Whitby’s whale bones withdrawn following outcry

WHITBY’s old whalebones have been sensationally withdrawn from sale on an internet auction site.

The original whalebones were discovered as a listing on eBay with a starting price of £100 and bidding was due to end on Wednesday.

It is believed they were being sold on behalf of local building firm Wilf Noble who had agreed to store the bones for owners Scarborough Borough Council free of charge when attempts to find new owners for them failed after they were taken down in 2003.

But with a story breaking in Tuesday’s Whitby Gazette and a growing outcry from locals about their fate, the posting was mysteriously taken off the site.

A spokeswoman for SBC said eBay had ordered the firm to remove the posting because of regulations linked to the sale of animal matter and endangered species.

Since then the Whitby Gazette has been contacted by several people outraged that a piece of Whitby’s history had been put up for sale. Potential bidders who wanted to buy them to ensure they stayed in Whitby also got in touch..

At Whitby Town Council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday night, former member Pete Budd said: “If you don’t take responsibility for the whalebones I will die of shame.

“You won’t get whales of that size ever again – don’t let them go to waste or go to another town.

“It is really important for the town we don’t miss this opportunity.”

Colin Brittain, on the Gazette’s Facebook page, added: “I’m not happy at all, I thought that they were within the archives before its closure and then removed to be stored afterwards. Who then had the authority to sell them?

“Poor condition for outside display does not mean they are not still collectible, I would have had them myself as a unique piece of Whitby’s heritage.”

Since the eBay posting was removed, SBC has re-launched a search for new owners and anyone interested should contact email John Woodhead, the northern area engineer on john.woodhead@scarborough.gov.uk