Charity sale flops after being axed from the common

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A CHARITY car boot sale has struggled to make any money after being kicked off its home of 40 years.

For decades a car boot sale has been held several times a year at Castle Field, next to Southsea Castle, with some of the proceeds going to help the training of sea cadets.

But this year organisers were forced to move the event to Horndean after Portsmouth City Council said it was no longer happy about having car boot sales on Castle Field.

However, the three-day car boot sale, at Five Heads Road, Horndean, failed to draw in the crowds over the Easter weekend.

While the Southsea event was usually heaving, only two traders turned up on the Sunday and none on the Monday.

Pat Smith, 67, who raises money for the Junior Cadet Corps in Denmead by having a car boot stall, was angry as she said they lost out on hundreds of pounds of vital funds for the youngsters.

She said: ‘Basically they have kicked us off and the impact is on the children, who we are raising the money for.

‘There have never been any problems.

‘They said there was rubbish but we always cleared up before we started.

‘At the end we did a sweep to make sure everything was clean and tidy.’

Jack Trickett, 81, who had been going down to Southsea for 40 years, was also angry.

He normally sets up food stalls and fairground rides on Castle Field, renting space for traders around the central attraction.

He donates the cash to the Nautical Training Corps.

Mr Trickett, who lives in Horndean, said: ‘We are going to try and do something about it, but we want to go to Portsmouth because that’s where the people are.

‘Horndean is not a very big village.’

But officials at Portsmouth City Council said a return of car boot sales at Castle Field was not on the cards.

Seafront manager David Evans said: ‘We’re not against car boot sales, but we’ve stopped them on Castle Field because we were concerned that some of the items being sold on our land weren’t of a good standard and there was an issue about tracing sellers if goods sold turned out to be faulty.

‘We’re also trying to bring in more visitors to the seafront with a wider choice of activities, and there’s already a regular car boot sale on the seafront.

‘We’ve met several times with the charity to talk about how we could help them stage an alternative event on the field.

‘One idea we offered to support was a properly regulated trading fair, with market-type stalls.

‘We’ve also offered them free use of Southsea Common for band competitions.

‘We’re more than happy to continue to try to help them to come up with a different event, instead of the car boot sale, that will give them a chance to make even more money.’