On your marks for the first Battle Soapbox Derby

A soapbox derby is planned for Battle
A soapbox derby is planned for Battle

THERE are plenty of events Battle is famous for - the spectacular bonfire celebrations, the Battle of Hastings re-enactment and the Medieval Fayre, to name but a few.

But there could be one more to add to the town’s calendar if a local businessman has his way.

Dale Cromwell, director of Crafted and chairman of the Battle Chamber of Commerce, is hoping to organise the first ever Battle Soapbox Derby this summer.

Dale and his friends discussed entering the famous international Red Bull Soapbox Race, which is coming to London in July.

But over a few pints in The Bull in Battle, the idea of holding a derby slightly closer to home was born.

After deciding it was still a good idea in the sober light of day, Dale set the wheels in motion.

He told the Observer: “The race is going to be all the way down the High Street from the fire station to the Abbey Gatehouse.

“I rang up Battle Abbey and they thought it was an amazing idea.”

Dale says soapbox racers will be expected to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship money to enter, with money to go to the Battel Bonfire Boyes and one other chosen charity.

Dale is due to hold a meeting with the Boyes shortly.

The Battle Soapbox Derby will be open to a minimum of 30 teams and there will be prizes available.

A date has yet to be fixed for the event, but it is likely to take place on a Sunday in July or August.

Although the plans are still in the early stages, Dale says he has received a huge amount of interest from local businesses.

He said: “Battle Abbey want to enter a team, the Bull, the Bonfire Boyes - there’s been an unbelievable uptake for it.”

Anyone interested in helping organise the event, or would like to take part, should call Dale on 07834049794.

Or to find out more, logon to Facebook and search for Battle Soapbox Derby.

* Red Bull has held more than 40 soapbox races around the world since the first one in Brussels in the year 2000 – from Australia to South Africa, Helsinki to St Louis, Jamaica to Italy.

Over the years, vehicles have ranged from realistic replicas to anything the imagination can conjure up.

Previous designs have included a piano, a giant baby carriage, a rodeo clown, a massive corn on the cob, a jail cell and the Golden Gate Bridge.