Cheese-rollers thumb noses at England’s killjoy police

A 19th century English countryside tradition, where revellers chase a cheese down a steep hill, went ahead this morning despite warnings from local police that it could lead to legal action.

A specially-made round cheese has been rolled down Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire, England, since the early 19th century. Revellers chase it down the hill and the person who gets the cheese first is held in high honour.

Over the years there have been a number of injuries although that failed to dampen the enthusiasm of locals for the vent. But in recent years, as pernicious health and safety laws were introduced, participants have been warned that they could be in breach of the law.

This year local police visited organizers and warned them they could face legal action if there was an incident at the traditional end of May event. Two officers even visited the home of Diane Smart, who has made the special cheese for the event for the last 25 years and gave her what the sinisterly labelled ‘words of advice’.

As a result, a special ‘cheese’ made out of light foam was used but the event went ahead and attracted about 3,000 spectators. Apart from the usual assortment of bumps and bruises, there were no injuries.

 


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