Last Year

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*.

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 2012

The Diamond Jubilee Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's Hill

The tradition of Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill 
continues unbroken.

The annual Cheese-Rolling Festival 2012 at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire 
(The Diamond Jubilee Cheese-Rolling) 
took place at 12:00 midday on the Late Spring Bank Holiday Monday 4th June.

Following persistent rain in Gloucestershire over the weekend, 
Bank Holiday Monday dawned dull but drier with temperatures rising to the 16 degrees C during the afternoon.

Due to the recent heavy rain, the ground conditions were quite soft, which is ideal for the event.

The Cheese-Rolling, in 2012 has, as for the last two previous years (2010 & 2011), 
has been staged by an ad-hoc group of enthusiasts most of whom live locally to Cooper's Hill and nearby Brockworth.

2012 The Diamond Jubilee Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's Hill

2012 Diamond Jubilee Cheese-Rolling Videos

Courtesy of SoGlos.com and MaxDreamCreator

Cheese Rolling 2012 in Slow motion from Mark Whatmore, Yoho Media

 

Anticipation grows as Chris Anderson, with arms outstretched,  organises competitors & spectators 
at the top of the hill, before the start of the first race of the 2012 event.

Then the first cheese is rolled and the event is underway!

Chris, as always is well to the fore...

..,. and the winner of the first event? - Chris Anderson

already Chris is looking back the start line for the next race

as always, Chris returns to the start line by the quickest (and steepest) route, straight up the hill.

They are off on race 2!

Seconds later the race is over, and the winner is again Chris Anderson.

The Children's Uphill race, this is the hard one!

The lad in the Purple & Grey hooped sweater will turn out to be the winner! 

And now... The Ladies Race

The cheese crosses the line, can the steward catch it?

Missed!

Now he's off to retrieve it

Here, in the green sweater, is the winner of the ladies race... Caught by a steward...

... now we just have to find the cheese...

Got it, hope it's not damaged!

Look what I won!

The press surround the Ladies Race winner

Chris Anderson decided not to compete in the last race, 
but could not resist doing one of his, now famous solo demonstration runs down the hill.

Race 4 (The Diamond Jubilee Race)

Marcus Jefferies was given the honor of rolling the Diamond Jubilee Cheese as a tribute to his father,

 

Richard Jefferies, former organiser and for many years, spokesman and commentator for the event, 
his was the voice of Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's Hill.
 Richard died on the 19thApril this year

They are off to a really fast start, right behind the cheese!

Seconds later the race is won by Craig Fairley

Medics are on have to administer first aid if required

Craig Fairley holds up the "Diamond Jubilee Cheese" in triumph...
...note the "Diamond Jubilee" special wrapping of the cheese!

Chris Anderson & Craig Fairley, winners of the 2012 Mens Races

(Since the 2011 event, Chris has joined the army, his sweater carries the emblem of 
"The Rifles", one of the two largest regiments in the British Army ...
their motto "Swift and Bold" on his arm seems particularly appropriate and certainly describes Chris.)

Chris Anderson is interviewed by a Japanese Reporter and film crew.

The winner of the Ladies Race of 2012 is 15-year-old Lucy Townsend
(No, she didn't actually catch the cheese, she's just been up the hill with it and is making her way carefully back down!)

This Cheese is all mine!
(How did she manage to stay so clean???)

Lucy Townsend

As usual, the event has been covered by film and television crews from all over the world, including teams of reporters from Japan and Germany and in particular Australia where the event at Cooper's Hill has a fanatical following.

Voices in many languages can be heard from the large crowd of spectators around the site, some of whom have traveled many miles to witness this special and spectacular event. 

One spectator was heard to say, "we should have something like this back in Canada" - with a little research they would find there is a similar event in Whistler in Canada, there are similar and tribute events around the world in many countries including Italy and Japan, but nowhere else has the most important ingredients, that formidable hill and those unique individuals who are motivated to conquer it!


We would welcome your comments and pictures of the Cheese-Rolling for publication on the site.

email to: webmaster@cheese-rolling.co.uk


.....and so, the event over for yet another year, everyone returns home with their memories of an excellent day at the Cheese Rolling at Cooper's hill and the certainty that they will be back next year for more!

The annual cheese rolling event is usually held on the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May, this year the Late Spring Bank Holiday was mover into the first week in June to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday, Next year the Late Spring Bank Holiday and therefore the event will return to the end of May, the date will be Monday 27th May 2013.

Although the event is known for injuries to those taking part, with sprains and broken bones reletevly common, no major injuries were reported this year.. (or in 2010, 2011 & 2012).

In 2009, the injury toll of 18 was described as 'low' by St John Ambulance. Ten of the wounded were spectators, St John Ambulance no longer provide first aid cover for the event.

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.

In 2009 an estimated 5000 spectators (as quoted in a report prepared for the HSE) packed the site and surrounding area.
In that year, police made a statement that estimated the number of people "trying to get to the event" as 15,000, this was then misreported and repeated in various press media as 15,000 actually on site, this was totally incorrect, in fact, had there been that many on site, there would have been no room to roll the cheeses!  This statement and it's later misreporting and repetition, was a major contributing factor to difficulties presented in staging the event in following years.

Following a failed attempt to commercialise the event in 2010 and adverse press coverage and confusion, together with poor weather conditions, numbers of spectators fell in 2010, partially recovering in 2011, this year, spectator numbers are estimated at 2500.

From the successful staging of the event by local volunteers on an ad-hoc basis for the last three years, it is self-evident that the event has returned to it's former status as a well attended, free to enter, free to attend, local event, staged by the people, for the people.. 
It would seem that thanks to the actions of the local supporters, we can all relax in the knowledge that the event will continue, unchanged, into the foreseeable future.

The 2012 event was characterised by the usual good natured attitude of the large crowd of enthusiastic spectators and supporters who were there just to have a really enjoyable day, no injuries or incidents were reported. 
The event was extremely well stewarded and staffed by volunteers who ensured safety by firm but sympathetic control.

At the end of the event, volunteers were to be seen collecting rubbish, both from the hill and from spectators directly, the environment was left clean if the grass, as usual was a little scarred.

Chris Anderson in 2011

 

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.

 

The 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.


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  - Car Parking Is No Longer Available at the Cheese-Rolling.
(O.S. SO888147)
(N51:49:51 - W2:09:50)
(UK Postcode GL3 4SB)

 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.

 

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

 


 

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 27th May 2013.

 

The Recent Historical context to the 2012 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 each year, as many loyal and enthusiastic locals are determined not to allow the age old tradition to die.

 

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

 

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, 2011 and 2012 continued the age old tradition.

 

Whatever the future holds for the event, full information will be made available here, 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.]

 

Webmaster - Last Edited 08-Jan-2013 20:43:07 avsglos

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