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Gloucester cheese-rolling contest will continue

The annual cheese rolling competition, Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire

© Rex Features / South West News Service

The cheese rolling contest in Gloucester plans to go ahead this year.

Competitors will chase the 8lb Double Gloucester cheese 200 metres down Cooper's Hill, Brockworth near Gloucester.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn up to watch the race to catch the cheese. In 2009, over 15 000 people came to support the event, which caused safety concerns for the organisers. The following year it was cancelled, then in 2011 plans were halted as organisers' intentions to charge a £20 admission fee were met with protests.

However, although the event was officially cancelled in these years, it still went ahead and was run by local enthusiasts. The same thing will happen this year.

A statement was released by cheese-rolling.co.uk, saying: "Unless, and until a new organiser and sponsor (with deep pockets) comes forward to fund and promote this age-old tradition, the event will continue to be staged by local and unnamed enthusiasts, dedicated to the continuance of the event and its traditions."

The event, which gathers attention from around the world, has been celebrated for centuries, and is thought to originate from heathen festivities to honour the return of spring.

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