THIEVES stole a giant banner advertising a series of charity car boot sales within hours of it being put up.
Members of the Fareham Macmillan Cancer Support group paid £90 for the banner, which was put on a fence in Cranleigh Road in Portchester to promote the events.
They put it up last Wednesday at 10am, but residents nearby reported that it, and several advertising boards, had vanished by lunchtime.
After trying to find the culprits themselves, the volunteers contacted The News in a bid to track it down.
The sales were planned to mark the cancer charity’s centenary year.
Macmillan fundraising manager Katie Blake said: ‘The committee have worked so hard to put this series of car boot sales on over the summer and it is so sad to hear that the banner has now gone.
‘The cost of the banner itself was £90 – this could have paid for a Macmillan nurse for a half-day, helping people living with cancer.
‘We are keen to retrieve the banner. If anyone knows its whereabouts we would be delighted to have it returned anonymously to the Fareham police station.
‘Our Fareham volunteers are so keen to pull out all the stops and pay tribute to Macmillan’s centenary year.
‘I very much hope that the community will rally round to support these events and work with us to make a difference to the lives of local people affected by cancer.’
The banner was stolen from a fence outside the field where the sales will happen and was due to be moved to the roundabout outside the Seagull pub closer to the start of the events on April 23.
Mrs Blake added: ‘The banner is of no use to anyone else as it is especially printed with the Macmillan logo and says “Car Boot Sale” with a large black arrow indicating the way from the roundabout – along Cornaway Lane towards the field.
‘Hundreds of people that we have talked to have been instructed to look out for the banner with the arrow.
‘We are disappointed and we understand that someone may object to us being there, but we don’t understand why someone would steal property belonging to Macmillan Cancer Support which may cause our venture harm.’
The sales will still be taking place, with the ﬁrst one on Saturday, April 23, from 11am to 3pm, with sellers allowed on site from 10am.
Cars are charged at £7 and trailers at £10.
For more information call (01329) 231089 or email shirley firstname.lastname@example.org