Didn't this happen before?
And the local people ignored the "cancellation" and went and did it anyway.
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" …
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.
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..!
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.
"...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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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.
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?
"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?
... 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!
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!
The problem is the audience, not the participants. It's just a large local hill, there is no car park, there is no significant access for anything. It's densely wooded, other than the bit that people throw themselves down. The bits that aren't covered in trees are covered in mud. They put up a rope bannister along the side of the hill, and you haul yourself up the rope to watch assorted rugby-club veterans and peer-pressured teens injure themselves.
There is simply no infrastructure to cope with the increased audience. There's nowhere for them to leave their cars. There's nowhere for coaches to pick up / drop off people.
It worked fine as a local event for local people. But there is simply no way for this to work as a national or international spectacle.
Long/lat 51.831,-2.158 if you're interested.
The organiser of the event was interviewed on Radio 4 this morning.
Yes, the problem is with the number of people who turned up to watch creating a concern for public order and health and safety. Even that wasn't the reason to cancel this year's event.
The proposal is to make it a ticket-only event (like many other gatherings). To control the numbers of people attending the organisers need to close off the land and control access. Unfortunately, Coopers Hill is common land with public footpaths. These can't be closed (even for one day) without the necessary permissions. Closing the common land and footpaths requires permission from councils. There isn't time to get the paperwork sorted for this year's event. So, ultimately the problem is bureaucracy.
As the organiser admitted: a victim of its own success.
the one time i did it (back in the day) there was nowhere near even 5k people there, even so they were very densely packed to either side of the descent.
agreed that 45 degrees is not vertical, however it looks pretty close to it when you are at the top looking down, and it is certainly steep enough to get a fair old pace on the relatively large cheese as it rolls & bounces down the uneven slope.
shortly after my one and only descent, both of these factors combined to send the cheese careening off at a wild angle, about 3 quarters of the way down the slope, straight into the crowd & injuring some poor member of the public to the extent they also got carted off in an ambulance, along with a few contestants of course.
great day out that was.
Our local council is stuffed to the gills with retards (as is the case for local councils throughout the country). They are typical jobsworths in all areas, but particularly when it comes to health and safety.
However, this doesn't stop them from making money every year by putting on an Airshow that allows a constant series of fighter jets to fly mere metres above the rooftops of houses in a densely populated area. Safety doesn't seem to be a consideration under those circumstances.
Cheese rolling pales in comparison.
Was in the sizeable crowd way back when the BBC filmed 'In at the deep end' with a young Christopher Searle and appeared in the TV footage along with a gang of mates circa late 80's.
Been down several times since, once even sober.
The IT angle - you think they would have a better web site.
Seems like the cheese has really slid off their cracker...
In Finland - part of Europe, therefore subject to European law, we have a wife-carrying competition*.
Problem. Should "Elf and Safty" be appalled that anyone is allowed to carry more than 25Kg, which is the EU limit for a person to convey? (looters and burglars exempt, natch)
Now, my Finnish missus is as thin as a rake, and weighs 65kg. If I carry her, will 'elf and softtbrain' fly to Finland to give me an unenforceable telling-off?
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wife_carrying (she promises she won't eat beans before the event...)
Maybe, like the hunt lobby, rather than a cheesy chase they can do a cheesy walk?
A tethered cheese taken for a cheesy walk with the winner satisfying some criteria?
most elegant walk
trendiest cheese with dullest walker
trendiest cheese with trendiest walker
and so on and so forth.
You know what the killer is?
UK local authorities have to uphold the Sustainable Communities Act.
Sooooo ... any one local to the area might badger/complain/otherwise motivate said local authority under said Act.
If transport is a region why the local authority might suggest spreading the venue over several fields , several villages and might even provide free transport between them.
BTW: UK local authorities tend to be very well populated with numptiz at employee and elected member levels.
Only a dullwit could have a suitable lack of nounce to end or breech a tradition such as that and the same dullwit will probably have the event in CV along with newspaper cuttings on the wall.
There are alternatives, shame the motivators for ending are not equally motivated to make it happen (complain under Sustainable Communities Act dudes!)
ps: might it not occur that effect of recession urm, ... cash crisis, ... urm ... financial sector putting the boot in , ... urm .. well, you know... might not downwardly influence numbers of people expected to visit?
