Monday, 28 May 2007

cheese rolling

I grew up in the village of Brockworth, Gloucestershire with my bedroom window facing Coopers Hill, the venue of the annual cheese roll competition. Each year on May Bank Holiday we along with hundreds of people climbed the hill to make the annual pligrimage to the 1:2 hill and watch as fearless (and very drunk!) people threw themselves off the top to catch the 7lb Double Gloucester Cheese before it reached the bottom. I remember how boys and girls from my school would get drunk in the Flying Machine pub (now a housing estate) to give themselves dutch courage to take part in this coming of age ritual, many legs and arms, collar bones and ribs were broken, especially if it was a dry day and the ground was hard! Gloucester Rugby Team used to stand at the bottom of the hill and try and catch the runners before they ran out of space as they were running or falling too fast! I drove past the hill today, to show my three year old what was going on and there were thousands of people and cars parked for miles and miles! You always take for granted the things you were brought up with and I never think anything strange in people throwing themselves down this hill, but judging by the amount of spectators maybe it is quite unusual afterall?

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