back to article 'Health and safety killjoys' kill cheese-rolling race

In grim news for those who think it's a bit of a wheeze to chase an 8lb Double Gloucester cheese for 200 yards down a near-vertical hillside, the organisers of the Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake have announced that this year's event is cancelled. The Daily Mail points the finger firmly at "health and safety killjoys" for …

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Didn't this happen before?

And the local people ignored the "cancellation" and went and did it anyway.

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Coat

Using guerilla cheese?

'Nuff said...

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Anonymous Coward

Health and safety will kill it

So the event "will be back, in a revised form, in 2011".

No doubt this means it'll be back in a healthy, safe form. With people chasing low-fat cheese across a flat surface, wearing safety helmets and knee protectors. In wheelchairs. One at a time. Bastards!

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almost...

...You forgot to mention that it'll be commentated by Richard Hammond. On the BBC. In a primetime slot on Saturday night.

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RTFA

It's not like you've read the article, really? Just the title and it's whingeing time. Bla bla bla bla...

The message is feel free to break your legs and/or neck running after some stupid cheese, Health&Safety have no problem with that. You deserve what you get I suppose. It's the 10k too many people invading a village that cause the problem, people that have been turning up only the last few years because of all these "odd news" items about it. A local fete is now just 15000 drunken strangers mulling about.

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Unhappy

Stupidity

Every time I think this country can't get more pathetic something like this comes along to prove me wrong.

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WTF?

Stupidity? Where?

The only stupidity here is 15k people going to a venue with vastly insufficient capacity. Concern for people possibly getting hurt isn't "pathetic" but is actually "considerate" and "responsible".

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Stupidity

Every time I think people complaining about this country can't get more pathetic someone like this comes along to prove me wrong.

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So it took them nearly 10 months to figure this out?

It's obvious they did not want to have the event again period. Wait 9-1/2 months and then say it's too late to do anything this year but maybe next year the event will be back in "some form". What a bunch of hogwash. Good thing you don't have the running of the bulls there.

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Unhappy

Gutted,

I actually participated in this 2 years ago,

It was a scary experience, i did see a few pep's get really hurt and dragged of in ambulances.

it is a steep arse hill, and in the wet, it was like the scariest water/mud slide you've ever seen,

except if you loose it the possibility of breaking you neck is really high!

BUT what a day out,

this is a real shame, and another example of the state taking everything that makes out nation great away.

they can take out cheese rolling, and our freedom but they cant take our......! oh wait, theres nothing left, yup they took it all.... he he..!

gutted..!

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There's exaggeration, and there's over-exaggeration!

"...down a near-vertical hillside..." ? Try "about 45°" - how many earth hills do you know that would be stable with a near-vertical face?

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So what you're saying...

...is that it's dangerous as all hell - and it is - but that's not a reason for anyone to think that finding somewhere safer would be a good idea?

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RTFA

"...another example of the state taking everything..."

Have you actually read the article? It was the ORGANISERS who cancelled it due to too many people turning up. The whole area was gridlocked last year for starters, isn't that the sort of thing you knee-jerk Daily Mail types normally complain about?

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It may be dangerous...

... but so are a lot of things.

At what point should the Nanny State step in and day "No, you can't do that because it's too dangerous for you"?

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Paris Hilton

Simple Solution

Just sell tickets, Priority and reduced rate to locals. Money raised can go to charity or council costs, better the former.

Paris, as she has licked her fair share of cheese

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In the name of the wee man

Chasing *anything* down a hill is dangerous. But people do it of their own free will and so long as they know the risks and make a personal choice; who gives a friggin' toss?

Maybe have them stump up a few to cover the paramedics/first aid, but that's it. Broken bones should be the worst of it.

What next? "Motorcycling banned - too dangerous" (actually, they're trying that one), "Card banned - 1,000 times more dangerous than trains", "Breathing banned - oxygen free-radicals cause cellular stress"

After unions, the health and safety hand-wringing-worry-worts have got to be one of the worst things in this country.

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Read the story

Its not the heill but the 15k people terning up. I quite agree. As im sure you know people go get taken to A&E, but what would happen if the roads were too blocked with spectators for them to get out?

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Bronze badge

real pity !!!

but was it health and safety

or

just not being able to afford the amount of ambulances and cover police costs for traffic and parking etc etc etc etc etc

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Unhappy

Oh my

I'm very sad to hear this isn't happening. I love eccentric local traditions and I think they should be celebrated and even protected so as to preserve them for the future generations.

