Cheese-maker warned against supplying Gloucester cheese-rolling

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Diana Smart
Image caption,
Diana Smart has been making cheeses for the event for about 25 years

A cheese-maker has been told by police she may be liable for legal action if she supplies Gloucester's famous annual cheese-rolling event.

The event sees revellers chase a wheel of Double Gloucester down a steep hill and has seen some participants injured.

Diana Smart, who makes the 7lb (3kg) cheese for the event at her Churcham farm, said police warned her about her responsibilities as organiser.

She said: "It made me feel pretty angry... there's not a lot we can do,"

Mrs Smart, 86, who has made cheese for the event for 25 years, said police had warned her she could be regarded as responsible if anybody was injured.

'Liability issues'

The cheese-rolling at Cooper's Hill dates back to at least the early 19th Century and this year's event is set to take place on Monday.

Some 15,000 people turned up for the last official cheese-rolling event in 2009 but the hill, near Brockworth, is only suitable to host about 5,000 spectators.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
The traditional event features people chasing a wheel of cheese down a steep hill

Unofficial races organised by local enthusiasts have been held during the late spring bank holiday each year since.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: "Advice has been given to all those who have participated in any planning of an unofficial cheese rolling event this coming bank holiday.

"This included the individuals who provide the cheese.

"We feel it is important that those who, by law, could be constituted as organisers of the event that they are aware of the responsibilities that come with it so that they can make an informed decision about their participation."

Police said they had visited Mrs Smart to advise her that, in the absence of a recognised organiser, anyone who facilitates the event could be deemed to be an organiser by default.

"In this case that person could then attract the legal liability issues that come with hosting the cheese-rolling," a spokesman said.

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