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Back to 1958 at the Soap Box Derby!

A photo of the course at the 1958 Hunstanton soapbox derby

Published: Monday, 9th October 2017

The Hunstanton Soap Box Derby on 17 September 2017 had a very special attendee - the winner of the race held in 1958!

The Hunstanton Soap Box Derby was a great success, and it was wonderful to see the thousands of people who came along to watch. But we were especially delighted to meet one of those attendees: Ernest Hoyos, who competed in the soap box derby back in 1957 and then won it at his second attempt in 1958.

Mr Hoyos said: "I enjoyed your event, very entertaining! Our soap boxes all those years ago were just wooden and all home-made with old pram wheels we'd found after scouring the countryside and dumps etc.

I, and a lot of the others, lay head first on our trollies when racing, no crash helmets but I don't remember anyone getting hurt!

The race was held two at a time, side by side, down the steep ramp that used to go down through the cliff gardens, under the white bridge and down onto the prom. The loser was eliminated and so it went on until the final winner was declared.

I think the whole thing was organised by the council and the referee, and starter was Mr Bolton, head master of the new secondary school, now Smithdon".

Mr Hoyos brought along some photos of the 1958 race to show us; and it was fantastic to see them, and hear his memories of the race. Do you have any similar memories? Let us know if you do!

Ernest Hoyos being presented with his trophy at the 1958 Hunstanton soap box derby

Boys building soap box karts in 1958

Ernest Hoyos in 1958, holding his trophy, and at the 2017 Soap Box Derby, with our selfie square! Who knows, maybe someone who competed in this year's race will be back in 60 years!

Ernest Hoyos holding his trophy in 1958. Ernest Hoyos with the Hunstanton Soap Box Derby selfie square

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