Cheese rolling gets the stamp of ap­proval as event is in­cluded in Royal Mail’s new col­lec­tion

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

» 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.

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