WATCH: Celebrities host lockdown house party in sleepy Midlands village
Celebrities partied until the early hours at a rave in a sleepy village, prompting a warning from police that large gatherings are still banned under lockdown laws.
The festivities at Child's Ercall, a village between Newport and Market Drayton in Shropshire, began on Saturday evening and the revellers defied the social distancing restrictions to dance all through the night, with four sets of DJs providing music.
Glamour models, reality TV stars and presenters travelled from across the country to attend the party, posting footage all over social media despite them breaking lockdown rules which prohibit gatherings of more than six people.
WATCH: Footage shows lockdown rave in Shropshire village
Several Instagram accounts' 'stories' from Saturday evening showed rooms full of people dancing, some of them tagging their location as 'Child's Ercall' or 'Telford'.
Many of the accounts have follower numbers of five or six figures while Love Island star Joshua Ritchie has almost one million.
One post said there was music "from 7 to 9". The lighting in the photos varies from daylight to pitch blackness, with one post tagged at 2.39am.
Photos show cardboard boxes full of silver canisters and people holding balloons.
Some of the people whose Instagram accounts appear to have posted from the party include Babestation TV presenter Amber Jasmine, Playboy model Gigi Petite and Instagram personality Summer Xhelilaj.
Captions uploaded by Joshua Ritchie, formerly of Love Island, Ex On The Beach and Celebs Go Dating, suggest it was a birthday party for Danny Taberner, a goalkeeper who formerly played for Rochdale, and Jay Bigz, who appeared on Geordie Shore.
Mr Ritchie wrote: "What a birthday do for @dannytabs and @jaybigzy." One post from Mr Bigz said: "No venues, no problem."
Layton Migas, another attendee, wrote on his Instagram account: "Can't believe we actually pulled it off. What a night! Hope everyone enjoyed it." He also posted a video of minibuses dropping people off outside The Hall.
Mr Ritchie used one post to thank the DJs on the night - Gee DJ, Kaci-lea Lynch, Jamskii and the Mason Collective.
Videos uploaded on Sunday showed Mr Taberner and Mr Ritchie recuperating. Mr Ritchie told his 900,000 followers: "Last night was a madness. What a do it was."
In response West Mercia Police released a statement pleading with people to continue following the lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic.
Superintendent Mo Lansdale, Shropshire local commander, said: “We’re aware of social media footage that shows a party at what is believed to be The Hall in Child’s Ercall on Saturday night.
"We understand people’s frustrations due to the current restrictions but have to stress gatherings such as this are not allowed under the current rules and we would continue to ask everyone to play their part and follow the regulations in place.”
Video from Saturday also showed people arriving at The Hall in Child's Ercall in minibuses.
The Hall's description on onthemarket.com describes it as a "beautifully unique and incredibly spacious two double bedroom first-floor apartment set within a grand country hall".
Former parish councillor Len Sambrook, who lives in the village, said he heard two or three large bangs akin to fireworks at about 12.30am on Sunday, but did not see extra cars in the area.
It is not the first time Mr Ritchie has reportedly broken the rules – in late May national newspapers reported that his Instagram profile showed pictures of him less than two metres apart from friends at his home on two occasions.
Then earlier this month he posted about a beach party with dozens of people in attendance.
Last week, West Mercia Police asked anyone who becomes aware of illegal events going ahead to report to police.
Assistant chief constable Rachel Jones said: “The key to stopping these events is early intelligence.”
The most up-to-date government guidance about coronavirus says in part: "It is not yet possible for people who are not in support bubbles to meet inside other people’s homes – that remains against the law unless covered by one of the limited exceptions.
"This is critical to helping us control the virus and keep people safe.
"It is a criminal offence to: meet indoors with anyone who is not a member of your household or, from 13 June, your support bubble, except for specific exceptions set out in law... [or] incite others to break the rules by e.g. inviting people to a party."
Representatives of Mr Ritchie and Mr Migas have been approached for comment.
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