True community spirit as garage sale beats the rain

Neighbours in Chichester braved the rain on Saturday for the annual Great Parklands Garage Sale.

Tuesday, 28th June 2016, 9:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2016, 10:33 am
Isaac Penny, nine, with his cookie stall

Most people were sheltering under gazebos and garden umbrellas but buyers were largely undeterred.

The not-for-profit community initiative is run by volunteers and supported by Parklands Residents’ Association.

It was started by resident Emily Penny in 2012 and has become a popular calendar event, with 50 to 60 households all across Parklands taking part this year.

Otto Penny, five, with his toy stall in Cedar Drive

Emily said: “It was a successful day, between the downpours, with lots of neighbours and other buyers out and about having a browse.

“Everyone hung out balloons and some made signs for their stalls. Oliver Whitby Road was particularly busy. People were using the Facebook group to locate items they needed, like kids bikes and baby things. There was a great atmosphere and lots of happy shoppers.”

Children held fundraising stalls for good causes and local crafts were for sale, such as Phoenix Wood Designs.

At Emily’s home in Cedar Drive, Isaac Penny, nine, ran a cookie stall and Otto Penny, five, was in charge of the toy stall.

Otto Penny, five, with his toy stall in Cedar Drive

She added: “Our stalls were popular with grandparents stocking up on toys for when the grandchildren visit and hardly anyone could resist a cookie. One couple bought one each and ten to take home.”

The aim of the garage sale is to promote social interaction between neighbours and facilitate the local re-use of unwanted items. The newsagents acts as the central hub, giving out trail maps to visitors.

Emily said: “It is a fun community day that encourages residents to hold garage sales all on the same day, enabling the participants to share promotional costs.

“I started it because I needed to declutter. It’s a really nice way to meet neighbours who you don’t often get the chance to talk with and a really convenient way to sell large items, too.

“We have sold lots of baby things and furniture at the sale over the years. My kids get really involved and sort out toys to sell to make some pocket money. Some people raise money for charity, which is fantastic, too.”

Mark Stratton-Richards and James Mortimore gave out free doughnuts as people looked at their homemade crafts and photography.

He said: “We had a good day despite the rain. It was great to have a fairly steady stream of people coming, along as well as the rivers from the rain! Great community feel.”

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