The Big Cheese Roll



Commemorating the Goose Fair Cheese Riots 1766, Fighting Food Poverty today,

in collaboration with The National Justice Museum & Hope Foodbanks, Nottingham. The first Big Cheese Roll took place on Sunday October 6th 2019, and shall become an annual event. For information on this year’s Roll, click here



Fighting Food Poverty Links: To find or give help dealing with food poverty in Nottinghamshire, please check out our big list of foodbanks, community kitchens, gardens & support networks at Nott Normal Signposts: Fighting Food Poverty.  Alternatively, for a brief overview of community ideas and how to get involved in next year’s Big Cheese Roll click on The Big Cheese Rolling Forward.

Sunday 6th October 2pm

Old Market Square, Nottingham



The Big  Cheese Roll once a year playfully marks a piece of Nottingham history, the Cheese Riots of 1766, whilst helping to gather donations for local foodbanks today. Centuries ago, during the Goose Fair, many people could not afford food because of high food prices, low wages, and bad living and working conditions. This lead to an uprising where people rolled large circular cheeses in protest, knocking down the major and redistributing food.

Each autumn we’ll offer a peaceful, inclusive spectacle, where those of us on wheels (wheelchairs, walkers, pushchairs etc.) will be doing the rolling. We start in Old Market Square, where the Goose Fair was in those days. Story-telling meets social action at this family-friendly event. While we hear the story of Lizzie, a textile factory worker from 1766 we collect foodbank donations.  There’s a human ‘big cheese’ on wheels and a grumpy mayor. Those who want to are invited to come with us down Peck Lane where some of the original protests happened as we take donations to where they are needed. Everyone is welcome and will be encouraged to wear yellow. If you would like to be part of making The Big Cheese Roll a reality please contact us.

Please feel free to use one of the images above for digital placards and banners or to print out on t-shirts or wheelchair and scooter covers. Other resources and information, including a brief introduction to The Cheese Riots of 1766 and ideas of what you, your school, workplace, business or organisation can do to help can be found below:


Cheese Riot Info – a short intro to a slice of Nottingham History

The Big Cheese Rolling Forward – How you, your business or community can help fight food poverty

The Trussell Trust – Links to Foodbanks across the UK and how you can get or give help.