I'm going to chuck a Babybelle down my stairs later as a tribute. If I can get a more appropriate cheese I will use that instead/eat it, yum.

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Our Local Council

In St Albans had its 15 minutes of fame in the Daily Mail when its pancake day race was reduced to a pancake day orderly walk due to HEALTH & SAFETY GONE MAD when the pavements got a bit damp when it rained.

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I have the ideal solution.

Actually, I don't. But I figured by the time I'd click to this box I would have thought of it. Give me a moment please...

Ah yes..

Bubble-wrap suits.

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Unhappy

Theree's gotta be a caption there ...

Like Cheesed Off by Big Cheeses.

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Unhappy

It'll go ahead anyway!

I live just down the road, and I bet it goes ahead regardless!

All this heath & saftey rubbish - surely it's up to me if I want to risk breaking my leg!

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H&S

Health and safety has two problems here:

1) Inherent danger involved in the activity.

Not a biggie. Some people climb hundreds of metres up without safety equipment. Their life, their choice.

2) Overcrowding.

When the event draws too many people, individual risk gives way to collective risk. This event has got so big that one person's slip could hurt a lot of people. This event was originally a small local gathering, and would have happened in many places around the area. It did not evolve for the scale presented now. Marathons have large numbers of participants. Sprints do not. Nature of the game.

If people want to take part in cheese rolling, they should organise their own local event.

Lots of small ones is safer than one big one.

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Megaphone

what next

what next

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottle-kicking

....

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Pirate

Going underground...

Just like surfers riding big waves when the red flag is flying or maniacs who change printer toner cartridges without wearing safety glasses, if you were born to roll cheese, if it is in your blood and defines Who You Are, you are not going to stop just because The Man says it is too dangerous. A hill. A round cheese*. A gravitational field. Game on.

The word is there is a movie in development where Vin Diesel goes undercover in the underground cheeserolling scene...

*soon to be banned and replaced by square ones.

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FAIL

Good old Daily Mail

Nice to see some non-biased reporting in the good old Daily Fail. For those who agree with them, go and actually read the artical.

No-one has made any mention of the actual cheese rolling being a problem, it actually looks quite fun and wouldn't mind a go myself. The only problem they have is too many people want to watch a bunch of fun loving nutters roll arse over tit after a lump of curdled cow juice which probably clogs up every road for miles around causing problems for emergency services and the like.

If we're going to slate H&S (and yes, sometimes it does warrant it and yes, I'm an "elf 'n' safety" bod) let's at least get the facts straight first.

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FAIL

Good old daily mail

Another quality piece of accurate, fact based journalism by the DM.

First cancellation in 200 years?? It was cancelled in 2003 because the safety volunteers couldn't attend as they were in Algeria assisting in the aftermath of an earth quake.

Still why let facts get in the way of sticking the boot into Killjoy britain.

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Dozy event, but...

You cannot beat the Cheese Police.

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Flame

Please, enough Daily-Mail rubbish

As one reply already said, this isn't exactly a low risk event.

But the reason events like this get cancelled isn't generally the HSE, it's because the organisers can't/won't pay for the legally required insurance, and the reason they can't/won't pay for the legally required insurance isn't generally the HSE, it's generally the rise and rise of the "Had an accident? Let us make you rich!" scumbaggs aka the "no win no fee" lawyers who are forcing the insurance premiums through the roof.

I hope something horrible happens to them all.

The rest of you: have a lovely weekend.

ps

No I'm not an HSE employee or affiliated in any way with that sector. But I have seen too many incidents which would not have occurred if organisations had followed the legally required rules, and it's very very very rare for anyone actually to be taken to task for breaking them.

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Silver badge

Alternative

How about replacing the cheese with a Safety Elf? I'm sure there would be plenty of competitors wanting to push one of those down a steep hill.

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In fairness to the HSE...

I read this as a concern about crowd-levels rather than, y'know, the bloody suicidal cheese-chasing. I could be wrong though.

Meanwhile, have a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nrSi7-_Pj4

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Anonymous Coward

@Health and safety will kill it

From what I can gather its not been cancelled due to dangers inherent in chasing a cheese down a steep hil but rather because last year 15000 people turned up to a location that was only capable of holding ~5000 people. I assume it will be back in 2011 as a ticket-only event.

