Bracing seaside based auction sees Skegness illuminations go under hammer

An Animated lighting panel showing a dancing Jolly Fisherman will be amongst items up for sale at a forthcoming auction.
An Animated lighting panel showing a dancing Jolly Fisherman will be amongst items up for sale at a forthcoming auction.

An unusual auction involving recent Skegness paraphernalia amongst other local seaside themed items is scheduled to go under the hammer in a forthcoming auction.

The Skegness seaside illuminations that have delighted millions of visitors to Skegness and Mablethorpe over the years are going under the hammer in a spectacular online public auction scheduled to end on Thursday, April 16.

CJM Director Paul Cooper with one of the three Jolly Fishermen that are being sold off.

CJM Director Paul Cooper with one of the three Jolly Fishermen that are being sold off.

The auction follows the decision of the East Lindsey District Council to have a completely new lighting display for the holiday season this year.

A leading international company, that has lit the Eiffel Tower, amongst other notable commissions is being brought in to create the new illuminations, which are set to wow visitors to the coast this summer.

Industrial auctioneers CJM Asset Management have been instructed to sell off the existing stock of lights that are now surplus to requirements, along with spares, components and the specialist vehicles, trailers and equipment used to erect and maintain the displays.

CJM Director Paul Cooper said: “We’re expecting the auction to attract a lot of interest. The displays were bespoke creations, so they’re one-offs.”

“There is a fabulous range of subjects on offer. We can do you clowns, rockets, trains, cartoon characters, witches, octopuses, fish, you name it. Many of the panels are animated, with things happening - birds fighting over a worm, rockets soaring into the air and all that sort of thing. Clever stuff,” he continued.

“We have of course got a Jolly Fisherman, the resort’s famous mascot. In fact we have three. One is an animated lighting panel in which the Fisherman is dancing. The other two are the near life-size figures that used to stand outside the tourist information office in the town,” said Paul.

“The auction will also include other decorations including trains, a gingerbread cottage, pumpkin houses and a lot that really impressed the CJM team, two nine feet tall stripy cats. Very sixties art-deco style that should go down very well with the retro people.”

Paul added: “The council changed, updated and added to the displays in the resort year on year, so in terms of the age of the displays, there is a range.

“Most are modern but there are also vintage pieces and there is a collector following for that sort of thing.”

Asked about potential buyers, he said: “We’re expecting to field a lot of enquiries from around the country from people operating theme parks, fairgrounds, caravan parks and other leisure attractions. There may even be interest from other seaside towns.

“Illuminations on this scale and of this complexity are expensive to buy. An off-the-shelf 8’ x 4’ display on a frame can easily cost a thousand pounds and often a great deal more than that, so there is serious money involved. We’re not anticipating a large number of private bidders, although you have to say that one of these displays would certainly take garden ornamentation to completely new heights! The near life-size Jolly Fishermen could appeal, as might the gingerbread cottage or the pumpkin houses,” added Paul.

So if you would like to own your very own piece of seaside history the viewing session is to be held at the East Lindsey District Council’s depot on the Burgh-Le-Marsh Industrial Estate on Tuesday, April 14 from 9.30am-4.30pm.

The auction itself, held exclusively online using the ‘BidSpotter’ platform found at www.bidspotter.co.uk is already up and running.

The bidding is scheduled to close from 12 Noon on Thursday, April 16.

For further information or comments, contact Paul Cooper at CJM Auctioneers on 01724 334411 or 07970 126339, or email paul.cooper@cjmasset.com