Safety Issues Kill Fabled UK Cheese Roll

Too many spectators for centuries-old event: authorities
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2010 7:12 PM CST

(Newser) – A centuries-old tradition of rolling 7-pound wheels of cheese down a steep hill in the British town of Brockworth has fallen victim to modern concerns over safety, with authorities canceling this year’s event, scheduled for May 31, over fear of injury to competitors and spectators. Last year’s event drew some 15,000—three times as many as the 200-yard hill can handle, the Daily Mail reports; 18 injuries were reported, 10 suffered by spectators.

“I do understand the issues about the crowd,” says one thwarted competitor, “but wish that the local authorities had worked harder to ensure that we don’t lose another part of our English culture to issues of crowd health and safety.” Organizers are working to modify the format in hopes of renewing the competition next year.

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