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Anorak | Jon Venables And The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Race Create A Daily Mail Wet Nightmare

Jon Venables And The Cooper’s Hill Cheese Race Create A Daily Mail Wet Nightmare

by | 13th, March 2010

CHEESE gives you nightmares, like, er, Jon Venables (Really, you need to read this til the end.). The Mail seized upon the story that the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Race has been axed. Cheese racers will not be charging down the 1:1 gradient Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth, Gloucestershire, in pursuit of a Double Gloucester.
Taboid Watch blog’s MacGuffin takes  a look at how a story is distorted to comply with the narrative: It’s Daily Mail News gone Mad!
Here’s a classic Mail headline:

A two-hundred-year-old British tradition ruined by ‘health and safety killjoys’? It’s a Mail wet dream:

One of the UK’s oldest traditional events has been killed off this year after falling victim to health and safety concerns.

But, as usual with such stories, it’s not entirely accurate.

Yes, this year’s race at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester has been cancelled. But:

The organisers of the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake regret to announce that the 2010 event has been cancelled.

The attendance at the event has far outgrown the location where it has traditionally been held for several hundred years: last year more than 15,000 people tried to attend (according to official estimates) which is more than three times the capacity of the site.

So the organisers cancelled it. Not ‘health and safety killjoys’ then?

And it’s nothing to do with the actual cheese-roll race itself, which the Mail seems to imply.
While quoting some of the comments left on the Committee’s blog, they ignore some of the others. Such as:

Being another committee bloke can we just make it clear here that the police, council or hse do not organise the cheese roll, nor have they stopped it. We the committee organise the event and now that we have the support and help of the council and police, we WILL continue to do so.

Not ‘health and safety killjoys’ then?

Another committee member says:

Last year the roads around the site were blocked for miles, visitors’ cars were abandoned everywhere when traffic stopped flowing and many were then vandalised.

Not ‘health and safety killjoys’ then?

In their official statement, they say:

The organisers are working with the local Authorities and Police to control numbers which will enhance:

– crowd safety

– respect for the local community

– emergency vehicle access

– traffic flow on local and trunk roads

Unlike many of the commentators on the Mail website, I have been to Cooper’s Hill and it’s a very awkward place to get to, along some very narrow roads. Given that accidents and injuries do happen, access is important.

And how many Mail readers would appreciate roads around where they live being ‘blocked for miles’ by outsiders?

Although the Mail moderators have let through quite a few comments which point out the headline and article are wrong, there are still plenty of mindless, frothing, ignorant outbursts.

‘Best’ of the lot? This cracker:

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Picture 1 of 13

Competitors run after a Double Gloucester cheese down a steep slope with a one-in-two gradient, for the ancient daredevil sport of cheese rolling. About 50 competitors took part in four races at Cooper's Hill in Brockworth near Cheltenham. * Veteran winner Steve Brain, 32, had his title as the top cheese roller snatched from him by fellow competitor Craig Brown, 26.



Posted: 13th, March 2010 | In: Reviews Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink