The Big Cheese Roll 2020

Nott Normal, The National Justice Museum & Hope Foodbanks invite you to join the Big Cheese Roll 2020 Art and Poetry Exhibition.


Remembering our past, protecting our present, fighting food poverty, and having fun!


For this year’s Character Stories and Inspiration, click here

Centuries ago, during the annual Goose Fair, many people could not afford food, and this led to an uprising where people rolled large circular cheeses in protest, and for something to eat. The Mayor arrived to try to calm the rioting but instead found himself rolled over by a large wheel of cheese. This year we have an exhibition at The National Museum of Justice, along with online activities, stories, workshops, and resources.

We want you to get involved!


We invite you to submit poems or artworks that depict the original cheese riot or illustrate relevant contemporary stories. For info and inspiration to get your imaginations sparking click here

There are different categories:

  • Children and Young People: 4-6, 7-10 and 11 – 14
  • Adults – especially those who’ve experienced food poverty and/or barriers to inclusion.

If you would like to submit work anonymously or use a pseudonym please let us know when you send us your submission.  

Artworks can be in any media (painting, drawing, collage, print etc.) and should be photographed for digital submission. Don’t worry too much about the quality of the photograph; so long as the image is clear and the resolution is good enough to be posted online.

Poems should be no longer than 20 lines.

Please submit entries to Files no bigger than 3MB please

OR… you can simply post a picture of your entry on Twitter using the hashtag : #BigCheeseRoll2020 and tag Nott Normal (@normal_nott).  Make sure you include the artist’s name and age.

Deadline for entries: Friday 2nd October 5pm

A selection of artworks and poems will be displayed in the Project Lab at the National Justice Museum, from Sunday 4th October.

All appropriate submitted works shall be exhibited online.

In October 2019 the first Big Cheese Roll took place – a performance and accessible procession in Nottingham City Centre commemorating the Nottingham Cheese Riot of 1766, bringing our past alive whilst helping to gather donations for local foodbanks.  Our 2019 event playfully commemorated this, and highlighted the parallels with the food poverty that we have today, and the impact this has on local people. Over 50 people joined in and those of us on wheels did the rolling. One of us dressed as a giant cheese in mischievous re-enactment across the city. Lizzie, a 1766 factory worker shared her story and we all rolled after the Mayor through the streets. This year, for safety and increased inclusion, we are focussing on building online events and activities, and an exhibition at the National Justice Museum in the Lace Market where there will be opportunities to donate items to Hope Foodbanks.

The Big Cheese Roll aims to be a fun- filled family friendly and inclusive annual event leading up to The Goose Fair. It playfully marks a piece of Nottingham’s social history, the Cheese Riots of 1766, and helps to gather donations for local foodbanks today. This autumn we’ll once again offer a peaceful, hopeful spectacle where everyone is welcome. While inspiring creative learning about our past we’ll be raising awareness of and resources to tackle food poverty in our city. If you would like to be part of making The Big Cheese Roll a reality please contact us.