A fine sunny day on
Picture Courtesy of Adam Wood
2013 the Cheese-Rolling At Copper's Hill Took Place On The Late May Bank
Holiday (Monday 27th May 2013) As Usual Commencing At
The Banner Reads
"Brockworth Thanks You"
[For supporting the event
with your presence]
An estimated crowd of up to
5000 people attended this year, interest being heightened by recent press
reports which have spread worldwide.
Coverage Courtesy of
Rackers in the first race & the senior Uphill Race
of the Cheese-Rolling By Cipiripilata
Out For Footloose In The Cotswolds
The day was
sunny and warm but windy.
competitors gather early at the start...
... and YES,
for the benefit for those who have not stood here on the hill, it really is
Picture Courtesy of Adam Wood
There were the
usual four downhill races including the women's race, followed by one, disastrous
Chris Anderson, now serving in "The Rifles",
one of the two
largest regiments in the British Army ... was unable to attend this
year, he will have been disappointed, but other competitors may well have
been relieved not to have to compete against him.
Due to warnings
from the police, that have received much publicity around the world, directed to
anyone who could be identified as being "connected" in some way
with the Cheese Rolling, a substitute, plastic cheese was used this year, so
a real cheese was not in fact rolled*.
This did not seem to matter to either contestants or spectators, but it was
a failure as it just did not have the weight to roll properly! In the ladies
race, one lady (not the winner) picked it up and carried it down to the
analysis of the movement of the cheese in the videos of the events, it
appears that the "cheese" in the first event was significantly
heaver than the ones used in subsequent races, it was the only "fast
cheese" of the day, it also bounced a lot higher. There is a strong suspicion
that this was a "real Cheese", the ones in the remaining races
were made of foam plastic and were much slower, in most cases being passed
by the contestants.
Police were in
attendance in force, 4 police vehicles were deployed on the A46 at the
intersection with Nuthill and the road up to Cooper's Hill was closed to all
but residents vehicles.
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.
Picture Courtesy of Adam Wood
The First race
was won by Kenny Rackers, a USA Army Veteran from Colorado Springs, Colorado
USA, who had traveled over 4000 miles from the 'States just to take part
Kenny appears to be taking advice
from a Panda, prior to setting off!
Picture Courtesy of Davide Ventola
There's Kenny in the centre of the
picture, way ahead, the cheese can be seen bottom left of the picture!
The advice must have worked, he's
won the first race!
Simon Jeffreys 29 from Swansea came
3rd in the 1st race (In the yellow top at the start line and centre of the
picture below, doing really well).
Picture Courtesy of Davide Ventola
(Thanks to David Stein (brother-in-law) for the information!)
Just time to wave to the police
helicopter before Race 2 (Bit expensive that?)
Still... an excellent viewpoint for taking pictures of the organisers and
(So... just what was the justification for using this expensive resource at a
peaceful and law abiding event?)
[Just as well SBS TV from South
Korea dropped their intention to film from an Octocopter drone, as
the downwash from the "chopper" would surely have downed the
lightweight craft and endangered the spectators]
And so, on to Race Two
That new, substitute plastic cheese
is rubbish, it does not roll properly!
A runner disappears in a cloud of
dust - It's usually muddy here.
Race Two was won by Caleb Stalder
from Taree, New South Wales Australia.
Third place went to local runner,
Medical cover is on hand and alert
to her surroundings, she'll be needed soon for some real injury!
Now it's the turn of the women to
show how it's done
Just look at that fake cheese
They easily catch and then overtake
Here's Lucy Townsend in her headlong
dash past the "cheese"
She's well ahead now!
... and look her fellow runner has
picked up that feeble cheese to ensure it gets to the finish line
Ladies Race was won by 16 year old Lucy Townsend from Brockworth
(She won the women's
Race in 2012 too!)
Lucy says she
does not like cheese and so she has put it up on eBay for the highest bidder
to win and enjoy:
now for Lucy's winning Double Gloucester Cheese - that's 8lb of Real
as it was presented to her on Monday.
Update... 6th June 2013 - Highest bid was £21, this did not reach the
reserve price and so the cheese was not sold at this time!
In a change
from tradition there were two uphill races, one for children...
The winner arrives!
...and the other
for senior competitors
Is that the Stars and Stripes of
Kenny Rackers on the far side?
Yes... there he goes... and FAST
Almost at the finish line, he even
paused to don a hat...
before flinging it aside to his
Maybe someone else will want it to
shelter from the hot sun
Here's the rest of the field, way
Kenny's there, looking fresh to
All that training has been worth the
Time for some filming to get the
atmosphere, facing the finish line, they need to move soon, it's not
Its' causing serious interest from
the spectators though
It's a great sunny day!
And so on to Race four...
Mind you don't trip over that fake
Ryan Fairley, 23, from Brockworth, won the
third men's race – the first time he has claimed a cheese...
