Shropshire Star

Shropshire soap box derby set to be a weekend record breaker

Soap box racers in the county are getting ready for a record-breaking event after the last two annual charity fundraisers were cancelled.

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File picture of the Richards Castle soap box derby

Some 38 soap box creations are set to hurtle down the track at Hanway Common this Sunday, June 26, which the organisers say will be a record.

"There is a good junior turnout with karts driven by young people aged 12 to 16, and plenty of karts, both four- and three-wheel, in the senior section," said an event spokesman.

"With team names ranging from Toy Story R.C, the Bugsey Boys and the Boot Inn Bootleggers spectators can look forward to some fun novelty karts as well as some built for speed."

Racers are due to travel from as far and wide as Plymouth and Hertfordshire as well as some favourite local entries such as the Orleton Primary school red bus, Wallace and Gromit and the Return of the Trotters.

The course is 550m long with a descent of 50m, with parts of the course steeper than others meaning participants can expect to reach 30-40mph. Soap boxes will be given the opportunity of at least three runs and will set off singly at intervals, electronically timed.

The event, which raises up to £15,000 annually, has always supported local charities. This year the three selected charities are Ludlow Ukrainian Refugee Support Group, The Hope Centre in Bromyard, and Ludlow’s Men in Sheds.

The Ludlow Ukrainian Refugee Support Group is a stand-alone community action group.

The aim is to make Ludlow a hub for supporting Ukrainian refugees across south west Shropshire.

They intend to set up and provide English language lessons, support in seeking employment and in claiming Universal Credit, and access to IT and mobile phones.

In Bromyard, The Hope Centre has been supporting the local community for nearly 25 years.

The centre has a cafe and IT Suite, and the donation from the Soap Box Derby will be used to help replace ageing computers.

Ludlow’s Men in Sheds is continuing to build upon its success in supporting the community throughout the Covid pandemic.

It hosts activities including woodwork and DIY, and supports groups of men together as part of social activity.

The Soap Box Derby takes place on the hillside above the village of Richards Castle mid-way between Leominster and Ludlow, right on the border of Herefordshire & Shropshire, with fantastic views for miles over to the Malvern hills and beyond.

The event starts at 10am on June 26, parking is on site. Payment of £5 per adult on the gate, children under 16 free of charge.

Organisers advise visitors to pack a picnic or enjoy sampling the local food for sale at the event and come and experience the thrill of the hill.

In addition to soap box racing there will be a range of local caterers, bouncy castles and lunch time entertainment including the Welsh Axemen, brass band, lawnmower racing, rally and car clubs and more.

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