Bluebell Wood’s hugely popular Soapbox Derby returns to Clifton Park

Thousands are expected at Clifton Park this summer to cheer on a mind-boggling array of homemade racing carts as Bluebell Wood’s hugely popular Soapbox Derby returns to Rotherham.

Now in its fourth year, the June 20th event will see all manner of weird and wonderful carts hurtling down the custom-built 400m downhill track, vying for the top spot.

Registration for the award-winning wacky race, which is free for spectators, is now open – and prospective teams are urged to get in fast to avoid disappointment.

With a variety of prizes up for grabs from the best dressed team to the most creative cart, there are plenty to ways for teams to pit their wits against local rivals.

Andy Forrest, representing Rotherham-based Allan Jeffries BMW South Yorkshire, is back for more after his nine-year-old grandson piloted their cart to an impressive fourth place last year.

“We initially decided to take part as a team-building exercise and to raise our profile as a new business, and it was fantastic,” said Andy, 55, from Skipton.

“Everyone really enjoyed it and it brought all the team together. The number of people there on the day cheering us all on was amazing and it’s a brilliant way to give something back to such an incredible local charity.

“I was so proud of my grandson Jamie Rush – I was in tears when he came down the track. It was absolutely awesome.”

Andy’s four-man team will be using the same cart as last year, but stripped-down and re-purposed to make sure it’s ready for the bumps, jumps and chicanes of the Clifton Park track.

“We’ve been watching Red Bull videos for research purposes and our cart’s definitely lighter this year so we’ll have a good go,” said Andy, who is General Manager at Allan Jeffries South Yorkshire.

“Now we’re raring to go and we can’t wait for the big day.”

Over 30 teams rocketed down the hair-raising track in last year’s event, with eye-catching designs including a Batmobile, fire engines, an Amazon parcel on wheels and even a furry dog cart.

Team Axles of Awesome took top spot in the 2019 event, with Driver Rick Lamb, of Sheffield, and his pit crew – Andy Dean and Peter Temple –  lifting the trophy for hitting the fastest lap time – a super-speedy 43 seconds.

Hot on their heels were Dearne’s Demon’s, from Wath company Dearne Electrical, who took second place with Liberty Steel, The Batmobile and Ardagh Bottlers, an intrepid team from Ardagh Glass, tying in third.

Beth Cole, Events Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’re incredibly excited to see the amazing designs the teams come up with this year and we can’t wait to watch them hurtling through Clifton Park.

“The atmosphere at last year’s event was just phenomenal and thanks to all those who entered, supported the event and came along we raised over £12,000 to support Bluebell Wood’s life-changing work.

“This year promises to be even bigger and better so if you want to try your luck on the track or sponsor the event, we’d love to hear from you.”

You can find out more about Bluebell Wood’s Soapbox Derby 2020, which will take place on Saturday June 20th, at or email [email protected]

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