IT IS a rare opportunity to buy the stuff of childhood school memories.
Everything from school plaques to noticeboards and desks, sports equipment, printers, computers and filing cabinets and even an oak fishing rod stand are among the entire contents of the former Malsis School being sold off in an online auction.
The preparatory school in Cross Hills, near Keighley, which boasts The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire screenplay writer Simon Beaufoy and England cricket’s current chairman of selectors James Whitaker among its former pupils closed its doors for the final time at the end of last year after the failure of a proposed merger with Giggleswick School.
A total of 1,400 lots including items from the headmaster’s study, antiques, trophies and two grand pianos are up for sale, together with a range of ground maintenance and commercial catering equipment, stage props, costumes and assorted items of school memorabilia.
Richard Temple, associate director at chartered surveyors Eddisons, said: “We have had interest from as far afield as Australia from one of the old boys.
“It’s a bit of history from people’s school days.”
A viewing day was held yesterday for people to take at closer look at the extensive items that have gone under the hammer in the online auction.
Mr Temple said it was unusual to offer the contents of an independent school in a sale.
The extensive sell-off also includes sports equipment including javelins, a table tennis table, stationery cupboards, exam tables, school wall plaques listing the captains of sports teams, paintings, a potter’s wheel, easels and a wall-mounted oak letterbox from the school’s entrance hall.
He added: “There’s a carved oak bear that is the symbol of the school that is attracting a lot of interest.
“There’s a propellor from a First World War plane that was hung in the school dining room that is also attracting a lot of interest.”
It had been proposed that Malsis should be merged with Giggleswick School, near Settle, whose previous students include Richard Whiteley.
But last year it was announced the talks had stalled because of cost concerns.
In a statement, Malsis School earlier said: “The merger will not now take place and as a result Malsis School will close at the end of the Autumn Term 2014.”
Giggleswick School said the decision to pull the plug on the project had been motivated by unexpected escalating costs.
The Leeds office of Eddisons has been appointed to handle the disposal of the former Malsis School and its assets. The online auction is now live at www.eddisons.com/online with lots due to close today and tomorrow.
The sale of the school and grounds will be dealt with at a later date. Outline planning permission to build 50 homes within the school grounds had earlier been secured.
John Padgett, head of agency at Eddisons, said: “This is a wonderful property within extensive grounds. We will be working as hard as we can to find a buyer who will be sympathetic to its history and respectful of the wishes of the local community. A number of interests have already been registered.”