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Gloucestershire cheese rolling to go ahead on Cooper's Hill

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: April 22, 2014

Cheese rolling on Cooper's Hill at Brockworth

Cheese rolling on Cooper's Hill at Brockworth

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Gloucestershire's famous cheese rolling is set to go ahead next month - without one champion competitor but with real cheese.

Thousands of runners are expected to defy health and safety by tumbling down Cooper's Hill on the Spring Bank Holiday on May 26.

Chris Anderson, 26, who has won 13 races in eight years, will not be able to take part because of an ankle injury.

The world famous race sees competitors flinging themselves down the hill chasing a 9lb Double Gloucester cheese but last year a foam ‘cheese’ was used, causing upset among traditionalists.

Police had advised cheese maker Diana Smart not to supply a Double Gloucester for the traditional event.

Mrs Smart, 87, of Chrucham, who last year was told by police she could be seen as an organiser of the event and so liable for damages if she provided a cheese, plans to do so this year.

“I have been asked to provide some cheese, so why not?” she said.

Last year's race saw about 5,000 people watching on the hill overlooking Brockworth and Witcombe.

Since the early 1800s a cheese has been chased down the 200 yard, one-in-three gradient hill.

But after an estimated 15,000 spectators stretched the venue and organisers to near-breaking point in 2009, organisers of the 2010 event were forced to cancel.

A commercial event foundered and in 2010 it returned as an ad-hoc event.

There was no official medical cover last year and there may not be next month.

A Gloucestershire police spokesman said it had not spoken to anyone who may be taking part in this year’s event, and declined to comment.

but ankle ligament damage has sidelined him from the event expected to go ahead on the Spring Bank Holiday on May 26.

“It’s a shame, what’s happened to it but it couldn’t be held officially because of health and safety,” said Chris Anderson, a serving member of the Rifles Regiment, said he will be watching the racing.

“If I wasn’t injured I might well be there at the top of the hill," he said.

“It looks like my cheese rolling days are over, for now at least.”

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