Thousands watch Gloucestershire cheese rolling races

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Media captionGloucestershire cheese-rolling races attract thousands

Thousands of people gathered in Gloucestershire for the traditional cheese-rolling races on Cooper's Hill.

The unofficial event was organised by rebel cheese rollers, after plans for an official contest were axed in 2010.

Several thousand spectators turned out to watch thrill-seekers chase an 8lb (3.5kg) wheel of double Gloucester cheese down the 1:2 gradient hill.

All four races were won by cheese-chasers from the Brockworth area, who once again chased real cheese.

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Image caption Thousands of spectators gathered on Cooper's Hill for Gloucestershire's annual cheese-rolling races
Image copyright PA
Image caption The rough and uneven slope is almost impossible to remain on foot

In 2013, in a bid to make the race safer, revellers had to chase a foam imitation of a double Gloucester 656ft (200m) down the hill at Brockworth.

The fake fromage was then binned again in favour of a real wheel of cheese.

In total, four 8lb (3.5kg) and three smaller 3lb (1.5kg) cheeses were used - made by Smarts Cheese, which has been producing them for the event for more than 25 years.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Local cheese-chasers from the Brockworth area ran away with all four wheels of double Gloucester cheese
Image copyright PA
Image caption The lightweight foam version of the cheese, used two years ago, was binned again in favour of a real 8lb wheel of cheese
Image copyright PA
Image caption Four cheeses are used during the event

The winner of the first race was Chris Anderson, from Brockworth, who won a second double Gloucester cheese bringing his tally to 15 cheeses in ten years.

The second men's race was won for the third year running by local veteran cheese chaser, Ryan Fairley, 25, from Brockworth.

"I took a bit of a tumble... I had a plan where I was going to go but it didn't happen."

Unofficial races

The women's race was won by first timer Keavy Morgan, 16, also from Brockworth.

Cheese rolling dates back to at least the early 19th Century.

In 2009, the official event was scrapped after more than 15,000 people turned up, sparking safety fears over numbers at the site.

Every year since then unofficial races have been organised during the late spring bank holiday by local enthusiasts.

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