SHEFFIELD businesswoman Julia Gash described this week how she saw some of the riots in London.
The director of Bag It Don’t Bin It was with three other women from the company who were celebrating after a fashion trade fair.
She said: “We suddenly found ourselves in the middle of the riots. We were having dinner at a tapas restaurant just off Fulham Broadway when some young guys came running past the window. At first I thought they were running for a bus but there were too many.
“Then more came, and more and more. It was like a herd of wildebeest running through the streets, dressed in black. Some wore masks or T-shirts over their faces. The only light came from their mobile phones.
“Riot vans, police in uniform and plain clothes swept after them, making arrests. We could hear alternative shouting and then a tense silence.
“They put the television on in the restaurant and we were advised to try to get home. When it had appeared to have calmed we headed out, walking tightly together and discussing our strategy should we get attacked.
“We saw groups of guys congregating around bus stops and in doorways. They were only young – teenagers.
“I saw some older guys on mobile phones in their cars and wondered if they were part of it. Back in the hotel we could smell burning. Cars were torched at the end of the road in Fulham Broadway. We could hear sirens and shouting throughout the night and waking up this morning the sirens can still be heard.”
Julia added: “We couldn’t wait to get back to Sheffield, safely.”
Former High Storrs student Edd Buckley, aged 21, told how he returned from an evening meal with friends in the West End to find mobs rampaging through the streets. After he returned home, he and his housemates were disturbed by thugs trying to smash their way into a next-door property in Camden Town.
Edd, who has started a job as a researcher for a television company, said: “I could hear police sirens and there were buses with their drivers speeding to get away because some have been set on fire in other areas. It was complete chaos.”