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  • 50-YEARS-AGO: THE FUZZ BUST ECCLES COMMUNE "DRUG ORGY" IN A DAWN SWOOP


    History With Flynn


    Let's roll back the clock to the golden, idyllic, Summer of 1970 when Brazil won the World Cup, 4-1 against Italy, The Beatles disbanded, 600,000 people gathered at The Isle of Wight to watch, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Tiny Tim, Mungo Jerry were top of the charts with, In The Summertime and the Drug Squad in Eccles were flexing their truncheons.

    At 12.15am, Saturday, July 11th  the police raided a house on Abbey Grove, Eccles and several people there were arrested and taken to Green Lane Police Station for questioning, and were told there was reason to believe that they had been smoking, cannabis!

    The accused were, Anne Higginson, Patrick Mullin, Alan Goldson, James Smith and a unnamed 15 year old boy, who became my Brother in Law, Mick Scahill, and what an excellent chap he was. a fine husband, father and friend, R.I.P. 

    Several of them admitting smoking "pot", including Mick, bless him and according to Chief Inspector Wood, Higginson said, "

    "Why charge everybody?, it's my room let the others off"

    In court she denied saying this.

    Chief Inspector Wood told Eccles Magistrates Court that the warrant was executed at Abbey Grove, which was described as being a large house, divided into flats and damningly the occupants had no right to be living there and paid no rent to the owner and were basically, squatters!

    He then went on to describe the living conditions of the house, which at times is laughable, he said the premises were in a dilapidated condition with "paintings on the wall in bright colours, including flowers and other articles"

    "Most of the rooms are in an indescribable condition with filthy walls and floors, and no attempt has been made to clean them, they are squatters and should not be there"

    When the police went into a room rear of the house on the first floor they found, 30 home made cigarette ends and a piece of substance which was believed to be cannabis.

    D. C. Park really got into the swing of it when he told the Magistrate that when he entered a room it became obvious that cannabis had been smoked and.

    ."It was quite apparent to me a drug orgy had taken place"

    Yes he actually used the words, "drug orgy" this was Eccles not The Sphan Ranch with Charlie Manson and his gang.

    Mullin objected to the police description of the rooms and said they were being treated as "queer people" and that this was going on all over the world.

    The Chairman of the Court, Mr B. Hodgson told Mullins hat as long as he obeyed the law he could within reason do what he wanted.

    Mr Mullins then went into a wonderful speech in which he said there was no loud music as the record player was broken and they were chatting about, the Universe, The Cosmos and love when the police broke into the room and ordered him to strip off whilst they searched him for cannabis, a bit of a rude awakening I should imagine.

    "Basically I am a peaceful person, but know I am more antagonistic, how would you like it if a stranger came to your house, when you are having your tea, and tell you to take your clothes off for an examination for cannabis"  He has a point.

    The Deputy Clerk of the Court told him that it was illegal, to which he replied. ..."It was illegal to be a Christian at one time"

    The trial was quickly descending to farce when he was asked what he did for a living, he replied, "I simply smile at people"

    The others admitted smoking cannabis but denied they were doing anything wrong and awaited their fate.

    The Magistrate fined them all £25 each and were given a warning about their future conduct and ordered out of the house on Abbey Road, justice had been done.

    I can remember the "Eccles Commune" as it became known and to be honest it was a bit of a novelty and not den of iniquity the police made it out to be, laughable really.

    Mick Scahill told me they knew they were due for a visit from the police because two days earlier, two men with fake Irish accents knocked on the door asking to buy "pot" and asking if there were and "chicks" living there...Hmm who could that have been.

    The house has since been demolished but they say if you walk past on a hot Summers night, the smell of patchouli oil and Red Lebanese can be smelt on the evening breeze...





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