Trader ’s plan to turn Scunthorpe landmark building into auction house
UNUSED: Kinsley Hall, on Cole Street, Scunthorpe, could become an auction house if plans are approved by North Lincolnshire Council. Inset, Paul Potter in his current auction room.
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 4 Aug 2017
A LANDMARK building in Scunthorpe town centre, the Kinsley Hall could be set to take on a new lease of life.
For well-known market trader Paul Potter and his wife Ann are seeking planning approval to convert the building on Cole Street into an auction house.
The building has stood empty since May 2015, when the charity Magic Moments switched its headquarters to nearby Market Hill.
But the hall is best known as the home of the former Kinsley Labour Club, which traded from 1968 until September 2007, when it closed due to rising debts.
The premises were also used as the surgery and offices for the town’s Labour MPs and was once the headquarters of the Scunthorpe and District Railway Enthusiasts’ Society.
Two years ago, Mr Potter, a trader for 32 years, opened his auction hall on the first floor of Scunthorpe Market.
Currently, he deals with around 500 lots at sales held twice monthly.
Mr Potter has told planners if the move to Kinsley Hall is approved, he will continue to operate on alternate Thursdays and retain six full-time and part-time employees.
The trading hours would be between 9am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday.
But hours for people bringing items to auction would be limited to 10am to 4pm.
Mr Potter said he would expect up to 50 cars on an auction day and expect most clients to park in the nearby multi-storey car park.
The hall was built by the former Scunthorpe MP Lord David Quibell, who donated the site to the townsfolk in 1928.
In the 1950s it was the home of the Atkinson Academy of Dancing, offering students classes in ballet and Greek dancing.
But the hall’s greatest claim to fame came in 1953.
Local musician Sandy Strickland played the piano non-stop for 132 hours – smoking 170 cigarettes and drinking two gallons of tea daily as he made his way into the record books.