The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cheese Shop Sketch Proves Prescient

Well, this gives the words "intangible heritage" a whole new meaning. Apparently, the Gloucestershire cheese-rolling race (est. 1826) has been canceled due to over-crowding concerns. It's paradoxical, isn't it? Anachronistic practice gets popular, thus boosting people's interest in the local colour and flavour, and then gets cancelled due to administrative concerns, ending 200 years of tradition. [For those of you confused as to why cheese-rolling would even be invented, it dates back to the practice of putting on races at county fairs for things like expensive foodstuffs and clothing, thus giving poor people an opportunity to both win a luxury item (to use or pawn for cash) and to simultaneously provide entertainment for the masses. See here for a discussion of smock races, another popular entertainment of the 17th/18th century.]

3 comments:

Elee said...

Oh no! I used to live about 5 miles from where this took place! Sad that the council can't find any way to control it other than to shut it down completely... Maybe they're just pretending, and at 9am on the 31st May a tweet will go out to call people to Cooper's Hill after all...

BTW, J, I appreciated your nationalistic streak there - linking to a Canadian news site ;-)

Jenny said...

I suspect that there may well be illicit cheese rolling...

Jen said...

illicit cheese rolling let's go!!!!