The event takes place on Hanway Common immediately behind the village of Richard’s Castle. Hanway Common is the perfect place for a Soap Box Derby. The hill rises to 1000ft above sea level and on a fine day has outstanding views of Clee Hill, the Malvern Hills and the Welsh Marches.
The common has a gently sloping metalled private road running through it which provides 550 metres of adrenalin making tarmac with a vertical drop of 50 metres. Speeds of over 40mph have been achieved making a thrilling spectacle for the audience and spectators alike.
To understand what that means in terms of fun and excitement read the description below, view the Movie Clip on the Gallery page or, better still, come and have a look on the day!
There have been changes to the course this year and it will now be more technically challenging. A chicane has been introduced before the final left hand bend so previous times and records may not stand.
The Crowd Roars...
"The wonderful machine starts off from the starting ramp through the trip beam and the clock is running, gentle run gathering speed into the 90 left, try not to brake, and straight down the fall-line, gathering speed now, cattle grid coming up, quick left and right, glad my steering is positive leaving the grid on our right, now I will have to brake, can just see the crowd roaring now as I grapple with the wheel to bring us back on line and down the common into the long left hander, taking the racing line, use the camber shall I brake and lose vital seconds or perhaps a quick dab, careful not to catch an edge otherwise I shall be flying or worse, through the finish break beam and the spectator display screen shows the fastest time ever; not finished yet though got to slow this flying machine to a halt before I hit the grass, ooops too late and we are airborne again, hit the brakes they only work on the back but I am glad we fitted some good ones!"
"The most fun you can have on four wheels without an engine"
Traditionally commons are areas of land on which the holders of Common Rights within the village may graze their animals. Hanway Common is one such area of approx 90 acres on which sheep only may be grazed. The freehold of the common has been held by the Salwey family since the 1600s and they have the rights to any minerals or timber on the land. Today the Common is grazed by some 450 sheep and there is a management group who operate a voluntary levy system.