Archie's dreams for Northamptonshire village's first soapbox derby set for September

Earls Barton's first soapbox derby is set for this September thanks to the vision of 12-year-old Archie Reeves.
Earls Barton's first soapbox derby is set for this September thanks to the vision of 12-year-old Archie Reeves.

A Northamptonshire village is set for its first soapbox derby thanks to a year of organising by one 12-year-old resident with a vision.

Homemade carts of all shapes and sizes will race through Earls Barton this September after local boy Archie Reeves saw potential in the parish's steep main street.

Archie was inspired by the annual Red Bull Soapbox Derby to bring the races to his village.

Archie was inspired by the annual Red Bull Soapbox Derby to bring the races to his village.

The Y7 Woolaston School student was inspired by the imagination of racers in the annual Red Bull Soapbox Derby and pitched his dreams to the council.

He said: "I thought all the carts were really creative and everyone was having fun. I thought, 'why not have one in the village'?

"I took it to the parish council in 2017 and they thought it was a great idea. I've been working on it ever since."

Now, a 330-metre course has been plotted for the race on September 23, starting outside the bait & tackle shop on West Street, past the All Saints Church, through the crossroads and finishing outside the library.

10-year-old Aiden Stone designed the derby's new logo.

10-year-old Aiden Stone designed the derby's new logo.

Over 18 teams are expected to take part and roads will be closed for the event. Archie has even taken on the route himself in a 6am test run in December.

He said: "It was pitch black but the parish council closed the roads so we could test the route in a cart. It was really fast and I had the brake on the whole time."

With his community in mind, Archie has pitched the race to local shops so they can sponsor what could become an annual event, and even ran a contest with local primary schools to design the new derby's logo.

Earls Barton Primary School student Aiden Stone won the contest and his logo will feature in all the race's artwork.

Chris Bee's "Bumblebee", the very first confirmed cart in the Earls Barton Soapbox.

Chris Bee's "Bumblebee", the very first confirmed cart in the Earls Barton Soapbox.

Archie said: "I just hope everyone can come together and have a good time."

Anyone interested in entering the race can fill in an application form on the event's Facebook page. First preference will be given to local residents.