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Scarborough's Futurist Theatre Piano To Go To Auction

futurist piano

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 10:51am 19th May 2017. (Updated at 11:07am 19th May 2017)

A grand piano from Scarborough's Futurist Theatre is going to auction tomorrow (Saturday 20 May.)

It is estimated to be worth around £5,000-£7,000 and is being auctioned through David Duggleby's Auctioneers. On Duggleby's website, it is described as:

"Steinway & Sons concert grand piano, circa 1900, iron framed over strung movement in ebonised case, No. 96292, on gadroon carved turned and fluted supports (W152cm, H100cm, L275cm), with early 20th century ebonised stool, with adjustable leather upholstered stool - PROVENANCE - Futurist Theatre, Scarborough."

It's not know who is selling the piano as the details are classified.

However, this has been met with discontent from the group trying to save the Futurist. At the moment, the group are trying to raise funds in order to take legal action against Scarborough Borough Council following the decision to demolish the building, which was taken in January. 

Next month, they'll meet with a lawyer to decide if a judicial review can go ahead. They need to raise £10,000 in order to fund the legal services and have so far raised just under £2,000.

Debi Silver is from the Save the Futurist Campaign Group, she said:

"Whilst we are struggling as representing people of Scarborough and everywhere else to get money, the council can quite freely take stuff out of the theatre and sell it.

I would like to think that it hasn't been taken out of the Futurist Theatre by Scarborough Borough Council and put into Duggleby's.

That may well be the case, who knows? But it's rather strange that this piano is in for sale and it says 'PROVENANCE-Futurist Theatre.'"


There are 2 comments on this page.

Peter Maynard, on 20th May 2017 9:25am
In my view the piano belongs to the residents of the Borough of Scarborough as does the Futurist Theatre. The current Council are merely the custodians of both the theatre and its assets as trustees on behalf of Scarborough residents. The Save the Futurist Group acting on behalf of Scarborough residents are now seeking judicial review of the council's decisions to demolish the theatre having been advised by legal experts that those decisions were unlawful. The council deny that their actions were unlawful and it is therefore only right and proper that the lawfulness of the decisions to demolish the theatre now be determined by the High Court. This is particularly important at a time when a significant number of councillors have lost confidence in the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet and the Council's Chief Executive and Legal Officer. The Save the Futurist Group are currently struggling to raise £5,000 to cover the legal costs of being legally represented at the initial High Court hearing on 16 June before the judge who is to determine whether to give leave for the application to proceed to a full judicial review hearing later this year. If those funds cannot be raised in time for the barrister representing the Group to prepare for and attend the hearing then the application will fail and be thrown out of court for lack of funds and legal representation. The Council on the other hand are ironically using the Scarborough residents' own money (from council tax and rates) to pay the legal costs they are incurring to defend the action. The Cabinet is determined to defend the action at all costs using residents' money in order to ensure that the demolition can proceed and the site be made available to Gordon Gibb of Flamingoland for him to build multi storey blocks of apartments with retail shops and parking. Gibb will make a huge fortune out of this and the Council will undoubtedly also make money out of this "done deal". The Council will also benefit from this development by getting a new 4 storey block of Council offices, which is already provided for in the real development plans for the site (as opposed to the fictitional plans for the development of a fun fair). It is estimated that the sale of the Steinway piano will raise upwards of £5,000. The right thing for the Council to do therefore would be to donate the sale proceeds of the piano to the Group's legal costs fund to provide "a level playing field" and ensure at the very least that there are sufficient legal costs available for the hearing on 16 June to proceed and for the judge to determine whether to allow the application to proceed to a full judicial review hearing after hearing legal representations from BOTH sides. I would urge therefore all those councillors who have lost confidence in their leadership to support my proposal to have the sale proceeds donated to the Save the Futurist's legal costs. This would allow a fair hearing with both sides legally represented on this extremely important issue which goes to the heart of of the local government of our Borough.
Peter Maynard LL.B
Retired Solicitor
Peter Maynard, on 21st May 2017 8:42am
The piano sold at auction for £12,600. The big question now is what the Cou cil are going to do with money. It is time for all councillors with integrity to support my proposal for some or all of this money to be applied towards the legal costs of the High Court action so that there can be a fair and properly argued hearing regarding the lawfulness of the decisions to demolish the Futurist Theatre.

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