Rave over at last as 700 leave after 2 days
By thisislondon – 25 October 1999
As a two-day illegal rave at a derelict building finally ended this morning, people living nearby called on Westminster council to seal the premises to prevent a repetition.
Fearing a violent response if they tried to break up the party where 700 people were dancing to techno music, police were forced to stand by and watch, despite complaints from dozens of sleepless pensioners living within 300 feet of the Paddington site.
The party, which began on Saturday night, eventually wound up at around 5am today. All that remained was a sea of cans and bottles across the building’s floors and anarchist slogans daubed on the walls. The doors were left open, leading residents to fear the party’s organisers planned to return for more.
Ellen Papworth, 62, who lives opposite the building on the Harrow Road roundabout, said: “I have been awake since 3am on Sunday. The kids were falling all over the place as they came out. The police said that if they went in there and threw them out, the kids would be on the streets. One of the officers asked if that was what we really wanted. He was right. What if they had gone around smashing up cars or damaging property? But now they have left, surely the council must do something to make sure they cannot get back in.”
The council was still considering its response this morning.
At the height of the party, a noise pollution spokesman said: “We had numerous complaints so we went in. As there was no one in charge, we served a notice to the DJ telling him to pack it in. We then called the police at Paddington but they said it was totally dark in there and that, because it was a derelict place with bricks, bottles and metal bars that the crowd could use as weapons, it would be inflammatory for them to go in. We couldn’t stop the thing without police protection.”