Hotel refutes claims of chaos at university summer ball

Hardwick Hall.
Hardwick Hall.

A plush hotel has refuted claims that a university society’s summer ball held at the site desceneded into chaos with police having to shut it down.

Students who were part of a champagne drinking society at Durham University put their own lives at risk after causing mayhem during a summer ball at an exclusive County Durham hotel, according to a report.

It claims off-duty police officers had to be called in as back-up after events got out of hand a Hardwick Hall, near Sedgefield, on June 5 this year.

Organised by the university’s Champagne Society, some guests were reported to have been seen running naked into ornamental lakes while other openly had sex.

It also claimed that two students had to be taken to hospital.

Despite being each given two bottles of champagne on arrival, the group still managed to run up a huge £45,000 bar bill on the day.

The ball, for which tickets cost £99, was attended by about 1,300 people.

Bosses at Hardwick Hall however today refuted the allegations, saying that the notion the event ended up out of control as a “complete fabrication”.

A statement read: “Hardwick Hall Hotel completely refutes the claims made in the Durham University report about the Durham University Champagne Society Dinner.

“Staff at the hotel saw absolutely no evidence of any of the alleged activities and it wasn’t until much later after the event that we were informed that two people had entered the lake.

“There were more than 1,000 people at this event and the majority of them were well behaved and had an enjoyable, incident free evening

“The insinuation that this event was out of control is, as far as the hotel is concerned, a complete fabrication.

“Hardwick Hall hosts hundreds of large scale events – including many for Durham University – and these are highly successful and pass without incident.”

According to a report on the union’s website, there was no designated medical room at the event, members of the society’s executive ended up drunk even though they had said they would stay sober and the police advised hotel staff to close down the event because of concerns over safety.

Sam Dale, chair of the Durham City Partnership, said: “The toxic combination of excessive alcohol and students entering the water at Hardwick Park caused the partnership particular concern in light of previous events.

“Whilst we have not heard directly from the organisers of the event, the concerns were felt to be sufficiently serious that the issue should be raised with the chief executive and we would request your support in doing this.”

The socicety’s executive has said that Laurent Perrier delivered magnums of champagne to the event rather than single bottles by accident, vastly increasing the amount of alcohol available to guests.

The executive has also disputed that couples were openly having sex at the event.

The champagne society has now been placed on probation after it was investigated by Durham Students’ Union’s chief executive.

The decision was taken by the union’s assembly after it was discussed as a recent meeting.