SWNS is now the largest independent press agency in the UK with 13 offices spanning the UK, but we started out in Bristol as South West News Service, where our head office still stands (together with our corporate photography bookings desk). Since our inception in the early 1970s, SWNS photographers have been capturing the annual Cooper’s Hill cheese rolling and wake event for publication in the national press. It’s almost become as traditional for SWNS as it is for the villagers of Brockworth.
The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is the annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester. It was traditionally contested by residents of Brockworth village, but now people from all over the world take part.
This year SWNS staff photographer Peter Summers went along to the even to capture the chaos. Although the close-up photos are always entertaining, Peter managed to capture some long-range shots using a powerful lens that provide an amazing overview of the entire race unfolding. We loved the long-range shots so much, they are our pictures of the week.
Peter said “The whole concept of people hurtling down a hill after a massive wheel of cheese is so typically British and the atmosphere created by the swarms of people that came to see people risk life and limb to do so was amazing. The job wasn’t the easiest I’ve ever covered as there’s the challenge of both getting a shot with the ‘cheese’ in frame and also getting people flailing down the hill like there’s no tomorrow. That being said it was one of the more enjoyable jobs I’ve shot and it provides really good photos. ”