Cambridgeshire

Stilton cheese rolling cancelled as 'no longer seen as cool'

Cheese rolling in Stilton Image copyright Stilton Community Association
Image caption Teams roll a log shaped like a block of cheese in Stilton

An annual cheese rolling event in a village famed for its dairy connections has been cancelled as it is no longer seen as "cool", organisers said.

It has taken place for more than 50 years in Stilton, Cambridgeshire, which some claim to be the true home of its namesake cheese.

However, the organisers cancelled the May event citing a lack of interest, the Peterborough Telegraph reported.

Only two teams registered last year but it is hoped it will go ahead in 2019.

"In recent years there has been a disappointing lack of enthusiasm for taking part in the cheese rolling," Olive Main and Carol Warren from Stilton Community Association wrote on Facebook.

"To make a real contest we need 12 to 16 men's teams and eight to 12 ladies teams. We have not come anywhere near these targets for four years," they added.

Enough teams came forward to bolster the two that actually registered last year and the race went ahead.

"It is no longer seen as 'cool'," they wrote.

Image copyright Google
Image caption One village sign depicts cheese rolling
Image copyright Adrian Cable/Geograph
Image caption Another bears a plaque claiming the village is the original home of the blue cheese

In addition to a "disappointing lack of enthusiasm" for rolling cheese-shaped logs around the village, no-one wants to organise the race.

"The team who ran the cheese rolling races retired after 2017's event and no-one has come forward to replace them," Ms Main and Ms Warren said.

The cost of organising the event, insuring it, disposing of waste, and "public order" issues were also cited as reasons for the cancellation.

Image copyright Stilton Community Association
Image caption The race was dreamt up in 1959 to encourage tourists to the village

A number of people have expressed disappointment at the news, with one pointing out the Stilton village sign depicts cheese rolling.

"Maybe the sign should be removed as we can't be bothered anymore," he wrote.

The event was originally dreamt up to encourage visitors after the village was by-passed by the A1 in 1959.

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