In Photos: Cooper’s Hill cheese roll

In Photos: Cooper’s Hill cheese roll
Each year in the Cotswolds, hundreds of competitors sprint down a sheer, uneven cliff to chase after a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese, risking injury and even consciousness. This year we sent photographer Theo McInnes to capture the action.

The first written record of cheese rolling at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire, England, is from 1862. It is thought that at the time the document – a note to Gloucester’s town crier – was written, the tradition had already been taking place for hundreds of years. There are competing origin stories for the practice, which involves the throwing of a nine pound wheel of cheese down the 200 yard long hill, which is chased after by competitors aiming to catch it.

The practice, which attracts huge crowds to the otherwise sleepy Cotswold hills every spring bank holiday, is believed to have begun as a way of maintaining grazing rights over the land. Other theories point to Pagan origins, where burning bundles of brushwood were rolled down hills to celebrate the end of winter and the coming of the new year.

Either way, the event is now world famous, attracting visitors from as far away as Australia to take part. There are four races throughout the day, where people race one another to claim the Double Gloucester cheese – made locally – and the crown. As one might expect, many of those throwing themselves down a sheer, uneven cliff at speed find themselves injured. Last year, Canadian Delaney Irving won the ladies race despite finishing unconscious. She found out about her victory in the medical tent.

This year's event was no different, with around 5,000 gathering to chant “cheese, cheese, cheese” as contenders once again flung themselves down the hill. Huck photographer Theo McInnes was there to capture all the action.

Follow Theo McInnes on Instagram.

Enjoyed this article? Follow Huck on Instagram and on Twitter.

Support stories, and see more exclusive content by becoming a member of Club Huck.

Latest on Huck

Save the date for Rishi’s Leaving Drinks
Election 2024

Save the date for Rishi’s Leaving Drinks

Huck is teaming up with our friends at Dalston Superstore and Queer House Party to bring you an election night viewing party like no other.

Written by: Ben Smoke

Activists claim victory after major UK festivals drop Barclays as a sponsor
Activism

Activists claim victory after major UK festivals drop Barclays as a sponsor

Groups and artists have been campaigning for Live Nation to drop the bank as a sponsor for Download, Latitude and Isle of Wight over alleged ties to the arms trade.

Written by: Ben Smoke

Exploring the football fanatic culture of the Middle East
Outdoors

Exploring the football fanatic culture of the Middle East

New photo book ‘Football كرة القدم’ draws together pictures from over a dozen photographers to explore the region’s vibrant football culture.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Drag artists unite to get out the vote, babes
Election 2024

Drag artists unite to get out the vote, babes

East London legend Crystal talks to Huck about her new campaign, Vote, Babes! which brings together over 20 drag artists to encourage young people to use their vote.

Written by: Ben Smoke

I interrupted Keir Starmer’s manifesto launch – here’s why
Election 2024

I interrupted Keir Starmer’s manifesto launch – here’s why

One of Starmer’s constituents, Alice tried every way to talk to her then MP about the crisis facing her generation, but he did not listen she writes exclusively for Huck.

Written by: Alice, Green New Deal Rising

Bashy: “My dad kept me alive”
Culture

Bashy: “My dad kept me alive”

In our latest Daddy Issues column, award winning actor and MC Ashley “Bashy” Thomas talks traditional masculinity, learning survival skills from his Dad and ‘making it’.

Written by: Robert Kazandjian

Sign up to our newsletter

Issue 80: The Ziwe issue

Buy it now