Residents pledge to blockade rave party
By Surrey Advertiser – Monday, July 29, 2002
Copyright: Surrey Advertiser
FURIOUS residents are set to form a human blockade this weekend in a bid to stop the “menace” of all-night raves after it emerged police are powerless to stop up to 1,000 revellers gathering on private land.
Homeowners at Perry Road and Catteshall Road in Godalming say unruly ravers at a recent open-air party disturbed their sleep and vandalised their gardens.
They have also had to listen to music being played and fireworks being let off in a field behind their homes for the last three Saturdays, into the early hours. Last weekend the partygoers did not leave until around 6am on Sunday morning.
No one is sure if there will be a rave this weekend. Partygoers have to telephone a number advertised on the internet at 10.30pm on Saturday to find out when, where and if parties are being held.
Catteshall resident Nora Crane said last Saturday hoards of youngsters appeared in her road at around 11.30pm, heading for a field behind Perry Close. She said there were cars parked everywhere despite efforts of one of the organisers to get drivers to leave their cars elsewhere.
“There would never have been room for an ambulance or fire engine to get through to our homes if we had needed one,” she complained.
Police confirmed they were called to the event but no action was taken because the party was on private land.
Waverley Council environmental health staff have received numerous complaints about the all-night partying, and will be on call tomorrow (Saturday) to check out the party site.
It is not the first time residents have had problems with raves in the field, which is owned by Brian Harding of Unstead Park Cottage.
Last year they petitioned Mr Harding following open-air parties and subsequent damage to cars.
His wife Jenni admitted in a letter to residents that she had underestimated how many people would turn up – and about parking difficulties. She made an undertaking that “no more parties of that nature” would be held there and any future events would be for friends and family only.
It is not known whether the last three parties have been for “family and friends” but local people allege they have been advertised on the internet.
The website concerned includes advice on how to run an underground party without licences.
If a party is said to be private, it does not need a licence, whereas public or paid-for events need a public entertainment licence and if alcohol is sold, a liquor licence is needed.
Despite repeated attempts to gain comment, Mr Harding was unavailable this week.