IT WASN’T so unusual that someone threw a party in Gildersome, just south of Leeds, 10 years ago. What was unusual was the fact that 836 people were arrested for attending it.
The party wasn’t for anyone’s birthday. According to flyers which had been circulating throughout the north over the previous month, it was called Love Decade. It took place in an empty warehouse on the Treefield Industrial Estate, just off Gelderd Road.
The party’s organisers didn’t actually own the warehouse – they’d had to snip through a padlock with a pair of bolt cutters before geting in. Some started to rig up a basic soundsystem while others headed for Harsthead services, just up the M62, to collect their guests.
Just after 2am they headed back at the head of a convoy of hundreds of cars and vans. The police, including the West Yorkshire force’s helicopter, followed at a discrete distance.
Hundreds of people got into the warehouse before the organisers closed the doors. Hundreds more gathered outside. Sue Hollingsworth had travelled over from Blackburn earlier in the evening.
“There were police all over the place,” she remembers. “We abandoned the car and legged it towards the party but you couldn’t get anywhere near it. All the roads around had roadblocks on them, they had dogs, searchlights, the lot.”
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