Boot Tales

Strange stories from Christchurch Lions car boot sales. . . .

Sunday 14th July.

It's 6.20 am and they're already queuing out of the gate to Stanpit Rec so that the Lions can't get into the Car Park to open up! Why would car booters want to forego an extra hour in bed on a Sunday in favour of sitting in a queue? This puts us under pressure and it helps our mood enormously when people get abusive because they have to wait!  Raising funds for charity can truly be a thankless task. . .

Sunday 14th April.  

All packed up and ready to go for a well-earned pint when we noticed one buyer's car left in the corner of the field.  We left a note under the wiper with our contact details and locked up.  Sometime later, our keyholder received the expected 'phone call and returned to Stanpit.  No apology received, no donation for our charity bucket for the inconvenience.  As we've said so many times: "it takes all sorts."

We would also like to thank the seller who left a pack of picture frames on the field, complete with broken glass!  The possible consequences don't bear thinking about if a child or dog had come across it!  

Sunday 10th September.   Regular visitors will know that there is a padlocked height barrier at the entrance to Stanpit Recreation area to which we have a key.  Sadly, on this occasion the key wouldn't work, despite liberal application of oil, which meant that Somerford Scouts couldn't get their catering equipment on site and we all had to forego our coffee and bacon rolls.  Apologies to everyone who missed out on refreshments and to the drivers of high-sided vehicles that we had to turn away.

After the event, it transpired that the padlock had been reported as broken but no-one had thought to tell us!

Sunday 9th July 2017.  Driving to Stanpit at about 06.15 it was one of those "good to be alive" summer mornings.  Arrived at Stanpit still feeling good and squeezed the car and trailer in front of the queue of insomniacs.  It was then that  we realised that the keys to the gate had gone walkabout . . .and suddenly the day didn't seem so fine!  A long delay whilst we activated Plan B - having first having to work out what Plan B was - and, eventually, everyone was parked by 8.00 am which, coincidentally, is our official opening time.  Apologies to everyone who had to queue - the guilty Lion is now looking very sweet in sackcloth and ashes!

To lighten the mood we were very pleased to welcome Curley the Busker, who entertained everyone with his repertoire of old standards raising funds for our charities account.  Next month we'll try to put him in a prime position so that you can't miss him and his donation bucket!

Sunday 11th June 2017.  It was one of those days. . .Firstly we had someone trying to sell an air rifle and had visions of armed police deploying all over Stanpit based on reports of somebody with a gun!  Then we had the elderly couple on a tandem disability scooter (really!) who were abusive when we pointed out that they were about to go out through the gate reserved for incoming vehicles. Finally, we have always welcomed car booters who bring their dogs with them but we had to draw the line here. . . 

car boot snake

Sunday 11th September 2016.  So it's 1.00 pm, all the cars have gone home except one left in the corner of the buyers parking area.  No sign of the driver so we leave a note under the windscreen wiper with a contact number of our keyholder and head off to the pub.  About 5.30pm we get a 'phone call from the owner whose tale was a new one on us.  She had driven to the sale alone and her husband had come down later in his car with aged mother.  They enjoyed the car boot sale "en famille" and then, after the kerfuffle of putting mother back in the car, our lady got in alongside her husband and they went home!  Realisation that her car was missing came some 4 hours later.  Our keyholder gamely returned to Stanpit to let her out and gratefully accepted a £5 donation to Lions funds for his trouble.  The lady was so apologetic and so nice that it was a pleasure to be able to help her.

Most car booters are very friendly and accommodating but there are occasional exceptions. . . a buyer drove in and parked in the wrong place and was asked very politely if she would mind moving.  Her reply was " I pay my (expletive deleted) taxes so I'm going to park where I (expletive deleted) like." Truly, it takes all sorts! 

Sunday 7th August 2016.  We arrived shortly before 6.30 am to set up the field to find the usual queue of early risers waiting for us.  We're used to that and most of them understand that they are going to have to wait until we're ready to open the field.  One "gentleman" however, chose to berate one of our volunteers becausewe weren't open at 6.30He was pointed towards the sign that says we open to sellers at 7.30 and even then didn't have the good grace to apologise.  Perhaps if he'd stayed in bed for another hour he wouldn't have been so rude and grumpy!

Sunday 8th May 2016.  A very big thank you to the car booter who left us the present of a dirty nappy to dispose of.  Sir, or Madam, you really were taking liberties and pushing our goodwill to the limit!

Sunday 10th May.  As usual, we arrived on site at about 06.15 when there were already several cars queuing at the gate, with the queue getting longer by the minute.  Now it takes us at least 45 minutes to stake out the field and put up the signage, which is why we publicise the opening time to sellers as 7.30 and buyers as 8.00.  However, if people want to sit in their cars for up to an hour, and, incidentally, cause a traffic-management problem for us, that’s their choice. We do think it unreasonable, though, for one of the drivers in the queue, to accuse us at 6.45 of not being able to run a “p*** up in a blank blank brewery”  

 We continue to have problems with peoples' driving skills! As soon as people drive onto the site they seem to lose all understanding of how to drive their car. There are pedestrians, dog walkers, cyclist, and most importantly Lions using the site as well as the cars. We have spent loads of money on signs that say 'Caution', '10 MPH', 'Way Out', etc, but some people either cannot see them or just chose to ignore them completely. We have had a number of near-misses with drivers doing 30+ MPH on the site - one Lions was brushed aside by a car on the roadway by a driver coming in, and several drivers on the damp field slide all over the place. PLEASE - DRIVE SLOWLY!

More to come each month . . .

Remember, it could be you featuring here. Please remember to be thoughtful of others when on the site.

Business Meeting
First Monday of every month
Honurne Holiday Park, Highcliffe