Soapbox race to return to Portishead this weekend

PUBLISHED: 15:35 13 July 2017

SoapBox racing is returning to Portishead. Photo supplied by Portishead SoapBox.

SoapBox racing is returning to Portishead. Photo supplied by Portishead SoapBox.

Archant

Thrills and spills will occur in Portishead this Sunday as Soapbox racing returns.

Portishead Soapbox in 1952.Portishead Soapbox in 1952.

Back in the 1950s it was common for the town to host SoapBox racing, but the idea died out – that is until this year.

Business partners Ben Knowles and Sam Garland have spent months bringing the race back to the town and dozens of brave entrants will take on the challenging course hoping the wheels do not fall off their homemade wagons.

The winners will be those who complete the course – obstacles and all – in the quickest time, although many entrants will probably go for the comedy factor with their costumes.

Ben is delighted to bring the event back to his hometown.

He said: “We started looking at putting on an event in Portishead last year, and were spurred on just after the new year by a Facebook post in a community group.

“People wanted a new event in Portishead and a soapbox race seemed top of the list.

“Both my business partner Sam and myself are event managers, and we organise events across the UK and Europe.

The soapbox race is raising money for St Peter's Hospice, after Helen Garland died earlier this year.The soapbox race is raising money for St Peter's Hospice, after Helen Garland died earlier this year.

“This seemed a perfect opportunity to give something back to the wonderful town I get to call home.

“We ran with the idea and it quickly grew into a major event. Our social media posts and website were reaching more than 60,000 people a week.”

While Sunday’s event is all about having fun, there is also a serious side to it as well.

Ben and Sam wanted to raise money for St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol and the race’s profits will go to the centre.

Ben said: “Sam’s mum (Helen) recently passed away after a long battle with cancer and we wanted to give something back to the amazing people that cared for her towards the end of her life.

“St Peter’s have offered outstanding support for Sam’s whole family and we look forward to be able to support them for years to come with the annual Portishead SoapBox Race.”

* If you take pictures at the event, remember to upload them to northsomerset.iwitness24.co.uk


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