‘Total chaos’ as over 2,000 people descend on Harpur Hill’s ‘Blue Lagoon’

Harpur Hill’s Blue Lagoon became a scene of ‘total chaos’ during the weekend - when more than 2,000 people descended on the disused quarry.

By Ben McVay
Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 2:38 pm

Photos showed large groups of young people and families gathered on tracks and grassland surrounding the water - with some seen smoking cannabis and taking other drugs.

A shocking video posted on Twitter by Wayne Dilworth showed one young person performing a backward flip into the water which is said to have dangerously-high PH levels - similar to bleach.

Another video shows cars double-parked throughout the village as visitors walk along the road - drawn to the pool from Sheffield and Manchester as temperatures soared to 27 degrees Celcius.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Photo by Leah Plant

Dusty Linden, a barber in the village, described Monday as ‘horrendous’.

She told how buses - unable to squeeze through the long line of double-parked cars - were forced to drop passengers at the side of the road and turn back.

Mum-of-one Dusty, whose 17-year-old son was still recovering from suspected coronavirus, described large groups of ‘unfriendly people’ passing her garden as cannabis smoke filled the air.

She said: “It was like they were having a festival - which is understandable because all the festivals are closed and young people have nowhere to go.

Photo by Leah Plant

“But there were also families with children there - we could hear them leaving because it was dinner time.

“I just thought, ‘my God’ you’ve taken your kids to a quarry?’”

“This is only going to get worse and I’m not looking forward to the summer - my neighbours are just beside themselves and don’t know what to do.”

Read More

Read More
Hayfield runner who died on hills above the village honoured with fundraising pa...
Photo by Leah Plant

On Friday, Paul Hawker, of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, warned of the dangers of swimming in the toxic water - which harbours other dangers in the water including old cars and animal carcasses.

However despite extra police patrols officers were ‘overwhelmed’ by the sheer numbers of people and were left directing crowds and trying to keep traffic moving.

Dusty, 48, said residents were calling for the carpark near the lagoon to be opened - as it was felt crowds would keep arriving in the hot weather and this would clear the roads for people living in the village.

However Linda Grooby, High Peak councillor for Harpur Hill, said opening the carpark was not an option as the council did not want to encourage people to swim in the hazardous water.

Photo by Leah Plant

Speaking about Monday she said: “I was up there myself and it was ‘total chaos’ - there were in excess of 2,000 people coming and going throughout the day.

“It’s having a huge effect on the locals and a lot of the people going up there are very unpleasant.

“We have to find a way to move forward because this is intolerable - but our local police force was completely overwhelmed.

“It was just beyond anything other than crowd control or keeping traffic moving.”

Coun Grooby said a meeting between police, councillors and High Peak MP Robert Largan would take place in the coming days to find a solution.

Photo by Leah Plant

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

Nancy Fielder, editor