at Cooper's Hill 2012
tradition of Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill
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.
persistent rain in Gloucestershire over the weekend,
Monday dawned dull but drier with temperatures rising to the 16
degrees C during the afternoon.
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),
staged by an ad-hoc group of enthusiasts most of whom live locally to
Cooper's Hill and nearby Brockworth.
The Diamond Jubilee Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's Hill
Diamond Jubilee Cheese-Rolling Videos
SoGlos.com and MaxDreamCreator
Rolling 2012 in Slow motion from Mark Whatmore, Yoho Media
grows as Chris Anderson, with arms outstretched, organises competitors
at the top of the hill, before the start of the first race of the 2012
Then the first cheese is rolled and
the event is underway!
Chris, as always is well to the
..,. and the winner of the first
event? - Chris Anderson
for the Mens Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 1
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.
for the Mens Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 2
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?
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
Got it, hope it's not damaged!
Look what I won!
The press surround the Ladies Race
for the Women's
Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 3
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.
(The Diamond Jubilee Race)
Marcus Jefferies was given the honor
of rolling the Diamond Jubilee Cheese as a tribute to his father,
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
for the Mens Downhill Cheese-Race, Race 4
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
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???)
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
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
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.
unusual event has been celebrated for centuries and is thought to have its
roots in a heathen festival to celebrate the return of spring.
last time the "official" cheese rolling was staged was in 2009, when
spectators packed the site and surrounding area.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Cheese-Rolling.
(N51:49:51 - W2:09:50)
(UK Postcode GL3 4SB)
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.
Notice on the hill.