Close cookies panel

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience.

If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website.

An annual ‘fromage affray’ in Gloucestershire!

Posted by Jonathan Broom on 21 May 2018
Related property: Buckland Court
An annual ‘fromage affray’ in Gloucestershire!

What a peculiar place Britain is.

Glorious countryside, a wealth of history, beautiful villages, vibrant towns and majestic cities – and a population who, by and large, are friendly, tolerant, inclusive and laid-back. We’re proud, but we wear our Britishness lightly.

But we’re also prone to doing things which, to foreigners, must seem utterly incomprehensible. Or, at least, completely pointless. Bog-snorkelling. Dwyle-flunking. Egg-throwing. And more.

The first is a relatively recent addition to the British sporting calendar – but the origins of the last two go back centuries.

As does cheese-rolling.

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an event staged every year on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester, just shy of 30 miles from Buckland Court. It was traditionally organised (and participated in) by the denizens of the local village of Brockworth, but its popularity has gathered pace (rather like the cheese) to the point that people now come from all over the world to watch, and to take part.

The format is simple. From the crest of Cooper’s Hill, a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is sent rolling down, and competitors hare off down the hill after it. The first participant to cross the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. In theory, contestants are aiming to catch the cheese; however, this is only even faintly possible at the beginning. It has a head start of about a second (in the picture at top the cheese, towards the bottom right, is already pulling out a lead) and can reach speeds up to 70mph – enough to knock over and injure a spectator. Indeed, injuries are not unheard-of; onlookers largely escape unscathed, but the competitors are barrelling down a one-in-three gradient, and they do not hold back.

It's not the flying that hurts - it's the landing: a cheese-chaser takes to the air

Originally the event took place on Whit Monday, but it is now a fixture on the Spring Bank Holiday. How did it start? Two theories:

The first is that it evolved from a need to maintain animal grazing rights on the common – though whether the annual staging of the event renewed and perpetuated the grazing rights of the local peasantry as a whole, or just conferred grazing rights on the lucky winner, is not known. But the second, more romantic, explanation is that it followed on from the pagan custom  of rolling objects down the hill; it is believed that bundles of burning brushwood were rolled down to mark the start of a new year following the winter. How blazing faggots evolved into a round of Gloucestershire’s finest curd is anyone’s guess; but linked to this belief is the traditional scattering of sweetmeats at the top of the hill by the Master of Ceremonies, thought to be a fertility ritual to encourage a bountiful harvest.

Until recent years the cheese-rolling was managed in a semi-official manner by elected locals, but in early 2010 the ‘organisers’ incurred widespread opprobrium following an announcement of how the 2011 event would be run. Plans had been made to bring the cheese-rolling under the jurisdiction of the local council, which ordered that security should be brought in; that there should be perimeter fencing to facilitate crowd control; and that fee-paying spectator areas should be set up.

Since which time the event has proceeded without management; the locals weren’t having it. So perhaps, as well as friendly, tolerant, inclusive and laid-back, we might also add of the British: ‘occasionally bolshy’.

This year’s cheese-rolling takes place on 28th May – which means that by the time you read this, in all probability you’ll have missed it. But there’s always next year, and the year after that, and the year after that... Another national characteristic: we do not let our traditions go lightly.

Taking part is for the foolhardy – but it’s a heck of a thing to witness; and well worth the trip from Buckland Court.

Share this post:
Jonathan Broom

Jonathan Broom

How can I find out more?

The Holiday Property Bond could do as much for your quality of life as it has done for many thousands of families who have already invested. That's why we invite you to get in touch with us in any of these 3 ways and please don't forget our unique 'Money back promise' and 'interest free loan' options.


We're so confident you'll be delighted with HPB
that we offer you a 'Money Back Promise'!

In regular surveys, Bondholders tell us how happy they are with HPB holidays. That's why we feel confident in giving you the extra reassurance of our unprecedented 'Money Back Promise':

If you take your first HPB holiday within three years of investing and are not, for any reason, entirely happy, you can apply to cash in your HPB investment within 14 days of your return. Whatever the encashment value, the parent company of the issuer of HPB will make up any difference so that you get back the full amount of your original payment, including charges.

This offer applies to a holiday at any HPB owned property which is taken by at least one of the Bondholders themselves.

Full details of the offer will be provided before you invest.

Request our brochure Speak to a representative Visit an Open Day or Exhibition

Please request our fully
illustrated brochure

Please read "How HPB works" and then we will be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, along with our full length DVD introduced by Bondholder Sue Barker and a list of forthcoming Open Days and Exhibitions. See the beautiful holiday homes and magnificent locations where you can spend your holidays as a Bondholder.

Please complete and submit the form or,
alternatively, telephone our FREE brochure request line on 0800 230 0391

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?

We will use the details you provide above to send you our detailed HPB brochure and keep you updated about HPB holiday offers.

* Indicates required fields

You can speak to one of our representatives

Your local HPB representative will be happy to call or meet you at a convenient time and place for an informal chat. Simply fill in your details and we'll do the rest.

Most of our representatives are Bondholders themselves and all have visited a number of Bond sites.

The representative will give you all the information you need and then leave you to make up your own mind. He or she will talk to you about your holiday requirements and what level of investment is needed to secure the kind of holidays you want.

Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Telephone number *  
Post code
iBy giving us your post code we can find a representative near you.
How did you hear about us?
Your message

One of our representatives will contact you using the information above.

* Indicates required fields

See our stunning properties
for yourself

Attending an Open Day at an HPB holiday location is an enjoyable way to see what HPB has to offer. Just turn up and stay as long as you wish – there is no need to make an appointment. The representatives will introduce themselves and answer your questions. You will also be invited to inspect the site and see HPB’s high standards for yourself.

Alternatively, you are welcome to attend one of our Exhibitions at a hotel near you. You can chat to one of our representatives, ask your questions and watch our complete DVD 'travelogue' of HPB locations.


This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited ("HPBM") registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPBM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, issued by HPB Assurance Limited ("HPBA") registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Limited registered at HSBC House, Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1GT. The Securities Manager is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LR.

Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies. No medical examination required. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM who will only charge for their services if you invest. HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA.

AS FEATURED IN The Telegraph BBC Daily Mail The Sunday Times