Police were called to Mother Fanshaws tea rooms in Uppermill, to deal with an outbreak of violence not seen in this country since the mid-1960s. The trouble is understood to have erupted when a gang on mobility scooters, identified as 'The InContinentals', from nearby Greenfield, aggressively took the last six parking spaces at the tea rooms. Police said the number of customers 'mildly inconvenienced' was around nine, but may rise.
When the police first arrived at the scene, they came under attack from a hail of Werther’s Originals and Trebor soft mints, and were forced to withdraw to a safe distance. The Greenfield mobility gang had been riding their scooters up and down the high street for much of the morning, taunting the local 'Coffin Dodgers' gang, who had been sitting outside the café drinking Ovaltine and gently nodding off in the morning sunshine. The scooter gang had been jeering their rivals about the dated beige leather jackets they still used, a style which had been popular in England during the 1960s.
‘Trouble began when the leader of the Coffin Dodgers gang flashed a pair of flannelette bloomers at the leader of the scooter gang and everything kicked off,’ said PC Al Koshum. ‘They were clearly looking for trouble – just look at this sharp slice of toast crust we found near the crime scene and this chain could have taken someone’s eye out, if they hadn’t removed the St. Christopher first’.
It seems that a long running dispute over who gets the park benches nearest the bowling green on match days, had brought about tension between the rival gangs. Police suspect they had planned the meeting outside Mother Fanshaws after finding a handwritten letter on headed note paper from the scooter gang formally inviting their rivals to a 'bit of a knee's-up'.
Police say that they had been observing the leader of the Greenfield gang, Albert Fletcher, who has a record of civil disorder offences, the most recent being an on field protest over admission prices, which caused the abandonment of Saddleworth Rangers last home match.
For several hours, members from both gangs were involved in running battles, using handbags, walking sticks and rolled-up newspapers, along High St in Uppermill. Police units with dogs, who tried to separate the two factions, were forced back by the overpowering smell of stale piss and TCP.
Continuing clashes forced police to declare the tea rooms a no-go area after one officer was injured by a set of dentures thrown by one of the gang members.