Shropshire Star

Teams getting on their soap boxes as they prepare to take on the "thrill of the hill" in south Shropshire

Eager would be engineers are getting on their soap boxes - literally - to create entries for an event being held next month.


The Richards Castle Soap Box Derby will be held on June 25 at a downhill course on the hillside at Hanway Common with a huge crowd expected.

Pupils at Orleton Primary School, near Ludlow, are queuing up to enrol for the most popular club every Wednesday evening to design and build this years’ entry of a cart into the Richards Castle Soap Box Derby.

They will be entering two novelty carts - and three brave members of staff have agreed to enter them in the race.

Head of school Emma Morgan along with Charlotte Munday and Hannah Milde are gearing up to ride the latest creation. Previous models have included a red school bus and a slice of cake.

“The whole school community get together around the event," said Emma. "The experience of helping to build and design the cart offers children the opportunity to develop skills of design and team work, together with practical skills like using a circular saw.

"So many of our families attend the event in June to cheer us on as we race down the hillside – it really is a great community event.”

Richards Castle Soap Box Derby is a charity event to raise money for local charities.

Local charities set to benefit from funds raised on the day in 2023 are The Kite Group at Marches Family Network and Ludlow Sight Loss And Hearing Loss Group.

Organisers are hoping for another record breaking event after raising more than £15,000 in 2022.

Marches Family Network is a well-established, registered charity supporting children with disabilities and their families across Herefordshire and the surrounding areas. The main aims of Marches Family Network are to include and empower all children with a disability and their families.

The Kite Project delivers accessible, inclusive activities to young people with disabilities and their siblings. They will have opportunities to take part in a wide variety of activities including cookery workshops, sports sessions, arts and crafts, bushcraft skills sessions, and music and dance workshops.

Ludlow Hearing Loss service provides support to elderly local people who are facing sensory loss.

Older hearing aid wearers are often at risk of seclusion without a working hearing aid and can quickly become “cut off”, lonely and depressed.

The service works with NHS Audiology to pair hearing aid wearers with trained volunteers who help wearers as they adjust.

As well as home visits there are meetings on the third Monday of every month in Ludlow Library.

These meetings provide communication tips and also support friends, family and carers if they struggle to come to terms with their family members hearing loss.

Ludlow Sight Loss Support Group offers all kinds of activities to encourage local people with sight loss to keep active, meet new friends, stay confident and have fun.

It also allows people with varying degrees of sight loss to share lived experiences and problems they have encountered. This helps members to overcome difficulties as they feel supported and listened to.

The group meets in Ludlow Library on the second Monday of the month. It offers a mix of speakers and activities. The trained specialised volunteers are also able to recommend equipment and advise on access to courses on living with sight loss.

The Soap Box Derby takes place on the hillside above the village of Richards Castle mid-way between Leominster and Ludlow. The event starts at 10am on June 25, parking is on site.

Organisers want people to be there and "experience the thrill of the hill" as you watch soap boxes tear down the 550m track at speeds of up to 30-40miles an hour. In addition to Soap Box racing there is a range of local caterers, bouncy castles and lunch time entertainment including lawnmower racing, rally and car clubs and more.

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