'It’s time to hang up the hi vis' - Council ends Horley Car Boot because of new pay-on-exit car parking system

Horley Car Boot has been closed permanently.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 10:10 am

Horley Car Boot will be closed permanently from now on and cease trading as a bona fide company.

The popular car boot was held every Sunday at Central Car Park, Consort Way East and now because of a new pay-on-exit car parking system, it can longer be held.

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The Horley Car Boot was always a busy event

Luci Mould, Director of Place Services at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “The Council has given notice to terminate its licence for holding the car boot sale in the central car park, Horley.

“This comes ahead of the Council installing a new pay on exit car parking system later this year.

“Pay on exit parking has been requested by local traders and provides a more convenient payment method for people visiting the town centre.

“The car boot sale has not taken place for over two years.

“The Council also continues to have to adapt and be flexible in response to fluctuations in the borough's COVID-19 infection rate. Any event happening on Council-owned land has to demonstrate they have taken measures to be COVID-safe.

“This means we have to make continuous judgements about the viability of large gatherings and events, which sometimes results in difficult decisions having to be made.”

Car boot organiser Peter von Staerck posted this message ion Facebook to announce the news.

He said: "Horley Car Boot will be closed permanently from now on and cease trading as a bona fide company.

"Thank you for your wonderful support and custom over the past 21 years! Yes 21 years virtually to the very day!! I wish to thank Maureen Carney & Sue Walsh for helping me start it off to making it a sought-after event.

"A lot has happened at the Booty, it’s been fun but also hard work. Births, marriages and deaths have all passed in 21 years."

"There was the little old lady who bought a Bon Bon dish for 50p and sold it at Southerby’s for £5,400!!

"Sadly the Booty was so many times wrongly blamed for fly tipping, when in fact the Booty cleared up after others, as fly tipping occurred after we had all left. But, not forgetting the great friendships that have been made by and to so many.

"The great thing is that it was an epitome of recycling, a place people could go for entertainment, bargains and outings too, so many disabled people could come along as on hard standing.

"The bi-products and “spin offs” that came from the Booty were that it enticed many shops and Cafes to open on Sundays, many still do as there were none before that.

"The Booty also started “St George’s Day Festival” and by year three had 9,000 visitors, the insanely funny Scarecrow Festival, Proms in the Park, Proms by Street Light, the Big Lunches seating and feeding 100 at a time in the High Street for four years, planting of the “Roundabout Of Remembrance” (Longbridge R’bout with 5,500 spring bulbs and Hookwood R’bout with 4,000 bulbs), reintroducing a bi weekly Farmers Market to town centre, keeping solemn silence every Remembrance Day, re-igniting a failing Chamber of Commerce from 24 to 108 members until 12 years ago egos set in.

"Fighting local causes for a better Horley by stopping certain plans from going through. But now it’s time to hang up the High Viz. Thank you all so much for your wonderful and continued support."

Luci Mould, Director of Place Services at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “The Council has given notice to terminate its licence for holding the car boot sale in the central car park, Horley.

“This comes ahead of the Council installing a new pay on exit car parking system later this year.

“Pay on exit parking has been requested by local traders and provides a more convenient payment method for people visiting the town centre.

“The car boot sale has not taken place for over two years.

“The Council also continues to have to adapt and be flexible in response to fluctuations in the borough's COVID-19 infection rate. Any event happening on Council-owned land has to demonstrate they have taken measures to be COVID-safe.

“This means we have to make continuous judgements about the viability of large gatherings and events, which sometimes results in difficult decisions having to be made.”