Seafront sales are given the boot for being downmarket

People looking for a bargain at a car boot sale.
People looking for a bargain at a car boot sale.

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CAR boot sales close to Southsea seafront are to be stopped – because the city council says they are too downmarket.

Portsmouth City Council will stop any more of the sales taking place at Castle Field, next to Southsea Castle, because it believes they create litter, which is blown around on the sea wind, and the standard of items sold is too low.

In a report on the matter presented to the council’s leader for culture and leisure, head of cultural services Stephen Baily explained the council’s view.

He said: ‘Organiser Jack Trickett ensures the area is cleaned, and the land is handed back to us in good condition, but traders leave empty cardboard boxes and detritus they haven’t been able to sell. Litter is often blowing all around the field. The sales make Castle Field effectively a temporary car park, and the products these traders sell have even included an old mattress.’

The car boot sales are held on the field six or seven times a year.

Four are organised by 81-year-old Jack Trickett, now retired, but formerly manager of Trickett’s Amusements, a fairground operator based in Horndean.

He sets up food stalls and fairground rides on the field, and rents space for traders around the central attraction.

He donates the cash to the Nautical Training Corps.

He said: ‘I can’t understand it. I just do it to raise cash for the sea cadets to buy uniforms. I’ve been arranging things there for more than 40 years and there’s never been any trouble. It’s not fair and we will be looking into how to oppose stopping the sales.’

Under the council’s plan, Mr Trickett will be invited to suggest alternative events for Castle Field, to continue to raise cash for the Corps.

Car boot sales will be allowed to continue elsewhere in the city, and the council hopes to arrange trade fairs on Castle Field, which would include antique traders.

Portsmouth City Council’s seafront manager David Evans said: ‘There were never supposed to be car boot sales. We will do all we can to support events on the sea-front, and we want better quality events than this.

‘We’re looking to bring in craft fairs, food festivals and antique fairs in gazebos. These people don’t come at the moment because of car boot sales.’

Cllr Lee Hunt, the council’s leader for culture and leisure, agreed with the plans.

He said: ‘We can have a better standard of event here. At the moment you get people driving from Essex, selling old things from the back of a white Transit, and driving home. They don’t contribute anything to the city.’