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Simple restriction...

"I assume it will be back in 2011 as a ticket-only event."

Install parking meters in the vicinity. Plus a few blokes wandering about with notebooks and yellow-banded hats. Proceeds to the council. That'll do it.

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Badgers

Local

I'm local, and there is no way on this blue earth you'll get me down Coopers Hill.

Agree with Kristian though - tis a proper good day out, with Cracking Cheese to boot.

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Frankly

If you saw lots of people get hurt and dragged off in ambulances I fail to see how in good conscience you can encourage it in its current form. There will always be people who wish to take part in dangerous activities, but most dangerous activities require effort to take part in. Something so easily available and so potentially dangerous is quite a concern to be honest.

As to taking things, "You can take our freedom but you can't take our trousers!"

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Go

You think there is no effort?

In standing at the top of a 45 degree slope and then hurling yourself down it? Maybe if you trick yourself into falling down sure or if you accidentally slip. However with any extreme event it's the throwing yourself off the edge which is the hardest part. You always land!

next time you have a spare afternoon go stand at the top of a 10 meter cliff over a deep pool and see how much mental effort it takes to jump.

Go, because some law of relativity or something says that the higher the effort required to jump the greater the satisfaction.

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Grenade

....and there's the real problem.

For some reason, if someone chooses to do something dangerous of their own volition and while aware of the risks involved, there are small-minded arsehats who go out of their way to say "you can't do that, it's dangerous".

What did you have in mind? Some kind of Government issued "allowed to do dangerous things" license?

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Silver badge

Desparate.

"The cancellation has "shattered" Diana Smart, 83, who produces the participating cheeses at her farm in the Forest of Dean. She said: "I'm shaking at the prospect of not having any cheese-rolling. It is one of our biggest raisers of funds for the business, particularly this year when we're desperately trying to increase our premises.""

Poor, poor Diana. She's going to lose her hoped for profits, and won't be able to enlarge her cheese making business because the advertising hype and tourism outgrew the venue. Never mind the tradition, will no one think of the pensioners?

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Joke

A new annual event!

Health and Safety Killjoy rolling! It's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

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Badgers

Not Participants Safety but...

... the 15,000 people who turn up to see it.

From BBC news:

"The annual cheese-rolling event in Gloucestershire has been cancelled after concerns about safety because of the number of spectators it attracts.

Organisers of the event at Cooper's Hill near Brockworth said 15,000 people attended last year's event - more than three times the site's capacity."

Think of the poor badgers!

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Is Hallerton bottle kicking still going?

That was thought to be dangerous in the seventies.

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Stop

Hold on...

Do we actually know if this was for H&S reasons or is this just the Mail doing it's usual stirring? As far as I can see, it's been canned because the venue just can't cope with the influx of people and traffic, nothing to do with the actual safety of the cheese-runners.

Besides, if it's not an actual "event" with an official organiser, but just something that happens, how are HSE (or anyone) actually going to stop it anyway?

Come on people, do your own thinking, don't let the Mail do it for you!

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WTF?

Lost it

the UK has totally lost the plot. No personal responsibility allowed, we pay people to do it for you..... a sad day.

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it's political correctness

gone crackers! >.<

yeah yeah, I was leaving any whey :D

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Pint

Fucking Bollox 2 the Lot of Them

E-nuff is e-nuff.

These are our lives. If we participate and kill ourselves - so be it.

If we participate, kill a spectator, and survive, c'est la vie. The spectator made a free choice to be there. Shit happens.

Where's the Rolling Cheese piccy?

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Anonymous Coward

Was the Mail article read?

I never thought I would be sticking up for the Mail, but it was quite clear in the article that the health & safety problem was caused by the number of spectators - Lester's reporting implies the Mail's take was different.

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Never refer to a newspaper headline...

It's not written by the author of the article, and at any rate this week we've seen just how inaccurate Daily Mail headlines are.

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Easy to blame H&S

"the event has become so popular that last year saw 15,000 spectators flock to the site, three times its capacity. Local roads were clogged with traffic "

This is nothing whatsoever to do with health and safety.

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Missed point

From what I've gleaned, its canceled because of health and safety for the (to large) crowd and not the cheese chasers. Would happen to any other event, so fair enough really

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