Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling
The Cheese Rolling is usually held as Spring turns to Summer (the exact date is different every year)
- The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling is very simple: people start at the top of the hill and have to chase a round (circle) of Gloucester cheese to the bottom.
- The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling is held in the village of Brockworth, near Gloucester
- Usually 4 or 5 cheese rolling competitions are held on the day
- Despite the simple idea it is, however, a difficult and dangerous challenge: a round of cheese can roll at over 70mph, meaning people have to run behind it down the hill. This results in lots of falling over. A group of people wait at the bottom to catch people falling too fast, and these catchers can be hurt by the runners or the cheese. A race in 1993 seriously injured 4 people.
- The winner of the race gets to keep his/her cheese, but only after carrying it back to the top of the hill.
- The Cheese Rolling is a traditional event, and for a long time was only held by – and for – local people. It wasn’t famous until the 1970s, when it got noticed on television. It now attracts people from around the world (although, unfortunately, it is no longer free to play).
- Brockworth is not the only cheese rolling event in the UK, but it is the most famous. There is even a computer game about it.
- Cheese rolling has become controversial. The council wants to stop it because it is dangerous, but people want to play. Some people don’t like the fact it is no longer free.
Oddly, the idea of chasing a cheese is not the only type of cheese-rolling in Europe. In another game each person gets a cheese and must roll it to the end of a course. This is difficult because the cheese never goes in the right direction, meaning people have to run after their cheeses when it disappears into woods, long grass, down the wrong hill, etc.