Did he trip over the cheese?
Here's help on the way at speed.
Help's here - Dislocated Shoulder is
not too bad!
With a little treatment and many
pairs of helping hands he's on his way!
At this point we normally see a
number of "Non Cheese" Races, competitors running down just for
the fun of it!
This year, tragically, will be
different... There will only be one "Non Cheese Race"!
The Competitors wait patiently for the start, unaware of what
is about to happen...
The catchers are ready...
The fourth men's race will be won by Tomoaki
Tanaka, 39, from Japan, who dressed as a ninja to race down the hill...
However... The man in the red
shirt on the extreme right in this photo will not cross the finish line for
almost three hours!!!
He stumbled on the way down, near
the top of the hill, crossing to the opposite side presumably to bet a
better line to race down.
Now he's down and in need of help
and he's a long way from home in Spain
The leg is obviously broken, just
look at the way the foot is facing... that's not normal!
When help first arrived, he said he
felt no pain at that point, that was about to change...
was only one significant injury, a broken leg in the last race,
resulted in the attendance of a significant number of paramedics
the event first aider
It's a hard climb from the finish
line at the foot of the hill...
...there at last...
... seems to take ages, but it's
only been one minute so far...
Then paramedics from the first SWAS
Response Vehicle arrive... after only 21 minutes...
The police rush to find out what's
happened? 51 minutes into the incident...
The casualty is surrounded by medics
and helpers forming a safety cordon
More SWAS Paramedics arrive... 56
minutes into the incident...
More Police - They seem more
interested in the finish line below...
A few people are stupid enough to
still run the course while the patient is being treated and vulnerable...
The first member of the fire and
rescue service arrives to make an initial assessment...
It's now one hour and 24 minutes
since the start of the incident...
The Fire Officer in charge (to the left without a helmet) has arrived to
take charge and plan the rescue...
More firemen arrive (yellow
Now more fire & rescue
arrive with ropes and mountain rescue gear.
It's now 2 hours into the
Plans are put in place for
evacuation on a rigid stretcher with the aid of ropes anchored to the
These specialist guys are really quick,
obviously well trained in this type of rescue...
The patient is lifted onto a rigid
stretcher and strapped safely in...
The difficult descent commences, we
are now two and a half hours in...
Rescuers walk slowly backwards, down
the difficult slope, restrained by ropes from above the incident site.
A couple of times the stretcher
jerks on the ropes and the casualty is heard to cry out in pain...
In spite of the medication, he feels every jolt, the adrenalin is wearing off
And now the final steps before
detaching the ropes and carrying him on the recovery stretcher to the waiting ambulance which will
convey him to hospital in Gloucester where he will spend several days being
treated and recovering from his ordeal.
Time for the fire service to clear
up, making sure they remove all the metal spikes they hammered into the hill
to attach ropes, otherwise there may be another casualty.
Not much for the police to do but hang around,
at least it's a sunny day - no crime here, as usual.
The clearing up continued, few
spectators remain on the hill, but one young lad has a last run, whether on
purpose, or by accident, crossing the triple ropes between the two upper
groups of fire service personnel...
He soon finds himself receiving some
strong "advice" from the police...
...this included the advice that it
was lucky for him that there were so many camera crews around!
[whatever that means?]
The lad immediately
apologised, saying he was very sorry for his action, but the apology was
dismissed by the police officer!
...following incident this he (the
lad) was verbally
abused (using an "F" word) by a member of the fire service
(without a helmet) who was obviously very angry, he was led away back to their
Fire Tender vehicle by colleagues, leaving a shocked looking man, still on
Sadly a very sour note on which to close the day - we all expect better of
those who's job it is to serve the public.
Apparently the only incident receiving the "attention" of the police, unless
someone knows better?
Locals continued to clear-up the
area, not a bit of litter, however small, is left to spoil this lovely area.
Their attention to detail is excellent, as was their organisation of the
Un-named and wishing to remain un-identified, these locals have done an
excellent job of keeping the tradition of Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's Hill
... and there it is, the hill turns
back to nature to await 2014, just a few locals still enjoying this
beautiful spring day.
The 2013 event is over, now the
event needs some new sponsors to organise the 2014 event on a professional,
free to attend INSURED event basis.
RedBull would be an obvious contender with their vast experience in large
outdoor events, anyone want to petition them?
the end this incident involved a medic who was on-site at the ready, a number of Paramedics from SWAS,
waves of Firemen, a specialist Fire Brigade Rescue Support Team, and finally a large police presence.
At one point there were fourteen emergency vehicles packed into the small
Picture Courtesy of Davide Ventola
(At 13:57 Police vehicles block the only access road for Rescue and Medical
service vehicles (which had yet to arrive) to gain entry to the site - Why
was this? - No offences had been or were likely to be committed.
