One of the UK’s wackiest traditions, the annual Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling is expected to undergo a controversial makeover this year, as French event organisers, Poisson d’Avril, have confirmed plans to take over the local tradition.
While it dates back to the 1800s, the Cheese Rolling was officially cancelled in 2010 following health and safety concerns – although that hasn’t stopped loyal competitors from flocking to Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester every year since – with 2016 set to see an official comeback with a continental twist.
Undergoing a complete rebrand, the event on Monday 20 May 2016 will now be known as Le Fromage de Roulement Français – which translates to The French Cheese Rolling – with the customary 8lb Double Gloucester cheese to be replaced by a traditional French 1kg Camembert wheel.
‘Using Camembert makes much more sense from a health and safety perspective, as the cheese is softer and will bounce nicely, with no danger of being injured by off-course cheeses for spectators,’ said a spokesperson from Poisson d’Avril.
The event will continue to see fearless contestants chase the cheese down the death-defyingly-steep slope, with thousands of local and international spectators expected to attend.
Visitor numbers from France are expected to be so high, Eurotunnel is rumoured to be putting on additional services between Folkestone and Calais, with special rates for passengers dressed as their favourite cheese.
What’s more, Le Fromage de Roulement Français will be continuing the Cheese Rolling tradition of an uphill race specifically for children, with the chance to win mini Babybels.
Are you looking forward to Le Fromage de Roulement Français, or do you think it's a foolish idea? Let us know in the comments below!
By Alice Lloyd
Friday 01 April 2016
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