The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in England. It is traditionally by and for the people who live in the local village of Brockworth, but now people from all over the world take part.
In recent years, it has been managed in a quasi-official manner, but since 2010 the event has taken place spontaneously without any management
From the top of the hill a 7 lb round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled, and competitors race down the hill after it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. In theory, competitors are aiming to catch the cheese, however it has around a one second head start and can reach speeds up to 70 mph, enough to knock over and injure a spectator.
Due to the steepness and uneven surface of the hill there are usually a number of injuries. A first aid service is provided by the local St John Ambulance at the bottom of the hill, with a volunteer rescue group on hand to carry down to them any casualties who do not end up at the bottom through gravity. A number of ambulance vehicles attend the event, since there is invariably at least one, and often several injuries requiring hospital treatment. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling has been summarised as “twenty young men chasing a cheese off a cliff and tumbling 200 yards to the bottom, where they are scraped up by paramedics and packed off to hospital.”