Earlier police had been out in force to ensure that no vehicles could use
the road as it is narrow and there are few passing or turning places,
rightfully keeping access clear for the very emergency vehicles that they were
taken over 2 hours and 40 minutes for the casualty to be initially treated
and stabilised then recovered from the hill before being sent off to
hospital in Gloucester, well outside "The Golden Hour".
An interesting comparison,
is that in 2009, a similar event occurred when a spectator fell out of a tree
and had to be recovered and stretchered off with suspected fractures &
That took just 29 minutes by volunteer services (S.A.R.A.I.D and St John
Ambulance), who were already in place on the hill in case of incident, compared with this years
156 minutes utilising the various professional services who were called in bit by bit as
There is something VERY WRONG here!
weeks running up to the event, and receiving much publicity for their
efforts, the police were warning that anyone remotely connected (in their
opinion) with the running of the event, "that individual or group of
persons could attract legal liability issues that go with hosting such an
event [the Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's hill]" - these warnings
were given, amongst others, to the makers of the Double Gloucester Cheeses,
traditionally used at the event (SMART'S Farm) and to the owner of this web
site (although the web site is not connected with the organisation or
running of the event). It is not known if these warnings were extended to
other news media in an attempt to suppress reporting of the event.
webmaster, I was requested not to announce the date and time of the event -
somewhat useless restriction as the information was widespread in the
national news media and on the web.
the start of the event the police kept surveillance on the by helicopter
which hovered and circled above and which at times actually caused problems with
communication between top and bottom of the hill and with instructions
shouted to the spectators who, at times could not hear over the noise of the
least the occupants were assured a good view of the crowds of spectators and
organisers waving at them!
would be runner received a stern warning from the police... ending with;
lucky for you there are so many cameras around"
then verbally abused by a fireman who swore at him! ... adding "I have
children at home".
run down after the casualty had been recovered from the hill, stumbled and almost
collided with a fireman.
apologised for his action but the apology was dismissed!
recovery and treatment was administered more swiftly in the past, up to
2009, when St john Ambulance were in attendance, in number and with their
own ambulances. In those days S.A.R.A.I.D. (Search and rescue assistance in
disasters) were always on hand and deployed on the hill in readiness before
the event would start. It was exactly two hours from the time of injury until
the fire service deployed crew with ropes and climbing gear in order to
start to plan a recovery. It then took a further 40 minutes to get the
casualty into an ambulance.
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
A number of
cars were observed to have been parked on the A46 neat cooper's hill,
curiously these did not appear to have fixed penalty notices attached as
they would have in previous years.
following chronicles events leading up to the 2013 event.
Cheese for the Cheese-Rolling?
rationing was introduced in 1941 so a wooden ‘cheese’ was used until
1954. It was covered in paper and was decorated with the familiar red and
blue ribbons. It had a small hole inside the packing where a tiny piece of
cheese was placed, to maintain the ‘rolling of cheese’! Special
permission was granted for this by the Ministry of Food." - Maybe this
is the answer?
Coopers Hill Local Nature Reserve is well worth a
visit especially in the springtime.
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.
view from the top of the Cheese-Rolling hill
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.
Facts 2011 - The Complete Story
- The Last "Official" Event
Organization of the event up to the disbanding of the organizing committee of
the Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill the Spring of 2011
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.
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
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.
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.
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
the slope (cutting back new growth, removing hazards etc.) over several
fencing (orange sheep-fencing for crowd safety and ‘Heras’ fencing to
protect properties) and erecting it all
St. John Ambulance personnel (whose services are absolutely essential for
with SARAID (the rescue team necessary for retrieving casualties from the
a security company (to act as marshals for public safety)
insurance (for ‘Public Liability’, not runners)
and printing certificates and programmes
and managing car-parking (until very recently providing the only income)
countless TV, video and radio interviews
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)
and manning a PA system
a group of volunteer ‘catchers’ (to catch runners at the foot of the
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.
insurance company required a ‘defined area’ for the attending public
to validate any insurance.
local authority and police required a traffic and parking plan, to control
the number of vehicles arriving.
Authorities concern over the increasing numbers of visitors.
‘Public Liability’ cover:
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
huge amount of fencing would be needed, and professionally erected
would have to be designated entrances to enable the numbers to be
controlled, so the event
would have to become ‘ticketed’
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
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.
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.
‘Events Management’ company was consulted
‘Marketing’ company was also called upon to help raise sponsorship.
local authority was asked to draw up a ‘Traffic Plan’
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
had been promised, from local businesses as well as National Companies.
following public consultation, the volunteers were suddenly faced with local
opposition to the plans.
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
She is the only person in Gloucestershire now
making Double Gloucester cheeses by hand, using traditional methods.
Double Gloucester Cheese Explained - The Single Gloucester Cheese too!
Car Park Location - Car Parking
is no longer available at the event
(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.
Local Weather Forecast for Gloucester including Coopers Hill
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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
The 'Cheese Rolling and Wake' was
also moved to that day.