By Paul Ainsworth

A CAR boot sale is struggling to get off the ground in South Belfast, after signage for the event was stolen twice. Malone woman Heather Sparkes is behind the Sunday car boot sale at Cooke Rugby Club, and is aiming to make the sale as popular as possible, with the overall aim of turning enough profit to consider charity donations.

However, with signage taken twice so far, knowledge of the event is minimal, and organisers are now stating “hands off our sign” and hope the boot sale can grow into a local success story.

“With the recession, car boot sales are growing in popularity, and we thought it would be a great idea for a new South Belfast event,” said Heather Sparkes.

“We produced a professional three metre sign back in May when we started, and attached it to the gates of the clubhouse, letting people know, but after four weeks it was stolen.”

The theft on July 8 was reported to police, and another makeshift sign was put in its place, less professional looking, but tightly secured with cables. Yet after just a few days, the second notice was again stolen.

“Why on earth would anyone do this, it makes no sense.

“We’re struggling to get the sale off the ground, and not getting anywhere near the numbers we are hoping for, either participants or visitors.

“In the future, we would hope to look at charitable donations from the profits, but we can’t get to that stage if our efforts are thwarted by someone taking the signs.”

A new homemade sign is now in place, with locals urged to report any tampering with it to police.

Those keen to take part in the boot sale, running on Sunday mornings from 9am to 1pm are free to turn up with no cost.

Meanwhile, a PSNI spokesman appealed for anyone with information on the thefts to get in touch.

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