Image Credit: AC Taxis 334455
Police in Essex rocked on to the scene to break up an illegal rave during UK lockdown only to find a cascade of pensioners – sans techno beats.
It turns out, the people of Essex weren’t boldly flouting the social restrictions in place in the UK as part of the battle against the spread of Coronavirus. In fact, quite the opposite.
As Essex police turned up to the Freemason’s Saxon Hall in Southend, they expected to be attending the scene of an illegal rave after a report of a mass gathering. They’d been phoned with reports of a “rave” happening in the street.
‘In broad daylight? In the middle of the street? During a lockdown?” are probably just some of the questions that ran through the attending officers minds as they headed towards the scene of the illicit partying.
As they approached, no doubt the coppers’ confusion compounded the closer they got to the mass of people. “Certainly not a very lively rave,” was likely one of many swirling thoughts as they pulled up. “A lot of walking sticks and grey hair for a rave.”
Yes, the police had been mistakenly called on a queue of pensioners. No, they weren’t lining up to get into an extremely well ticketed event with confidence in blatantly flouting current law. They were lining up with the hopes of ending the restrictions sometime soon by getting a dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine – eventually it turned out to be the Pfizer vaccine.
Saxon Hall’s chairman, Dennis Baum told their local paper: “It was really funny when the police arrived as they had been notified that there was a ‘rave’ taking place at Saxon Hall – only to find 80 and 90 year-olds on wheelchairs, zimmer frames, and walking sticks, patiently queuing for their vaccinations.”
The reason for the old folks traffic jam was the mix up in vaccines mentioned earlier, which caused a delay in delivery. Potentially unaware of the fact that arriving earlier in the morning wouldn’t lead to a significantly earlier immunity to a treatment that takes a few weeks, the pensioners started to line up in abundance.
Baum added: “It was absolute chaos and very cold. The car park became choc-a-bloc with 80 year-old plus drivers.” He added that the police quickly left after realising the mistake but came back in the afternoon to help keep things orderly in the rush to get vaccinated.
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “Upon receiving reports of congestion at the vaccination centre, a unit responded to offer help with traffic management, and returned later that day to check that everything was progressing smoothly for those getting their jabs.
“No-one wants to see all of our communities getting the jab and being protected more than us at Essex Police, particularly our elderly and vulnerable communities and we will do all we can to support that.”
So, if you see a mass gathering of people in the coming months as we roll out vaccines to communities and hopefully work towards a path out of the COVID restrictions; before you report to the police, take a long hard look at how grey and orderly the culprits are.