April 25, 2023 9.03 am This story is over 6 months old

Naomi Campbell ‘wrecking ball’ going under the hammer in Scunthorpe

A yellow miniature submarine up for auction too

A giant demolition wrecking ball, on which supermodel Naomi Campbell once posed on in an iconic car safety campaign, will go up for auction in Scunthorpe.

A yellow miniature submarine, life-sized model carol singers, and a door that reputedly came from one of the nation’s most imposing prisons in Leicester, will also go under the hammer after the closure of two shops in Nottinghamshire.

These items were from a ‘mind-blowing collection’ of things that were used to ‘decorate’ the premises of vaping products retailer TMB Vape Lab Ltd, which had stores in Sutton-in-Ashfield and Mansfield.

The firm ceased trading last month and the liquidators handling the winding up of the business have instructed auctioneers Eddisons to dispose of the contents of the two shops. This includes fixtures, fittings, vape stocks, and the unique treasures.

Some 128 lots are going under the hammer in the online auction which ends at 1pm on Wednesday, April 26 – see the full auction catalogue here. Viewing dates will be on April 25 and will be by appointment only at Eddisons on Dunlop Way in Scunthorpe.

Auctioneer Paul Cooper with the yellow miniature submarine. | Photo: Eddisons

Eddisons director Paul Cooper said: “We did know there was some unusual stuff heading our way but we were still amazed by what came out of the fleet of delivery vehicles that arrived at our Scunthorpe auction centre.

“The miniature submarine was a particular highlight of course, the first submarine we’ve ever had for auction. It’s a remotely operated craft, developed by the French company ECA in the early 1970s for mine detection. Royal Navy minehunters were equipped with these ‘Poisson Auto-Propulses’ (Self-Propelled Fish’) and they sold off a number of them when their working days were over – which is how one ended up in an East Midlands vape shop.”

David Phillips holding up the demolition wrecking ball which Naomi Campbell famously sat on. | Photo: Eddisons

He added: “The demolition wrecking ball is the prop that was used in a famous Vauxhall ad back in the early 1990s. The carmaker wanted to highlight the fact that its new Corsa had side impact bars. What better way to get everyone’s attention than to have supermodel Naomi Campbell photographed riding a giant iron ball being swung at the little car?

“Despite its realistic appearance, the giant ball on which Naomi was perched is actually made of a composite material rather than iron – but it is quite amusing to see one of the auction centre lads casually moving something that you would expect to weigh as much as five tons.

“The vintage prison door is reputed to have come from Leicester, one of the most impressive-looking jails in the country. It was opened in 1828 and built in a castle style, with 30-foot perimeter walls, the highest in the country.

“The prison has been enlarged and changed numerous times over the past two centuries and historically it was not unusual for items to be sold off or salvaged when such work was being done so it could well be from there.”

Life-size carol singers are among the items up for auction. | Photo: Eddisons

Mr Cooper added: “Other unlikely things that came out of the two vape shops include church windows, life-size model carol singers, various bits of fairground memorabilia, a Halloween skeleton, ancient stable doors, antique cash registers and even some of the lights that once illuminated sets in Carlton Television’s Nottingham studios – not to mention a 1980 Honda motorcycle that arrived as a pile of bits on a pallet. I could go on.”

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