Best practice Wesley Hall
Showcasing good practice in the Conservation Area: Wesley Hall
Introduction, a brief history
Wesley Hall was built in 1901 to accompany the original Wesleyan Chapel which stood at the top of the steps to the right of the hall as you face its frontage.
Mr Pannett, a local philanthropist, bought and demolished a number of old cottages to make a better approach to the chapel and make space to build the associated hall which was then used predominantly as a Sunday School. Mr. Pannett’s name can be read on one of the numerous bricks and stones that commemorate those who gave money towards the building. He also contributed to the majority of the decorating costs inside the building.
The original chapel was demolished in 1952 when it fell into disrepair. This resulted in the hall becoming the main place of worship. Over the coming years the building became a venue for weddings, christenings, Sunday school, community gatherings and meetings, and much more until its eventual close during the 1970s.
The Hall was later purchased by Dick and Pam Hoyle of Robin Hood’s Bay, who reopened the building as Bobbins, a quirky wool and bric-a-brac shop. This traded successfully for thirty years until their retirement in 2015.
Dick and Pam Hoyle, Bobbins, courtesy of Rebecca Tucker
Giving up Wesley Hall was no easy decision for the couple who carefully vetted potential buyers who would restore and preserve the building in a sympathetic way. Following plenty of interest from developers keen to turn Wesley Hall into flats, or worse still, demolish and rebuild new accommodation, the lease was signed over to Chris Sellors. Chris had run a successful jewellery business specialising in British gemstones for over forty years. He was already experienceod in building restoration and conservation. His plan was for Wesley Hall to be restored to its former glory and to become an educational Whitby Jet Museum with a similarly themed onsite restaurant, Albert’s Eatery, named after Victoria’s Prince consort.
Incredibly, Wesley Hall is one of the few buildings on Church Street, part of Whitby’s conservation area, that isn’t listed.
Source: Rebecca Tucker