Ashton Soapbox Races 2019 raise an amazing £2,640.32!

Having only decided to run the event 6 weeks ago, we expected to struggle to get many entries…

However, with an incredible amount of effort from our competitors, a total of 37 teams turned up ready to race at 9am on New Year’s Day and face our scrutineer, Tobias Birch.

We were so impressed with the build quality of the karts as well as the fancy dress on show. You, and those that helped you behind the scenes, should be very proud of what you achieved.

Congratulations to our winners – ‘Georgina’s Crazy Kart’ (fancy dress), ‘Savage’ (best build), ‘Team Sieracki’ (under 16 category), ‘Ricky’s rock-it’ (mixed age group category) and ‘Take my breath away’ (overall winners).

Attached are the results. They are presented in a number of ways for those that like stats, so hopefully they’ll keep everyone happy. Even ‘Beckford at the Back’ appears at the top of one of the tables…

We are delighted to announce that a total of £2,640.32 was raised after costs. This, together with other fundraising initiatives, including the £10,000 Lottery Grant secured by Sarah Hewitt (nee Smith) and support from Open Gardens, means that we now have sufficient funds for the playground project to commence and we hope for the work to be completed within the next few months.

Without the support of our race sponsors, this would not have been possible. Will Archer pretty much organised the sponsorship by himself, for which we are truly grateful.

The support from the crowd offered to the competitors on the day was brilliant. There was a lovely atmosphere and we appreciate the patience shown by residents and motorists following the road closure. We have tried to clear up as much of the straw from the road as possible, but there is still some left over which will take a while to disappear completely. We hope when you see it, you’ll remember the great day we had.

Many thanks to Lesley Archer and Nikki McIntyre for organising food and refreshments at the village hall. Over 350 baps were sold, no doubt helping to combat the effects of the previous night for many in the crowd. For those attempting the ‘hair of the dog’ remedy, many thanks to Jez Taylor and his helpers for the mulled cider on offer.

We are very grateful to Alan Tutton and Andy Wilson who generously allowed us to use some of their brand-new PA equipment, purchased by the Badsey Parish Council to support their own karting event and their Flower Show. Plus, they came and set it up for us with residents Malcolm Nelson, Fran Kirke (race commentator) and David Taylor. Andy also became the race commentator once Fran went off to do his own kart runs. Thanks to Malcolm for his general guidance and setting up the PA system in the school playground as well.

Andy Cooke has given up a lot of time both during and after the event to provide fantastic photos and videos. We are very grateful to him for what he has produced to enable people to remember the day. If anyone would like the high-resolution copies of any of the photos, Andy is happy to find a way to share them or arrange printed copies in A4 or A3 for a small donation to the Soapbox Races funds. Please contact Andy through Facebook to organise this.

We wanted to provide the fastest course possible that was also safe for competitors and the crowd. James Nicklin provided radios for our marshals and most of the barriers used on the course. He also offered contacts and advice in relation to the road closure. Thanks to Open Gardens to lending us their radios for our timekeepers.

The course team (Will Archer, Tom Archer, Harry Archer, Rich Crompton & Mike Quilter) had to get up very early, following a late night, to prepare the course which looked great and also protected the competitors and crowd alike. Thanks to Will & Tom for driving the support vehicles during the event and also allowing us to use their land and equipment. The course team’s efforts didn’t end once the races had finished – they then had to clear away the course which was done very efficiently.

Our marshals and timekeepers, too many to name individually here, gave up their time not only during the event but also beforehand to practice their processes to make sure everything ran smoothly on the day. Many thanks to Huw Miller for organising the timekeeping and David Rose for all his help arranging the marshalling. There were no injuries or accidents and times were recorded for every run. The perfect outcome!

Julie Brain at Wychavon and Ed Dursley from Worcestershire County Council were both extremely helpful with advising us in terms of the road closure. At one stage it looked like it wouldn’t be possible to organise things in time, but with their guidance we managed it. As with everything these days, there is an incredible amount of paperwork required and thanks go to Rich Crompton for his help with putting together our Risk Assessment.

There were a number of people who helped us with publicising and marketing the event. We are very grateful to Karen Rowley in this regard and also Dave Taylor for designing and administering our entries portal on Racespace.

We inherited the idea of New Year’s Day soapbox racing from previous race organisers, so thank them for coming up with this originally.

We would like to thank the race committee (members of Project Zeus) for giving up so much of their time to come up with the ideas which made the day a success.

Finally, Matt would like to thank his wife for putting up with him being even more useless around the home than normal, whilst helping with the organisation of the event.

We hope to be back again, although we don’t know exactly when. If you have any ideas of what could make the event even better next time, please let us know.


Matt Cyphus & Jane Swindells (Chair of Ashton Social Centre)

Overall average times

Mixed average times

Overall best single times

Overall least distance covered

Overall running order

Overall time v age

Shared karts average times

U16 average times