Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, May 31, 1999 Published at 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK


UK

Cheese roll goes down well

Rolling cheeses have injured people

A 200-year old cheese-rolling race has passed off without serious injury after being banned last year on safety grounds.


The BBC's Jane O'Brien reports on a strange custom
The cheese race, down Cooper's Hill, in Gloucestershire, last took place in 1997 - when 33 competitors had to be treated by paramedics.

This year, St John Ambulance staff had only cuts and bruises to deal with following the four races in which competitors chased eight-pound double Gloucesters down a 45 degree hill.

Treble Gloucester

Extra safety precautions were taken this year, with a team of stewards and a mountain rescue unit on duty.

The course was also lined with crash barriers normally used for downhill skiing.

The race was a personal success for Gloucester's very own treble winner - Stephen Brain - who won all three men's races.

He said: "I've been in this for 15 years, on and off, and it is great that it is back after last year's event was cancelled."

And he had a tip for anyone wanting to try their hand at the dairy Derby.

"The trick is to try to stay on your feet," he said.

Whey to go!

Richard Jeffries, a member of the organising committee, said: "I thought everything went very well and the additional safety measures seemed to have paid off.

"It's been a great day and I think the decision to move it to noon stops people having too much to drink before they come."

Around 5,000 people are estimated to have watched this year's cheese-rolling.

Cheese rolling can be traced back at least 200 years and many local people believe it has its origins in Roman times.

Last year, despite the ban, die-hard enthusiasts rolled one cheese down the hill at 6am to keep the tradition unbroken.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England
Internet Links


Local customs in Gloucestershire - GlosNet [Gloucester County Council site]


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online