Men taking part in the barrel race

Barrel rolling

The tradition of rolling large wooden barrels in a relay race up and down the Coton Road before lunch on Boxing Day was revived recently and has been very popular. Teams compete, usually four at a time to roll the empty barrels as rapidly as possible without injuring the crowds of spectators who risk life and limb while screaming encouragement from behind a thin wall of straw bales. All are welcome to enjoy an hour of eccentric, charity-funding mayhem followed by liquid refreshment in one of the local pubs. Races start at 12pm on 26th December.

See photos from the 2016 event here.

As of December 21st 2021, we are still planning on going ahead at noon with this year’s barrel race: subject to changing government rules of course.

8 thoughts on “Barrel rolling

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  4. Danielle Winner

    I was actually looking for info on UK barrel racing for horses and this popped up but couldn’t resist leaving a comment. This looks like a lot of fun for my husband to do will have to get his schedule figured out for December. Very funny thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  5. Simon Conway-Smith

    Finally attended the barrel rolling this year (live in nearby Lt Shelford). Was great fun. Can I suggest a ‘Churches Challenge’ race next year, e.g. Grantchester, Trumpington, Gt Shelford & Lt Shelford?

    Reply

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