Sellitt and Soon was established in Hull back in the 1950's by Alfred Pool and his wife. The original shop was on Holderness Road and the object of the business was to sell unwanted items on behalf of the general public on a commission basis. This was a unique idea in that the public would take their items to the shop, they would be valued by the shop staff, a receipt would be issued to the customer and the items were put up for sale at the agreed price. After the items were sold the seller would claim the proceeds of the sale after the deduction of a commission. The format has been refined a little over the years but the general principle has not changed since then.
In the early 1970's the business was bought by Charles Pion and continued to operate from its premises on Holderness Road in Hull . Shortly after acquiring the business Charles decided to open another shop in Beverley and this was established in the Market Square next to the King's Head Hotel. Robin, his son, joined the business in 1973 and ran the Beverley shop with Ted, his brother in law, and the Hull shop was run by Charles with part time staff.
It soon became evident that, due to the unique nature of the business and its excellent location in the town centre, the Beverley shop soon became the flagship of the business and the decision was taken to sell the Hull branch and concentrate on developing the Beverley shop.
The business continued to flourish over the next few years in the rather cramped surroundings of the Beverley shop, which consisted of four small rooms of display area on the ground floor and an office and storage area above. More space was urgently needed to cope with the increase in business and in 1976 the then Hull Brewery, which owned the adjoining King's Head Hotel, wanted to develop the property to include the Sellitt and Soon shop. Therefore, the lease was terminated and new suitable premises had to be found.
It was rather fortuitous that at the same time the old Beverley Swimming Baths in Ladygate, which had been vacant for several years, came on the market and with an area of approx. 2,000 square feet it seemed massive compared to the existing location in the Market Square . It was absolutely ideal. Large open area near to the town centre, good passing trade and adequate parking. The downside was the fact that the pool area had a very serious incline from the shallow end to the deep end.
Fortunately a local company in Hull was at that time selling an oak dance floor which had been used to cover their swimming pool so this was bought and work commenced to lay the new floor and level the pool area. Initially, the entire pool area was going to be levelled with the sides of the pool to make one large flat area but it soon became evident that this would require more support timbers than were available so it was decided to lower the pool area section to a certain level which became the downstairs with an area upstairs around the pool perimeter.
The business continued and flourished for many years in this unique location and with the larger area more emphasis was given to selling good quality modern and antique furniture.
In 2004 the East Riding of Yorkshire Council decided to sell the Beverley Picture Playhouse together with the adjoining building being the old Swimming Baths rented by Sellitt and Soon. Their decision caused a great deal of controversy within the town as the Playhouse had been a very popular entertainment venue. The Council asked for “Expressions of Interest” in either one or both of the buildings together with offers to purchase. Sellitt and Soon submitted an offer to purchase the old Swimming Baths only and this was verbally accepted and approved by the Council. Shortly after, they reneged on their decision as a further bid had been submitted for both buildings by a local property developer. In 2006 notice was served on Sellitt and Soon by the Council to vacate the old Swimming Baths by October of that year so, after 30 years, the search was on for alternative suitable premises.
After looking at several properties a building in Walkergate, formerly Beverley Carpets, seemed the favourite and in September 2006 Sellitt and Soon moved to their new location.
The business is still run as a family business, Charles Pion died in 1993 and his son Robin became the sole proprietor. In 1999 Robin's son Jonathan joined the business and in 2007 his other son Nick joined the business to complete the team.