Cheese chasers vow to continue

Preston and Leyland Citizen: Rebel cheese chasers are set to gather on Cooper's Hill near Gloucester for an unofficial Cheese Rolling race Rebel cheese chasers are set to gather on Cooper's Hill near Gloucester for an unofficial Cheese Rolling race

Rebel cheese chasers are expected to flip, somersault and tumble their way to the foot of a steep hill - chasing an 8lb Double Gloucester.

Thrill seekers plan to continue the tradition of staging an unofficial event after the world-famous Cheese Rolling was cancelled in 2010.

The event has been advertised online stating it "will continue, as in many years past, to be staged by local and unnamed enthusiasts, dedicated to the continuance of the event and its traditions."

The race takes place at Cooper's Hill, in Brockworth, near Gloucester, and attracts participants, spectators and media from around the world.

Hundreds of people are expected to watch as daredevil athletes pursue the Double Gloucester cheese 200 metres down the 1:2 gradient slope. Competitors will chase the cheese to the bottom of the hill in spectacular fashion with the "winner" being the first person to grab the cheese.

The unusual event has been celebrated for centuries and is thought to have its roots in a heathen festival to celebrate the return of spring.

But in 2009 more than 15,000 people turned up as spectators causing safety concerns. The event was cancelled in 2010 and in 2011 it was halted after plans to charge £20 were met with protests. However, both years the competition went ahead unofficially.

A statement on cheese-rolling.co.uk said: "Unless and until a new organiser and sponsor (with deep pockets) comes forward to fund and promote this age old tradition, the event will continue to be staged by local and unnamed enthusiasts, dedicated to the continuance of the event and its traditions.

"As the cheese rolling event at Cooper's Hill no longer has an official organising committee, it is impossible to confirm the exact details of this year's event.

"In 2012 the late spring bank holiday has been moved to the first Monday in June to coincide with the additional bank holiday on June 5th to give people in the UK the opportunity of a 4-day weekend to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is assumed therefore that the cheese rolling will happen on Monday 4th June."

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