19 September 2019
The hugely popular Hunstanton Soapbox Derby returns this weekend, and Searles are delighted to be sponsoring the event once again.
For the engineers and budding racing drivers taking part, there will be prizes for the teams finishing first, second and third in each category. As well as awards for the teams in the podium places, there will also be a Concours d'elegance prize for the most attractive carts. There's plenty of fun to be had for spectators as well, including music and a Gin Tent on the Green!
Read on to find out more about the past and present of the Hunstanton Soapbox Derby.
The History of the Soapbox Derby
After a hiatus of many decades, the Soapbox Derby returned to Hunstanton in 2017, over 60 years since the first race took place.
The first ever Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton took place in 1954. The race was the brainchild of Frank Hartnell, onetime Chairman of the Council, who created the event primarily for the enjoyment of the boys of St Christopher's Home. Mr Hartnell not only organised the races but built the carts as well. He even tested his creations out for himself once, reporting 'the result - a grazed ankle and a torn pair of trousers'.
The races in those days were quite an attraction, and were watched by several hundred people. Quite when the original Soapbox Derby run came to an end is unclear, with some claiming that the races continued into the 1980s. This is disputed, however, by John Smith, who catalogued photos of the original races for the Town and Around.
Searles Soapbox Derby 2019
For this year's Soapbox Derby, a new, even faster course has been developed. The course starts out at Greevegate, and racers will have to navigate a series of sharp turns before finishing Beach Terrace Road, overlooking the sea.
Looking ahead to the Searles Soapbox Derby 2019, Borough council deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds said
“The Searles Soap Box Derby was a wonderfully successful event in 2018, and we’re delighted that it’s coming back to Hunstanton once again. The Soap Box Derby will be a day packed with free family entertainment, so make sure you come along and enjoy the fun.”
Our Managing Director, Paul Searle, spoke of his pride and excitement in sponsoring the Soapbox Derby for the second consecutive year, saying:
“We like to support the town whenever we can, especially when it comes to events that put Hunstanton on the map and attract visitors. The Soap Box Derby is an exciting event to be part of. The local 45 Club will also be pleased to provide the gin tent again and raise money for a local charity.”
Entries are now closed for this year’s event, but if you are coming along to spectate or to take part, racing takes place between 11:30am and 4:00pm, with presentations at 4:30pm.
Here at Searles, we can't wait for the thrills and Spills of The Searles Soapbox Derby 2019 to begin. If you're taking part, or would like to come along and watch this unique seaside event, book a stay at Searles Leisure Resort, the 2019 AA Holiday Centre of the Year. Check out our awesome special offers, here!