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Stroud Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Contest is an annual event held  in July between the four townships of Stroud in the world - Stroud in Gloucestershire, England;  in Oklahoma, U.S.A.;  in Ontario, Canada, and here in New South Wales, Australia.

The first Contest - with Brickthrowing only- was held in 1960 between Stroud, U.S.A. and Stroud, England, when it was discovered that both towns had Brickworks in common, and it was felt that this would be a novel way to cement relations between the two towns.  In 1961, having realised the existence of 2 other Strouds, in Canada and Australia, the contest involved the four countries, again with Brickthrowing only.  At the suggestion of Stroud, Australia, it was decided to introduce a rolling pin throwing contest for the women in 1962, while the men were throwing the bricks.  It is interesting to note that all rolling pins used in the contests since that time have been made in this area and shipped overseas.  Competition bricks are especially made 5 lb. Bricks, and the rolling pins are 2 lb. in weight, and both are generally thrown in a discus style.  The current Brickthrowing record is 142’6”, and the rolling pin throwing record is 156’4”, held by England and U.S.A. respectively.  Note that Imperial measurements are used to conform with the other countries.  Principal competition involves six person teams with points scored 10 to 1 by the top ten individual throws.  Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the first three places in each event.  Team points are then compiled, with a trophy being available for the winning team.

Our day here in Stroud, Australian has grown steadily since 1961, and these days it attracts approximately 3000 visitors from many parts of the country for the occasion.  The day commences with a street procession through Stroud to the Showground, where all festivities take place.  The Contest is officially opened at 12 noon by either a visiting celebrity, or a representative of one of the participating countries.  Immediately following the opening ceremony, a programme of events is conducted, such as children’s events, music, bands, clowns, displays of different natures, woodchopping, tug-o-war, etc.  These items vary from year to year in an endeavour to provide an interesting and varied day’s entertainment for all attending.  While this programme is taking place, elimination heats are being conducted, and the International teams chosen.  The culmination of the day is the International team event at 3.00 p.m.  Australia’s results are then telephoned to America, where results on an International level are compiled, and telephoned back to participating countries.

It is considered that this is a very unique and interesting event, and has helped the small township of Stroud, Australia, to become more widely known and recognised, as well as providing an enjoyable day for all.  All types of refreshments are available on the ground on the day, as well as many and varied market stalls and amusements for the children.

This is really a fun day full of enjoyment for the whole family, and will be conducted on Saturday the 8th July this year.

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