CROWDS of teenagers queueing outside a Hackney youth club during the peak commuting period blocked the pavement, in one case pushing people into the busy Dalston Lane.
They spilt dangerously on to the busy road, holding up double-decker buses and other traffic and ran and walked noisily in the middle of nearby streets.
These are the latest claims by Loving Dalston readers about youngsters going to dances at St Matthias’s. The latest “linkup”, as the events are termed, resulted in an apparently unsupervised throng of young people reluctant to budge for passers-by.
Two Muslim women with children and babies were unable to use the pavement at the club and had to ask drinkers outside a nearby pub for an alternative route to the nearest bus stop.
Late that night teenagers ran down a nearby street, blocking its full width. Early the next morning some were running up and down the street and congregating in the middle of junctions. Adults eventually appeared, publicly and loudly telling the youngsters: “No fighting!” The pleas seemed to work.
Police said they were phoned on 27 August 2015 around 6pm with a complaint that 30 or so youths were blocking the pavement. Officers who attended saw no safety problems, although they thought the narrowness of the footpath near the club could be a problem without proper queue management.
An officer told Loving Dalston: “I will bring this to the attention of the location manager, and ask that he addresses this with parties hiring the venue.”
Mohammed Alam, of St Matthias Youth Club, told Loving Dalston that the club’s aim was to get “the kids off the streets and into a safe and controlled environment where they can socialise”.
Linked up was, he said, a not-for-profit organisation that occasionally hired the club. The police “are aware each time Linked up have an event at our premises”.
Alam added: “There is no alcohol involved at all these events and they always end by 10.30pm.”
The club is a charity, founded in 1968 by St Matthias’s church in Stoke Newington and, it says on its website, relaunched as a sports academy in early 2011. A company called Funday Entertainment offers the club for hire.
Hamish Scott 070915
* St Matthias Youth Club, 101 Dalston Lane E8 1NH (020 7254 9144)
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it may be the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.