Barnoldswick Local History Articles

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I know I’m a grumpy old man but really…… I think I may have found the daftest example of PC Thought Police activity ever.

Every year a bunch of nutters gathers at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire and chases an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese 200 yards down a 45 degree slope. Injuries are common and this year’s winner, Chris Anderson, was clutching the cheese to his chest as he was stretchered away to hospital. There were a few more injuries, broken ankles and arms and grazed and bloody knees but they all enjoyed themselves, entertained a crowd of over 4000 spectators and didn’t frighten the horses.

I’m all in favour of activities like this, completely pointless and mad but somehow a very valuable evidence that the human spirit hasn’t been completely eroded by modern living.

However, there has been a protest. Vegans have branded the activity as ‘unethical’ and say that a non-dairy alternative should be used instead of a proper cheese. An animal rights group, Peta, announced that ‘It’s just not fair that vegans can’t enjoy the fun of cheese-rolling’.

So what’s my problem? I have no objection at all to people having strange beliefs or indeed, strange views about what constitutes good fun on a Whitsun Bank Holiday but what I would object to is somebody advancing the view that chasing the cheese was compulsory or at least, evidence of concern. So I object to vegans or anyone else telling me that I am at fault for eating cheese or chasing it down a hill. Give the cheese-rollers their due, they admit that they are bonkers but do their own thing. Methinks the vegans should follow their example, polish their plastic footwear, have a good swig of GM Soya Milk and keep stumm!

I think at the root of my rage is the arrogance of people who have decided they are right and try to impose their views on others. It is an extreme form of lack of politeness and lack of consideration for others. They should pursue their unnatural habits in private and not burden the rest of us with their cranky theories.

SCG/31 May 2005