Rebels descend on Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire for Cheese Roll
HUNDREDS of people descended on Cooper’s Hill yesterday to enjoy the historic cheese rolling event – despite it being officially cancelled.
This year’s event was axed in March leaving the 15,000 adrenaline junkies and spectators who attended last year with a gap in their calendar.
However, hundreds of people ignored the “cheese rolling cancelled” signs and the large police presence, and made their way to the spectacle on the 1:2 gradient hill.
Champion Chris Anderson and his dad John, from Brockworth, cleared the hill of debris on Sunday night.
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The 22-year-old maintained his winning streak this year, winning both of the races he entered.
“It was a really good laugh,” he said.
“There was a bit more competition this year, and I was a bit nervous beforehand.
“It’s been good fun but I’m sure it will be bigger and better next year.”
The first ‘roll’ took place at the usual time of noon. Four more races followed, including a women’s roll and a children’s roll.
And all the competitors got down with only minor injuries.
Greg Mills, 32, flew all the way from California to take part in the event. He said: “I have done the bull race and the tomato fight in Spain, and this was next on my list.
“I bought my ticket before it was cancelled but thought I’d come anyway. I’ve even bought my own Babybel cheese.”
Maurice Prince, 21, Bart Zijistra, 22, and Roderick Brouwer, 21, came from Holland to take part.
“We saw it on YouTube and just had to give it a go,” said Maurice.
Nima Nasseri, 30, was on his stag do from Sheffield. “I’m getting married in six weeks so if I get injured I’ll have time to recover!”
His friends Tom Helliwell, 30, and Andrew Goodrick, 26, were also having a go.
“We thought it would be a good idea for a stag do, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Tom.
All members of the group made it down the hill in one piece.
Kane Kotwica, 24, from Brockworth, was taking part in his second ‘roll’. He said: “It’s a Brockworth tradition and I’m taking part to make a stand against those who want to cancel it.”
Paul Burrows, 47, from London, was taking part for the second time. He said: “I knew it was cancelled, but I think there could have been a proper event put on.
“I think it has grown beyond the capabilities of the community and they should look to contract other agencies in.”
Richard Jefferies, a member of the cheese rolling committee, attended the event too. He said: “I thought it was good. Although it wasn’t an official event, it was good to see the tradition was continued. Now the planning for next year starts.”
The event was cancelled amid concerns over health and safety.
Officials had earlier warned there would be no on-site medical help for those injured in unofficial events and urged people to stay away. No one from the police was available to comment.
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