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A bit of Dutch courage ahead of famous Cooper's Hill cheese roll in Gloucester

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 23, 2014

A bit of Dutch courage ahead of famous Cooper's Hill cheese roll in Gloucester

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Dutch fans of fromage are making a pilgrimage to the West Country's famous cheese rolling.

The team from Gloucester's twin town Gouda run a cheese festival and when they heard of the obstacles competitors face in tumbling down Cooper's Hill in the madcap Bank Holiday tradition, they decided to offer some of their own to help.

Jasper Kuin and his pals had planned to bring an 11kg Gouda round with them but after hearing how rapidly a 3kg Double Gloucester bounds down the hill near Brockworth, they will be bringing some lighter versions of the cheese with them.

"We heard disturbing news about how people might not be able to follow this beautiful tradition dating back to the 1800s and we wanted to help," said Jasper, whose cheese festival is in its fourth year.

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"We were going to roll an 11kg cheese but we have been told that might not be very good for health and safety reasons and we understand that. We will have some at around 3kg and we want to try some Double Gloucester cheese too."

Last year, Gloucestershire police advised Birdwood cheese maker Diana Smart not to supply a Double Gloucester for the event but it went ahead on an unofficial basis, as it has since 2010.

This year all roads leading to Cooper's Hill on Monday will be closed and parking restrictions imposed.

It is not expected to deter cheese chasers, although it is very likely there will be no facilities or first aid on site.

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