Emergency services issue safety advice ahead of popular Uppies and Downies event

Police are warning anyone attending the annual Uppies and Downies games which start this weekend to stay safe.

Excitement has been building in the city for months for the return of the event after it was forced to cancel due to the Covid pandemic. For two years, players were unable to participate in the unorganized event.

But now it’s back with the first game taking place on Good Friday and it’s estimated to draw large crowds. With this in mind, partner agencies have come together to keep people safe.

READ MORE:Excitement grows in Workington for the return of Uppies and Downies after a two-year break

The traditional Easter game, which is played over three matches, sees those with roots in the upper part of town, the uppies, try to bring a specially made ball to Curwen Hall, while those in the lower part, downies, try to get it. at the port. The object of the game is to “hail the ball” and the person who hails it – who becomes something of a town hero for the night – gets to keep the ball as a prize.

The downies’ target is a capstan on Prince of Wales Quay, while the uppies’ target is the gates of Workington Hall Parklands. The game has survived many years, unfolding through wars and other major events in history, but in the past two years Covid has brought it to a halt – the only time it has happened.

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With just days to go until the first game, Cumbria Police, Allerdale Borough Council, Cumbria County Council, Highways, Coastguard, North West Ambulance Service and Washington Square are gathered to discuss how to protect everyone during the unauthorized event and to discuss additional resources.

It has been confirmed that additional officers and resources will be deployed to the events to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. Superintendent Lisa Hogan said: ‘We want people to enjoy the event, but we ask people to be safe and think about their safety and the safety of others.

“People also need to be aware of their surroundings and pay particular attention to private land and property, and their behavior and actions when the ball is near cars and other property.

“The majority will enjoy the event responsibly; however, we will have officers in the area if anyone has any concerns and to identify any violations if people are using the event as an excuse to cause damage.

Anyone planning to visit one of the games on Good Friday, Easter Saturday or the following Tuesday is urged to consider where they park their vehicle to avoid any potential damage. Partner agencies also met with local businesses and communities ahead of the event to provide advice.

Parents are also encouraged to speak with children before they attend the event to ensure they are aware of possible risks and safety tips. Police say people should also pay particular attention to the hazards posed by large crowds, leading to potentially serious injuries, as well as trips, sprains and bruises.

Participants are advised to exercise particular caution when entering or considering entering the water. This can put people at particularly high risk and is not recommended. More advice on water safety can be found here – www.rlss.org.uk.

To contact the police in an emergency, call 101 or email [email protected] You can call 111 for non-emergency medical advice.

Always dial 999 in an emergency, whether for the police or the ambulance.