STEALING traffic cones might be a rite of passage for drunken students - but their antics have cut costs for organisers of a Sheffield fete.
After noticing an array of road markers littering gardens throughout the community, organisers of Sharrow Vale Market came up with a cone-ing plan to put the ‘ornaments’ back to good use.
Shelley Cockayne, market co-ordinator, set to work collecting them from residents ahead of this weekend’s event – to avoid a £60 bill to hire a set from Sheffield Council.
The idea came after she spotted an alarming number of stray cones while promoting the outdoor bazaar in the community.
Residents seemed more than happy to part with the items when Shelley came knocking – with most admitting it was a mystery how they had got there in the first place.
A total of 13 cones were gathered from only three roads – Eastwood Road, Neil Road and Bruce Road at Sharrow Vale – home to a large amount of students and some long-term residents with shared gardens.
Shelley said: “Most people had no idea how they’d got there, but most were from student houses.
“I think over the years the students have collected them on nights out and things and they’ve just stayed there.
“It must be said that all types of residents were happy to get rid of them.
“This hoard was gathered in only 45 minutes, so imagine how many more there are out there?
“The council charges us for hiring cones and road closure signs so I planned to buy some for us to use each time, then the idea to see if we can have them donated came to me.”
The saving will help fund future markets, which take place about three times a year and attract hundreds of shoppers.
They are run by Sharrow Vale Community Association, a small committee of volunteers who founded the event in 2008 to boost local business.
It has gained huge popularity and sellers often scramble for a coveted slot on the stretch of road.
Sunday’s market features 81 stands and hot food from across the world, local delicacies, arts and crafts, children’s activities and entertainment.
Shelley said: “We’re oversubscribed in terms of sellers, but that’s the sign of a good market. It’s the first of the year we’re hoping for a really good turnout.”
Sharrow Vale Market takes place from noon.