A quote from summary of Sustainable Communities Act:
The aim of this section is to support local authorities, their partners and local people in their work to promote local sustainability. This provision will inform local authorities’ consultations with local people, strengthen local democracy and enhance the operation of the new Local Area Agreements by ensuring that there is greater accountability and transparency. We intend to ensure that local spending reports are closely linked with the regular and accessible information on local services that we have committed to provide for local communities.
Local spending reports will enable local authorities, their partners and communities to take better informed decisions about the priorities they choose to pursue to promote the sustainability of their local community. They will also enable local people and local authorities to identify which functions (and funding) they might propose should be transferred from one body to another.
Can't be bothered mentioning the source - it seems far too dull for sure babe.
It still begs the question about what local authority is doing to meet local initiatives in an accountable and sustainable manner.
It looks as if the answer is: .... ?
Does anyone have a link to the local council's accountability page that meets Sustainable Communities Act 2007?
ps: thought not (pre-emptive but true?)
Ponde is a small place out the back of Adelaide that is miles from anywhere. The Hell's Angels own some land out there, around 10 km from the nearest habitation. Back in the 70s and 80s, every year the bike gangs would have a communal bash out there. It was the one time each year that the Hell's Angels, Gypsy Jokers, Warlords and Rebels would put their differences aside and go and party together. At any other time, they'd be shooting up each others' houses and running each other off the road - but Ponde was sacred.
At first, it was just the bike gangs that went up there. Then their mates joined in, and their mates' mates, and the place became known as THE place to go for weed, hookers, hot bikes and loud music. It was where you went to meet dope dealers and hookers so you could score for the rest of the year. Live bikie bands, jam sessions, rides on Harleys, and the only people who ever got hurt up there were the ones who went to cause trouble. And the bikies dealt with the troublemakers very quickly and summarily. It was an awesome event, an archetypal sex'n'drugs'rock'n'roll free-for-all; everyone had fun, got drunk, stoned and laid, nobody got hurt, it was a chance for the gangs to settle their differences peaceably, and they bothered nobody.
Then one year in the early 90's the pigs (that's police to the straightlaced) decided to interfere. After all, the word was that you could get weed and hookers up there, and what with the War On Drugs and the War On Sex and the War On Anything Remotely Enjoyable, that just Had To Stop. However, there were 4 cops. And around 8000 bikies. None of whom had any respect - or fear - of cops. I don't need to elaborate on the results. And since the place was 10km up a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, and the cops, bereft of vehicles and radios, had to walk^H^H^H^Hlimp all the way back into Ponde, it took the riot squad so long to arrive that the bikies had packed up and gone home before they got there.
The next year the riot squad was ready. They busted everybody for drugs, prostitution, and started a massive riot that saw a number of pigs and bikies dead, all because they must needs Uphold The Law. Never mind that it was on private land, or that it inconvenienced nobody nearby, or that it was a social safety valve, or that there was never any trouble up there. They had Drugs And Sex, and that was just Not Allowed.
After that the State Government stepped in and tried to turn it into a "family-friendly" music and bike festival. Forcing kids and families on everybody meant they all had to be on their Best Behaviour. No drunkenness, no swearing, no fun, and most definitely no drugs or sex. And lots of cops and sniffer dogs to make sure the Rules were Obeyed.
It actually lasted in that form 2 years, then the bikies gave it up as a bad job. Since then the bike gang warfare in Adelaide has gotten much worse, because the gangs no longer have their safety valve. So now the gangs are being labelled "terrorists" and our city has been on the edge of outright warfare between them and the cops for the last 15 years. (Which, if you're wondering, is why Adelaide has the reputation of being the murder capital of the world.) All because a few interfering busybodies couldn't let sleeping dogs lie and leave them alone even just one weekend a fucking year.
Posted in bootnotes dude.
I think it is the anything goes here for sorta interesting stuff.
You can tell it is posted in Bootnotes because just under the authors name there is a link on the word Bootnotes that, unsuprisingly, takes the clicker to Bootnotes sections.
And lo! it is full of stuff
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