Cheese rolling in Gloucestershire

Today I took a break from revision to attend the annual Cheese rolling race on Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth with a friend of mine and one of his colleagues. This is a traditional event in which a 9lb round of Gloucester Cheese is rolled down the hill, with competitors chasing after it. The first person across the finish line wins the cheese.

I had first heard about this event years ago and thought it sounded pretty funny, but when my friend suggested last week that we try to attend this year I couldn’t pass it up. He drove to Oxford early in the morning and picked me up before we set out to Brockworth along with a colleague of his.

The walk up to the hill was a steep climb, with a lot of queuing. The event runs without any real marshalls or even a first aid stand, as it now run without council approval, who have repeatedly tried to place restrictions on the event due to Health-and-Safety concerns.

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Although it was raining heavily, the crowds which came out to watch were huge and it was difficult at times to get a clear view of what was going on. I regretted my choice of clothing for the event, having underestimated the location (jeans are not ideal in the rain), and not bringing water. Fortunately there were a few stands selling food and drink nearby.

I have to admit that it was highly entertaining to watch large groups of people hurtling down the hill after a large round of cheese. That said – if I chose to go again I would probably bring some provisions with me, dress properly for hillwalking and come earlier to get a better spot – as you can see from the picture it was difficult to get a full view of the course.

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