15:00 – 15 April 2003
Residents in Box were kept awake by loud music when up to 100 young people gathered for an illegal party in a disused quarry. Thumping beats could be heard across the village into the early hours of Sunday.
Police and environmental health officers were called out after a flood of complaints from local people who could not sleep through the noise.
The first report was received at 2.39am when police attended the site – on private land at the top of Quarry Hill – to assess the situation.
Officers stood at the entrance and turned away other revellers hoping to join in with the partygoers, and when daylight broke they persuaded the group to pack up their equipment and leave.
Some villagers were annoyed that nothing was done earlier to switch off the music.
However, the police said they acted promptly in the circumstances.
At 10.45am police officers, landowner Tim Barton and environmental health officers went on to the site.
The partygoers were formally asked to move on and a noise abatement notice was served.
The group wanted to carry on for another 15 minutes but they were told a magistrates’ warrant would be sought to confiscate the sound system.
They then packed up, and collected litter before moving off the site.
Inspector Jon Tapper of Trowbridge police said the site was in darkness and potentially dangerous so it was necessary to wait for daylight.
He said people were seen drinking alcohol but that there was no evidence of drug taking.
“It appeared to be quite an impromptu gathering of young people in their 20s and from the Bath area.
“No arrests were made and the general conduct of the individuals present was orderly.
“The site was somewhat raised and the embankment around part directed the noise downhill into Box and the valley.
“The location of the site did not lend itself to it and, if anything, amplified the noise even further.
“Some people were concerned it had taken so long to deal with the incident.
“But when you are dealing with these sort of incidents early intervention is always desirable.
“Once the party has started it’s difficult to act swiftly to close it.”
Box Parish Council chairman Derek Lovell said: “I had several parishioners complaining of the horrendous thump, thump noise. Many couldn’t sleep.
“I appreciate if there are 100 or so people and one or two policemen it would not be wise to take them on.
“Hopefully it was a oneoff and they will go and bother someone else.
“It is a worrying thing because, no doubt, there are other things attached than just the music.
“I don’t know if there were any drugs there.”
But not everyone was up in arms about the noise.
John Arundel, owner of the Quarryman Arms, said: “I sympathise but I think it is fair play. I don’t really worry about it.
“I think they have to enjoy themselves here and there.”