Night in Newmarket

A FEW days away explains the lack of posts here: I spent a short break catching up with friends in Suffolk and Norfolk. The eye-opener came on Saturday night when I saw the SOS Ambulance in Newmarket town centre moored up on the High Street, a single decker bus where the drunk and possibly hurt can be seen straight away by paramedics in the early hours.

It has apparently helped 200 people this year so far.  The orange  wagon is posted there because that strip of bars and nightclubs in Newmarket have to some extent turned what is a nice little parade in the day time into living example of those cable TV documentary about young people celebrating how much lager they can consume without passing out at night. A similar idea for the on-the-spot treatment comes and goes in Camden Town. Yet from an outsider’s view, somehow Newmarket seems even more chaotic than NW1 can be.

Fair play: the booze bus is meeting the problem head on. Hospital  hours will not be wasted by stumbling Stuart and his sick stained shirt. But  hows-a-bout  doing more to water down the problem at the source? Were all those smeared-on tans and blonde feathers tottering around in impossible heels and their sweaty check shirted suitors really old enough to be downing snakebites in pubs? I couldn’t bet my bus money on it.

Who knows for sure? If they weren’t, their carefree enterprise is certainly safer than swigging cider in the cemetery. And granted, as the years pass, everybody in the noisy boom-boom bars seem younger than they should to these eyes. But, old eyes and blind eyes aside, they are clearly starting on the naughty juice younger than the old days. And while that trend continues, the SOS bus will be parked outside the post office for many summer nights to come.

1 Comment on Night in Newmarket

  1. James King // June 22, 2010 at 10:40 pm //

    Interesting post Richard. Like you, I have somewhat revisited my instinctively liberal attitudes to licensing and alcohol pricing as I have become more conscious of the public health and community safety implications of excess consumption. I would certainly like local authorities to have more flexibility to take action against poorly managed premises, as I understand the new Government is exploring. However, I always felt rather frustrated by journalists using the term “booze bus” to describe on-site ambulance service vehicles – it doesn’t really help sensible policy-making when you are surrounded by such silly and misleading labels.

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