In 2003, the event had to be cancelled at short
notice due to an earthquake in Algeria!
Following the cancellation of the Cheese Rolling in 1978, due to "bureaucratic constraints related to public safety" The committee enlisted the services of the Gloucestershire based search and rescue organisation, SARAID to assist St. John Ambulance personnel by moving possible casualties safely off the precipitous hill for treatment.
Unfortunately, during May 2003 there was an earthquake in Algeria which needed the emergency help of the search-and -rescue team. Without their presence, the St. John team had to withdraw their services at short notice (3 days!) and the committee was forced once more to cancel the event.
*Three times in recent years, the public event has been cancelled:
police had been very concerned by the number of injuries (most of them fairly
minor) that were reported the previous year.
2001 - A widespread outbreak of 'Foot-and-mouth' disease lead to the near 'closure' of the countryside. The public was advised not to visit rural areas and even locals were not walking on the hill. It was therefore impossible to hold the event.
2003 - SARAID were unavailable at short notice due to an earthquake in Algeria during May 2003 which required the assistance of the search-and -rescue team. Without their presence, the St. John team had to withdraw their services at short notice (3 days!) and the committee was forced once more to cancel the event.
However ... on each of these occasions a single cheese has been rolled by the committee, to maintain the tradition.
spectators, unaware of the cancellation still arrived at Coopers Hill and the
result was traffic chaos.
Even "Elvis" lent a hand to
direct the traffic and try to organise things!
An unknown local "poet" got to
work on the "Race Cancelled" sign on the hill,
......Not the official race, but an impromptu race by a few intrepid souls determined that the tradition would continue, unbroken on time and on Cheese Rolling day!
Then, at the appointed hour, the race
When the committee rolled a single cheese a few days later,
crowds still lined the hill, well not so
The Committee used one of the cheeses that had been ordered (too late to stop the order)
Joint winners of the Committee
Cheese Rolling, were Amelia and Verity Hardwick,
Happily, no injuries were sustained and
the services of the St. John's Ambulance crew were not needed on this occasion
SARAID were, of course hard at work, valiantly
contributing their essential skills to the Earthquake rescue efforts in Algeria.
Please visit the SARAID web site for more information on the organisation and its works, here you can also make a donation to assist their efforts
(Photos © J.J.)
|Webmaster - Last Edited 15-Jun-2010 22:12:13 avsglos|