Cheese rolling gets the stamp of approval as event is included in Royal Mail’s new collection
» ROYAL Mail has announced that the Cooper’s Hill cheese rolling event will be getting its own stamp in a new collection.
It will be part of the ‘curious customs’ collection, which features eight events from around the country.
The colourful illustrations depict and capture the spirit of well-known – and some not so well-known – annual customs taking place around the UK.
Brockworth’s cheese rolling sees contestants run down Cooper’s Hill after a big round wheel of Double Gloucester. The first person to catch it, or get to the bottom of the hill first, gets to keep it.
Royal Mail worked with awardwinning folklorist, Steve Roud, on the stamp issue.
Cheese rolling committee member, Candis Phillips, spoke of her pride in the stamp and what she now believed would happen because of the achievement.
She said: “The Royal Mail contacted me about a year ago to tell us about the stamp and ask if we were OK with it and to have a look at the design for them.
“We were sworn to secrecy because of copyright issues, but when we saw the design we thought it was brilliant and so colourful.
“I felt very proud of it. As the oldest member of the committee I could really understand and see how important this is for the heritage and longevity of the event. Personally I feel it’s amazing – more than amazing. It’s a staple in British culture.”
Candis believes that if Cooper’s Hill is not maintained and taken responsibility of then the landmark will erode and the event will have to be stopped.
She said: “The reality will be that it will stop if the hill is not maintained.
“It needs to be left alone for two or three years. Maybe the cheese rolling might have to stop every two years or three years, like Glastonbury, to allow it to go on long-term.
“The stamp and collaboration will help that along.”
Some customs are often geared to the seasons, while others are linked to religious festivals and saints’ days, sporting events or specific occupations.
Philip Parker, of Royal Mail, said: “Communities throughout the UK have been coming together for centuries to share distinctive traditions and mark key dates of the year.
“These customs continue to evolve, and our new stamps celebrate their diversity and the communities that maintain them.”
The stamps and a range of collectible products are available now by visiting shop.royalmail.com or by phoning 03457 641 641. They are also available at 7,000 post offices throughout the UK.