Cheese Rolling in the UK
When: 29 May 2017
Where: Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire
Painting of Cheese Rolling Festival by Robert Collins (www.rcollinsart.com)
The British are famous for their eccentricity and the noble art of cheese rolling must rank as one of the weirdest events in the land.
So what is cheese rolling exactly? Every year a group of brave – some would say foolish – people chase a large, round cheese down a steep 200 metre slope in Gloucestershire in south-west England at the annual Cheese Rolling event. In theory they are trying to catch the cheese, but they seldom do because the cheese gets a one second head start and reaches speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. The winner is the man or woman who crosses the finish line at the base of the hill first. Their prize is the cheese which is made by a local farmer called Mrs Diana Smart.
Cheese rolling began several hundred years ago as an amusement for the inhabitants of the village of Brockworth. It may not be as dangerous as Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls – no-one has ever been gored by a hard cheese – but rollers have been known to break arms and legs. In 2010, the event was cancelled due to safety concerns. To be fair, the organisers weren’t concerned about the safety of the competitors, rather the safety of the increasingly large crowds – up to 15,000 people - that turn up to watch.
Luckily for fans of British eccentricity, cheese rolling is back on the agenda this year. You’ll be able to see videos of the event online, but nothing compares to being there on the day.
Check out the video below