RACE IS RUNAWAY SUCCESS
ORGANISERS of Cheadle’s first Soapbox Challenge are revving up to make it a permanent fixture on the town’s calendar.
More than 2,000 people lined the streets to watch all manner of home-made carts racing down the street in a competition perhaps fittingly described as a ‘runaway success’.
Sunday’s race, thought to be the first of its kind in the Moorlands, raised more than £1,300 towards the return of Cheadle Carnival after an absence of 20 years.
Delighted Tim Cliffe, chairman of the Carnival Committee, this week confirmed the competition will be back next year and is likely to become an annual event.
“It was an outstanding success and the support we received, both from the challengers and from the Cheadle public, was overwhelming,” he said.
“Everyone has been talking about how much they enjoyed it and lots of people who weren’t involved this time have said they’d like to be involved next time.
“We’ve now decided we’re definitely running it again next year. All of the teams in this year’s race said they’ll come back and I’ve already received a lot of enquiries from other people who want to enter.
“We’re looking to bring it forward to the end of May ahead of the Carnival on July 6-8, we’ll alter the track to make it even more exciting and we want to make it bigger and better.”
A total of 24 teams, including three juniors and featuring a fabulous array of powerless carts built by hand, entered the competition which took place along an elevated 600m section of Glebe Road.
Racers battled it out individually to complete the course in the quickest time before ramps and bumps were introduced for the second run.
Jason Flanagan, from Cheadle, emerged as the quickest driver in his version of ‘The Anthill Mob’ car from classic TV cartoon Wacky Races.
Each racer was asked to sign a disclaimer ahead of the start and had to wear a helmet and safety clothing.
Mr Cliffe added: “All of the competitors put a huge amount of time and effort into making their vehicles not only as quick as they could be but also to look the part.
“It was just a fantastic, unbelievable success and I’d like to thank everyone who helped, from the volunteers who put in so much work throughout the day to the companies and people who made donations.
“Steve Doig donated the fencing barriers and even came all the way from Birmingham to drop them off and then pick them up afterwards. That alone saved us around £1,000.
“Craig Pegg used his quad bike to pull the carts back up the track after each race, Bristol Street Vauxhall in Crewe paid us a fee to station one of their cars at the venue and Shaun Spooner Autos in Cheadle sponsored the timing equipment.
“Thing like that make all the difference it’s great to have that level of support.”
Mr Cliffe also thanked: Gary Johnson (GSJ Engineering) for donating steel for ramps on the course, Dave Wood (Wheels N Tyres, Cheadle) for supplying old tyres used as safety barriers, Woodwards Printers (Cheadle) for supplying advertising banners around the track.
“Businesses including the Huntsman, which provided the bar, Chris Ibbs (fairground), Woods Catering and Ashmore ice creams each made a donation from their takings on the day and I’d also like to thank Brian Pedder for donating £100, Gary Shenton for acting as compare and Cheadle Amateur Theatrical Society for supplying the PA system,” he said.
Entry forms for next year’s race will be available from the Huntsman pub in Brookhouses, Wrights Pies in High Street, Airfawn Garage Services and the Cheadle and Tean Times office in Tape Street.
Meanwhile, the next Carnival fund-raiser is a Rock Night at the Guild Hall, Cheadle on September 30. More details to be announced soon.
Senior: 1 Anthill Mob (Jason Flanagan), 2 Electric Scribble Tattoo (Jared Forrester), 3 Exhausted (Dan Lucas).
Junior: 1 ‘Some Boy’, 2 OHC Racing (Rob Carnwell), 3 Batman.
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