Sunday, 28 December 2014

Grantchester Barrel Race - 2014

The good folk of Cambridgeshire gathered at the Grantchester Barreldrome (otherwise known as the Coton Road) on December 26 for the Barrel-Rolling Championships. Contestants had been limbering up in the four village pubs beforehand but most of them made it to the start by 12 noon. The honorary starter this year was local celebrity Martin the Postman, who has been delivering our letters for the past twenty-five years. So lets watch the start of the first race.....


....all lined up neatly for the start....

....hey, it's not as easy as it looks....

....OK, now we've got the hang of it....

....how did that happen....?

Practising before the event is frowned upon so competitors have to work it out as they go along (or go wrong!). There are men's and women's races for the staff and regulars of the pubs, then an open race for any village teams which people can organise, then there are two "international" races featuring crack teams from other villages. Lets check out the various styles on display....



                                                                                   


As it's a back-and-forth relay there is plenty of scope for things going a little awry....




This year, for the first time in human history, the team from the little village of Madingley were victorious in the County Championships....


The ladies from the Blue Ball pub won their race and can here be seen on the medal podium....("It's a builders' truck!" - whaddaya mean ?)



Money raised from the collection and the sale of programmes went to the local church and The Samaritans. Here's a video I managed to take of the Open Race, where the Cricket Club,in blue, were victorious.....


Take care.



20 comments:

  1. What great fun. I do love these kind of events :)

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  2. Wow, amazing competition. I would like to take part in it

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  3. And it is fantastic beause you are a teacher as me.

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  4. Brilliant! So much fun from something so simple... or is it??!! Take care.

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  5. Hi John ... that looked exhausting .. I'm exhausted watching your video ... crumbs!!! I thought the blue guy had magnets attached to his barrel and the white line had iron filings in the paint .. straight as a die, then the 2nd, 3rd and 4th legs less and less straight .. fun .. I read the paper write up - but your video does it way more justice, as too your photos .. thanks .. cheers HIlary

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  6. Seems like a fun event--almost as much fun as the cheese-rolling in Eltham each year!

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  7. How fun! Love all your action shots.

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  8. So that's what you do on Boxing Day these days! I would have thought you might be rolling BOXES though! Ha ha. What fun!

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  9. Interesting activity for Boxing Day.
    Thank God - the "rollers' had, hopefully, very thick gloves on.
    A crash/clash of two barrels with those steel rims and hey presto - exit fingers!
    Have been a witness to such an incident - not pretty.
    Here those types of beer barrels are a thing of the past, but the beer is far better tasting
    than in our new aluminium ones. Some old establishment and family owned ( not many of these
    now days) have some beer on tap from wooden barrels.
    Cheers
    Aussie Col (Brisbane)

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  10. An amazing race. What fun for the locals.

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  11. Oh yeah I bet this would be real interesting.

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  12. Looks like great fun and lots of exercise and fresh air after the festivities the day before:)

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  13. I have a feeling that one of these pictures appeared in the Times John - but maybe there are other barrel races on Boxing Day. I must say that you have made an excellent job of taking us there - I love the facial expressions.

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  14. First barrel rolling race I've ever seen!

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  15. Looks fun, roll out the barrel. There looks to be a certain technique to keeping them straight.

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  16. John, there is no shortage of fun in Cambridgeshire!

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  17. The Blues look pretty professional, - is there a League of Barrel Rollers?

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  18. This beats a sack race any day! I have never seen anything like this.
    All the best to you for the coming year!

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  19. Vauu ... it looks very fun happening. And the rolling really is not easy (I have scrolled car tires at the street when it has to replace the season tires in the car. It has been also difficult.)
    Wish you happy new year, John.

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