A team of 50 volunteers from the Richard’s Castle area have been working hard to put on a high-octane soap box race to fundraise for the local area.

The village of Richards Castle is located right on the border of Herefordshire and Shropshire. With this divide comes the operation of two parish councils for the area and its population being split across the two counties.

But the village community is definitely not split, with an active social calendar and fantastic community spirit, proof of which being the team of over 50 volunteers who help out each year at the annual Richards Castle Soap Box Derby.

The event, held on Hanway Common, draws crowds from miles away to see the soap boxes racing down the steep 50-metre descent of the 550-metre course. But the Soap Box Derby does warn “that this is not indicative of the gradient of parts of the course.

“In places it is much steeper, and participants can expect to reach 30-40mph."

Everybody loves building and admiring their amazing soapboxesEverybody loves admiring their fellow racers' amazing soapboxes (Image: Kate Tudge)

Applications for racing in this awesome event are sill open, so you can still register your soapbox  to feel the speed for yourself. It's all downhill from here, and, in this case, that's a good thing!

Mr Humphrey Salwey, chair of the committee for the last 20 years, explains how they “are indebted to our small committee and team of local helpers, without whom the event could never take place.”

Year after year, an army of regular volunteers turn up to help with jobs, from putting up roadside signs a few weeks before the event, to helping with car parking, baking cakes for the tea tent, litter picking, selling raffle tickets, manning the entry gate, or acting as marshals on the day to ensure the cart drivers and crowds are safe.

Every year the event raises over £10,000 for local charities. This year, the event is raising money for Kyrebrook Daycare centre in Tenbury, Ludlow Community First Responders, and Richards Castle Village Hall.

The Richards Castle Soap Box Derby 2024 takes place on Sunday, June 30 and gates open at 10am with racing commencing at 11am. Entry costs £7.50 per adult with children under 12 free of charge.