Mayhem at Sussex village car boot sale as crowds converge on site

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A village car boot sale erupted in ‘mayhem’ when hordes of people converged ot the site between Horsham and Crawley.

‘Chaotic’ traffic was reported at the Rusper Car Boot Sale in Newdigate Road on Sunday.

Some buyers and sellers were turned away and tempers flared as marshals struggled to control the number of cars.

Now organisers, who have apologised to people living nearby, say that they are considering whether to continue Sunday sales.

In a message on Facebook, the organisers said: “Frankly, the site was overwhelmed by visitors and whilst our marshals tried their hardest to deal with the problem it quickly become compounded by reckless, thoughtless idiotic people parking on the road and in places they clearly should have not.”

They said people risked their own safety and that of their children by walking and pushing pushchairs down a busy road.

“We have been very fortunate to have had the support, understanding and tolerance of the kind people in the village. I believe what happened yesterday has understandably taken that support to breaking point.

“We regret the inconvenience to the sellers and buyers whom we had to turn away but the marshals had to put the safety of those people on site first, those in their care.

“I would like to say sorry to all our marshals, you should not have been forced to endure the abuse and aggression you got yesterday, it was unfair and beyond your duty.

“As an event we clearly now have some important decisions to make to see if it is safe and practical to continue operating the boot sale on a Sunday.

“We need to discuss revising risk assessments, event management and analysing feedback with the land owner to see if there is a way forward.”

Meanwhile, the event organisers have won praise on social media from people for the way they handled the situation.

Many say that they thought increased numbers of people had turned up following the closure of a Sunday car boot sale in Pease Pottage.

One visitor said: “I have been coming to Rusper for years now. However, I could not believe the mayhem that unfolded, but this was not the marshals’ fault, it was inconsiderate motorists who were not thinking of their, or anyone else’s safety.”

Another person told organisers: “I thought you handled the situation superbly. No one could have anticipated the stupid parking and attitude of those leaving cars on the road.”

And another added: “Your boot fair has always been very well run, and many of us would be devastated to lose it.”

Another added: “The absolute tw*ts that parked on the road should be ashamed of themselves... how there wasn’t an accident on the road I don’t know.”