'Over 600' unexpectedly take to Beauvoir Arms, Billericay, for event

Soiree party event at Beauvoir Arms, Downham

Article by Poppie Webster: Hundreds of people unexpectedly turned up for an “out-of-control soiree” at a well-known Billericay restaurant.

Bosses at the Beauvoir Arms, who held the promoted event, have now apologised for the bash getting out-of-hand. Police and the council were alerted to the party which happened between 1pm and 10pm Sunday.

One witness, who wished to remain anonymous, was outraged at the number of people on Downham Road.

The 40-year-old woman, who lives on Dowsetts Lane, Ramsden Heath, said:

“There was more than 600 people and the traffic flow was unbelievable. People were parking on driveways, there was double parking, it was completely rammed. It makes me so angry. There shouldn’t have even been 100 people attending, but we had people from London coming down and bringing with them the potential risk of Covid, even when our town is full of vulnerable elderly people. Nobody was wearing masks. It’s disgusting, and they re-opened the next day when I doubt they would’ve had time to deep clean. I don’t know how they’ll come back from this.”

Ashraph Ali, manager at the Beauvoir Arms, isn’t happy. He said:

“We planned this as a soiree style evening, and thought it would be just a garden party. We said no more than 200 people, but the marquee was big enough for about 500. There’s lots of space in the garden and we set it out to keep things socially distanced. Sadly we had around 300 to 350 arrive - there was no way we agreed to that many. I think word must’ve got out about it. We organised the correct facilities for the number we was expecting and made provisions for 50 to 60 cars in the car park. It was never our intention to have so many parking on the road. Unfortunately it got out of hand, but we worked with the police and council to get everyone out safely, which was my main concern. I’d like to apologise for any upset caused and understand resident concerns. The whole event including portable toilets were outside, which meant we could sanitise and clean up and still was able to re-open the restaurant the next day.”

A spokesperson from Essex Police, said:

"We were called to reports of a large gathering at a licensed premises in Downham Road, Downham on the evening of Sunday August 2. We liaised with the event organisers and negotiated its end. Licensing officers will carry out a review of the incident."

Article by Poppie Webster, The Echo

Image by @DavidSayer19 on Twitter