Wacky races in Essex

Wacky races in Essex

It takes almost a year to plan, but Billericay Rotary’s annual Soapbox Derby has proved to be a major attraction in the Essex town.

The streets of Billericay were alive to the sound of soapboxes.

For the fourth year in succession, Billericay Rotary organised the fun-filled day with home-made contraptions racing one at a time along an obstacle course with hair-raising ramps in the Essex town.

Around 8,000 people turned out for the spectacle which raised £25,000 for charities, bringing the total sum over the four events to £125,000.

This year’s Rotary causes are Médecins Sans Frontières, Rotary’s End Polio Now, Clamanda Primary School in Kenya, Little Haven’s Children’s Hospice in Essex and the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

For the event, 30 soapboxes of various imaginative designs took part, with their drivers and assistant dressed in a variety of costumes and performing dance routines before each run.

There were three categories – corporate, student and wacky, which the teams raced in, and but for an opening push, all the contraptions relied on gravity to take them around the twisting course.

Soapbox organising committee member Peter Greene said: “Despite the weather, thousands of people proved that this is an exceedingly popular event close the hearts of Billericay residents.”

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