Pork pie and water pistol wedding brawl: Club steward 'had never seen anything like it'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Harold Club The Harold Club

A club steward said he had never seen scenes like it after a brawl broke out at a wedding reception over a pork pie and water pistol.

Any couple’s big day will be memorable, but one Bradford bash got more people talking than most after social media reports of the out-of-hand celebrations which led to three arrests.

The newly-wed Barracloughs were enjoying their party in Low Moor when an argument, then fighting, broke out among guests and party was stopped.

Chris Sowden, who has worked at the Harold Club in Low Moor for more than 14 years, yesterday told the Telegraph & Argus he had never seen anything like it.

He was working downstairs at the venue in New Works Road when a colleague called him upstairs and he saw two women fighting.

“Once the women were fighting, the men started and there was just a big brawl. When I saw that, I thought, ‘this party’s going to shut down’,” Mr Sowden said.

He called police and an ambulance as one woman had a bleeding cheek, he thinks caused by her being bitten.

Mr Sowden said about 15 police officers, plus the force’s dog unit, arrived at the club to deal with the 20 to 30 people involved in the fight.

A Tweet from the West Yorkshire Police Dog Section on Saturday evening said the team was on its way to a “large fight at a wedding”.

It added: “All started over a pork pie apparently! #clubclosed #dayruined.”

Mr Sowden said: “I’ve never seen anything like it in all my 14 years here.

“I spoke to one of the guests when it had finished, one that hadn’t had any alcohol and was compos mentis, and he thought it was more to do with a water pistol than a pork pie.

“It was a case of it could have been anything, but it was a pork pie and water pistol.”

Mr Sowden said the 70 guest included children, who were frightened and screaming and ushered into the women’s toilets.

“It was awful to see. They were screaming.

“Some of them were just more interesting in getting the children out. Some of the kids belonged to those who were fighting.”

Mr Sowden said the bride was “devastated” and upset because her dress had been covered in drink.

But although the guests were brawling, they left the place undamaged.

“Not one glass got broken. They were concentrating on killing each other rather than the tables and chairs,” Mr Sowden said, adding that since the incident he had been inundated with interview requests from the media.

The wedding reception was for Wendy and Ryan Barraclough, of Wyke.

The new wife yesterday said on her Facebook page: “What a wedding day to remember!!! Shame it got spoilt and that my big day is famous,,,but at least I'm married and got my man that I can now call my husband!”

Sergeant Claire Smith, of Tong and Wyke Neighbourhood Police Team, said police were called at 7.21pm to a report of an “on-going disturbance” at the Harold Club and spent about 40 minutes there.

“A number of officers attended and the matter was quickly brought under control.

“The section of the premises open to the public was closed to prevent any further problems, however the members only area remained open for business.”

Two people arrested for assault were released on bail pending further inquiries and a man arrested for a public order matter was given a fixed penalty.

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