We decided to head on down to Ryelands Park as it was their new official viewing area. When we got there, we were greeted by a large area of mud as well under 18′s drinking from bottles of beer (with 4 Police / PCSO officers stood chatting); despite the posters and leaflets saying that alcohol was not permitted. Wandering round the park, we felt that the only thing that LCC was offering was the opportunity for Taylor’s Amusements to earn cash.
So, after talking with the children that were with us, we decided to head up to Williamson Park. Oh how I wish we hadn’t.
The Quernmore road entrance and path was completely unlit. It was like shambling through the dark – we had to use our mobile phones just so that we could see the path without falling over the plants and bushes.
Upon entering the lit area, they had fenced the grassed area with metal railings and red and white safety tape – it was alternated barrier then tape then barrier. They allowed people to stand on the pathed area that was by the fence looking down over Lancaster. Prior to the start of the fireworks, the grassed area between the fence and the path was being kept clear, with event stewards regularly walking up and down and stopping people standing on the grass and climbing up on the railings. They were doing this because a clear path needed to be kept in case of emergency. When the fireworks started, lots of people appeared from nowhere, climbed onto the railings, stood on the grass and then blocked our view.
A few moments later, the event stewards walked along, said that everyone needed to move back and carried on walking. No one moved; the event stewards were being ignored.
Looking behind us, people were surging up onto the grass hills which were closed off. Barriers were falling, the red and white tape snapped. At this point, we decided it wasn’t safe anymore and decided to leave the park. Looking back, it reminded me of some of the footage from the Hillsborough disaster.
So…. we missed the fireworks, got covered in mud and ended up going home.