28 July 2009


Boom. Boom. Zoe’s Birthday Party – Botany Bay, Margate 25th July 2009

Boom. We get down the site sometime late afternoon and proceed, with the help of the teenagers, to precariously hump the kit down the chalk cliff to the sandy beach. Once there it was only a matter of setting up between two dune humps and then relaxing to watch a magnificent sunset whilst eating some lovely mozzarella balls coated in pesto washed down with some vintage Cava. Fizztastic.

Boom. Everyone was set up in the camp; tents and flags were a fluttering, BBQ’s a grilling; small children digging in the sand; the teenagers smoking cigarettes; the sun shined; the weather was balmy; the sky blue; the sand cool. All were now riding on the palpable excitement of celebrating Zoe’s 40th birthday and her son’s 21st birthday in a most house party-esque manner. A gathering of friends and family, people who have known and grown up with each, doing what we English do so well; celebrating. Outside in the open air. Ooh, we felt ever so healthy. As the people gathered the vibe expanded; the chat got louder, the laughter got more, er, guffaw-ier; the alcohol flowed; the cameras clicked; the DJ’s arrived. Tanya told us all that after sunrise she had all the food for a great fry up breakfast. The sound check was complete. DJ Charlie, aged 10, was the first DJ on. His music sounded so lovely.

Boom. A middle-aged bearded man and his niece walked up the beach towards us. The little girl had a yellow bucket filled with shells of varying sizes she was excited to show us. As she did her uncle casually said that some metal detector type person had uncovered an unexploded bomb about half a kilometre down the beach and that the police had been called.

Boom. Things unravelled rather quickly. Once the police arrived they wandered up the beach towards us and within an hour an inspector had arrived informing us that our lovely, little, family gathering constituted a rave and that she would be pursuing forthwith the acquisition of a Section 63 order under the police and criminal evidence act 1994 in order for us to cease and desist. Oh, by the way, there’s a 500m exclusion zone around the UXB and your party is within that exclusion zone and we want everyone to leave the beach immediately.

Boom. The music stopped. The beach was cleared in compliance with the police directive for their exclusion zone. As for the section 63 we normally just say them, yeah, go get it, then we’ll stop. This normally takes 6 to 8 hours and, as you know, if they discover the party at say midnight, we still have all night to party and by the time they arrive with the notice it’s 8am and we’re virtually finished by then. However, having suffered the misfortune of a UXB being discovered on the beach around 8pm the police had the fortuitousness to discover our activities further up the beach and thus set off the chain of events that would necessitate the required paperwork from around 9pm. The bomb disposal squad came up from Portsmouth, blues and twos a blazing and arrived around 1am and proceeded to perform a controlled explosion on the beach. Unexpectedly the explosion went pffffutttt! The police officers around me all jumped and exclaimed ‘thanks for the warning’. A teenager shouted ‘that’s the worse firework I’ve ever heard’.

Boom. Thus it came to pass that at 02.30am the orificers of the law duly arrived back on the beach, mob handed, clutching a piece of A4 paper signed by a superintendant. They were ever so excited to be stopping a small gathering of peace loving people. Notice was duly served at 02.45am and we informed that we had to vacate the beach with all our equipment by 03.15am.

Boom! The party was over. Musically at least. The police left. We all still stayed anyway. Lit a fire; sat around it; chatted and drank; watched the sunrise. The fortuitous misfortunitous outcome of a UXB in the middle of a party.

comments from facebook page

Richard Cage
The officer was obviously unused to serving such a notice... she couldn't pronounce "practicable" and her intonation was entirely wrong for the sentence she was attempting to read. Still... I suppose she is satisfied that successfully prevented a major breach of the CJA and ensured that nobody had the innocent fun they were all expecting for the ... Read morecelebration of a friends birthday. All those resources wasted whilst the whole country is strangled by economic recession. Makes you glad to be a tax payer!!

Sun at 20:08Shaun Simo Symmonds - Tosser's!!

Sun at 21:00Jan Paton - wankers!!!!!!!!!! Leave us alone!¬

Yesterday at 08:23Oz Tvc - section 63 of the pace act originally brought in to stop this happening again - castlemorton free paty - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KkLOhmvduE&feature=related or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4amMvs-_-GU. i don't think 100 friends and family on a beach celebrating a 40th and a 21st birthday constitutes the same thing; do you? methinks the police now abuse this law somewhat...

Yesterday at 14:34 · Kate Clark - this is fall out from the fact that our civil right to assemble was removed by that act. And we pay for the legislators and the policing ps please consider joining liberty, one campaigning group lobbying for change and challenging such actions through the courts (oh yep and please say no to id cards while we have the chance) all this happens with a benevolent government - imagine if the dictators were in charge... xx
Yesterday at 20:20