Wiltshire Publications

On starter’s orders for Westbury’s first White Horse Soapbox Derby

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THE highly anticipated Westbury White Horse Soapbox Derby and Engineering Fair is just over a week away, on Saturday 21st May. 

The soapbox run is billed as the steepest, most challenging course in the UK as soapboxes will compete down the chalk escarpment above Westbury. The inaugural event, which promises to put Westbury on the map, will combine competition, education and fun along with live music, food, a beer and cider tent and a pedal powered Scalextric championship.

The event will take place between 10.00am and 7.00pm on Saturday 21st May at White Horse Equestrian Centre, Long River Farm, Newtown, Westbury underneath the iconic White Horse.

The first Soapbox run will take place at 11am, the second starting at 1pm and the third and final run will commence at 3pm, with presentations for the finalists of the Soapbox at 5pm (raffle and smoothie challenge winners will also be announced at this time). 

Organisers have been working with engineering companies and local junior schools, who will also be entering their own junior race competition. 

Entertainment on the day:

There’s plenty to do during the Soapbox derby, as well as watching the runs! 

There will be a selection of DJs and local artists to entertain people in between course runs, including ‘Hit or Miss Djs’ (10am to 11.30am), DJ Biggie Tallz (11.30am to 1pm), Para & Bailla (1.15pm to 3pm) and Harmony Asia (4.35pm to 5pm).

There will also be a performance by the popular ska-folk band, ‘Mr Tea and The Minions’ from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. 

The organisers of the event, Westbury Town Council, have arranged for a beer and cider tent, as well as a selection of hot food stalls to keep punters refreshed through the day. They even have two big screens and a scorecard at both the bottom of the White Horse and in the engineering fair, to make sure you don’t miss any of the action while you’re getting fuelled up. 

There will also be a pedal powered Scalextric championship – do you have what it takes to be crowned Westbury’s first pedal powered Scalextric champion? 

Engineering fair

A selection of engineering institutions will be present on the day as part of the engineering fair – the full list can be found on the Soapbox derby website at www.whitehorsesoapbox.co.uk 

Commentating on the event will be actor, presenter, writer and local TV legend, Jon Monie. Born and bred in Wiltshire, Jon Monie is a familiar face to West Country audiences – either through his 15 years as a presenter for HTV/ITV West, or from his many comic performances in Bath’s Theatre Royal pantomimes over the past two decades.

How to get there:

Park and ride buses will run every 30 minutes, for free, from the old cement works, the High Street and Westbury United Football Club. Parking will not be available on site.  

Parking will be available at Westbury United Football Club and the various public car parks across the town, although these will incur charges. All park and ride buses will be free of charge. Disabled parking is also available – to book this call 07766 921 105. 

Westbury Town Council hopes the Soapbox derby will put Westbury on the map by attracting spectators from miles around to see the beauty of the Westbury landscape. The White Horse Soapbox Derby will be the foremost engineering event in the South West, encouraging young people to find enjoyment in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as cementing the link between local businesses and schools through workshops.

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