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EDITIONS
Sunday, 2 January, 2000, 00:33 GMT
Millennium celebrations 'a huge success'
10,000 people paid to visit the Dome on New Year's Day
The millennium celebrations in Britain have been judged an overwhelming success.

What struck me both last night and again today is this real sense of confidence and optimism. You just want to bottle it and keep it

Tony Blair
Prime Minister Tony Blair led the praise by hailing the "optimism and confidence" shown by the country as it welcomed 2000 with a nationwide festival of fire, light and music.

Speaking as he left Downing Street to watch the New Year's Day millennium parade in Whitehall, Mr Blair said: "There was a fantastic atmosphere everywhere you went.

Into 2000
"What struck me both last night and again today is this real sense of confidence and optimism. You just want to bottle it and keep it."

No major disturbances were reported by police on New Year's Eve nor New Year's Day.

Home Secretary Jack Straw praised the police for the success of the security operation, with reported crime down 6% on "comparable" new year's eves.
parade
The London New Year parade drew huge crowds
However, there were at least six deaths in the hours after midnight, including a man who was beaten to death in Northern Ireland in what police believe could have been a sectarian attack.

Mr Straw also revealed that a series of bomb threats were made against targets in London, including the Millennium Dome where the Queen and prime minister attended a glittering reception.

"All of those threats turned out to be hoaxes but each had to be taken seriously," said Mr Straw.
The Firth of Forth Loony Dook drew slightly smaller crowds
Health Secretary Alan Milburn praised NHS staff as "simply brilliant" after emergency services coped with a massive rise in 999 calls.

The London Ambulance Service took 2,300 calls in the first six hours of the New Year - a 42% increase on the same period last year.

The Greater Manchester Ambulance Service had its busiest night on record with 1,200 calls, while in Yorkshire a total of 4,000 people attended hospital A&E units.

Maternity units saw the birth of at least two millennium babies within seconds of Big Ben's chiming.
The morning after the night before
Feared millennium bug disruption failed to materialise as businesses, banks, airlines and the government reported no significant computer problems in the first hours of Y2K.

However, the government warned that problems could emerge on 4 January, when most people return to work, or later in the year.

The Millennium Dome opened to paying visitors for the first time on New Year's Day.

It was given a ringing endorsement by the first 10,000 admission-paying members of the public to visit.
Partygoers in front of the wheel
An estimated 3m people partied around the Thames
Comments ranged from "huge" and "awesome" to "very enjoyable" and "good value for money".

At noon, thousands of church bells pealed in unison as 2,000 churches across the country rang in the third millennium.

Around the nation's coastline, grim-faced swimmers braved the cold waters of the North Sea and the Atlantic by going for charity dips.

And despite the hangovers, up to one million people watched the millennium parade through the centre of London in which 12,000 performers took part.
Monstrat Abomide and Jason Englefield with millennium daughter,Tamera
Westminster City Council reported that road sweepers swept up more than 150 tons of rubbish after the previous night's party, attended by an estimated 3m revellers.

About 15% of the rubbish - four times as much as usual - was made up of champagne bottles.

And a record 18 people are celebrating the millennium in style after they were made millionaires in The National Lottery's special Big Draw 2000.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Nick Higham
"There was no problem with security this morning"
The BBC's James Robbins reports
"The party of a thousand years"
See also:

01 Jan 00 | UK
01 Jan 00 | Business
01 Jan 00 | UK
01 Jan 00 | UK
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