheeses is ready for the Fourth Race...
Time for a last drink, before
setting off -
Note the Guys from Gouda in Holland in the traditional Orange shirts, they
have brought their own
Gouda Cheese from the Netherlands to race down the hill in the last
free-for-all race following Race 4.
The Cheese Roller prepares to launch
the Last Double Gloucester Cheese of the 2014 event.
They're away and running, how long
will those glasses stay there?
Still there so far...
Way out in the lead is 20 year old
Australian Sheldon Ronald, going well...
Then he trips...
Falls flat on his face... Is it over
No... Not yet anyway - he
... and even on hands and knees, he
still leads by a long way...
He's made it!!!
Sheldon is at the top left of the picture, having crossed the line first to
win the Fourth Mens Downhill Race of 2014.
The rest of the field stager to the finish line well behind.
The final competitors cross the
for the Mens Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 4
Son of Chris Anderson (Brockworth, GLOS)
(Winner of Race 1)
Now the Gouda Cheese is released at
the top of the hill - Sorry no pictures of this.
The last (unofficial) mass race
takes place involving all those would-be competitors who did not get a place
in the main races of the day.
Members of the team from Gouda, who
brought the cheese with them are quick to follow in the mass descent of the
(They are dressed in the traditional colour of Orange from the Netherlands -
Gouda cheese is also Orange in colour on the outside.)
The Dutch Gouda Cheese actually broke-up near the finish line, they had not
anticipated such a demanding slope as Cooper's Hill!
They were inspired to come over and
bring the cheese with them after hearing the adverse publicity last year
about the police "Warning Off" long-time cheese-maker Diana Smart,
87, who has produced cheese for the event for more than 25 years.
(These reports circulated throughout the press world-wide and there have
been many offers to provide cheeses on an anonymous basis, to protect the
likes of Diana Smart (and others), just to keep the event and it's long
tradition going long into the future.)
(The Dutch Gouda Cheese was shared out and eaten by the gathering crowd at
the finish line - Another first for the event!)
The team from the Gouda has received
much publicity in the National and International press surrounding their
visit to the event at Cooper's Hill in Gloucester - Gloucester is of course
twinned with the town of Gouda in Holland, bringing an extra special
interest to their visit.
Sadly after the main event, just
like last year (and pretty much in the same place on the hill) there was an
incident where a would be competitor fell when descending the hill and
sustained a broken leg...
I am pleased to report that the
event medic was with him in under two minutes and he was recovered off the
hill by volunteers in under ten minutes - such a contrast from last year
when the casualty had to wait 2 hours and 40 minutes to be recovered by the
fire, ambulance and police services.
An Ambulance from SWAS was soon on site and he was
stabilised and taken to hospital in good time.
Summary of the 2014 Cheese Rolling
at Cooper's Hill
In summary the 2014 Cheese-Rolling
at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire was well organised and effectively
controlled and marshaled by the small band of enthusiasts from Brockworth
and surrounding area.
The visitors, spectators and
competitors, some of whom have traveled very long distances to attend (from
Holland, Canada, America, Slovakia, Italy Japan and Australia to name just a
few), were well behaved and good natured and I'm everyone had a really good
time, the weather was kind for the event, overcast, but neither too hot or
cold and even the predicted rain failed to show up!
There were the
usual four downhill races including the women's race, followed by the
rolling of the Gouda cheese and a mass descent of the hill as a finale.
The usual scrapes, bumps, grazes and bruises of course as in all years.
Major casualties were a Broken Ankle and a suspected dislocated shoulder and
Lacey Matthews, who came 2nd in the Women's race was taken to hospital for
check-up on a suspected neck injury, later confirmed as a broken neck, she
was later released and says she can't wait for next years Cheese-rolling.
now serving in "The
of the two largest regiments in the British Army ... was able to attend
the Cheese-Rolling this year, he was much in evidence, clearing the hill,
advising competitors and informing visitors about the event. He was unable
to participate this year due to an ankle injury sustained while serving with
the Rifles - Certainly there are those who were glad not to have to compete
The police this
year went in for road closures in a big way closing the A46 from the
Cross-Hands Roundabout right up to Buckholt road, this made for a safe and
pleasant walk along the roads to the event, though it might be said that the
associated parking restrictions were a bit too extensive.
There were, as
usual, no reported incidents requiring police intervention at or around the
event and spectators respected the private properties in the vicinity.
On a positive
note the event was well attended with a large, good humored crowd of
spectators who all enjoyed this excellent day out on Cooper's Hill.
The closure of the A46, previously requested but always denied until this
year, was excellent and allowed for a carnival atmosphere as people could
walk safely along the traffic-free road.
Gloucestershire County Council
posted warning notices at the event to ensure that everyone was aware of the
potential dangers associated with the event.
Picture Courtesy of Adam Wood
made available as last year in a field behind the Cross Hands Public house,
now the Toby Carvery, in Brockworth, making access for visitors less