Shropshire Star

Soap box derby gearing up to celebrate its 20th anniversary event

A soap box derby will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first time the weird and wacky inventions began rocking and rolling down a course near Ludlow.

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Richards Castle Soap Box Derby 2023. In Picture: Jason Burrow from Gloucester - Runaway Baby.

This year's Richard's Castle Soap Box Derby will be held on June 30 and it will be the 20th time the event has been held on the inclines of Hanway Common, near Ludlow.

Richard's Castle Soap Box Derby organised its first event in June 2004 and since then has raised more than £150,000 to support local charities and organisations.

The seed of the idea came from Humphrey & Hermione Salwey as part of the calendar of events in 2004 when Mr Salwey was High Sheriff of Shropshire.

Getting ready for the derby with his "Retractable Tower of Pisa" soap box is Thomas Maitland, 15 in 2008

Original committee members, some of whom are still integral to the organisation 20 years later, remember an initial meeting in the autumn of 2003 to discuss the idea.

Ian Broome, one of the original committee, said: “We were joined by organisers of the Mansel Lacy Soap Box Derby who talked us through the operation of their event. Their experience and knowledge really helped us organise our first event."

Ian Astley, a septuagenarian from Bishopstone near Hereford, and the undefeated champion at Richard's Castle Soap Box Derby retired and sold his soap box to raise funds for the Richard's Castle Soap Box Derby charities and his local village hall.