Pint-sized pub raises a glass to city’s Irish heritage

The Roscoe
The model of The Roscoe, which is on display at Leeds City Museum

For 125 years it was a melting pot of music, merriment and memories for the city’s Irish community.

Now a miniature recreation of legendary Leeds pub The Roscoe is giving visitors to Leeds City Museum a chance to toast some of the many characters and stories that helped shape the venue’s colourful history.

On display in the museum’s community corridor, the incredibly detailed scale model features the traditional pub sign, brickwork and even ornaments and furniture inside, which can be glimpsed through its windows.

Inside, the model also features Tetley hand pumps, beer mats, peanuts and a collage of images of Roscoe regulars spanning decades of events and get-togethers at pub, which was located in Sheepscar in north Leeds.

The incredible creation was commissioned by the pub’s last landlord Noel Squire, who went on to open the New Roscoe when time was called on the original pub in 1982.

It was made by craftsman Andy Gibney, a native of Dalkey, just south of Dublin, who has lived in Leeds since the early 1970s.

Today, his model is being displayed as part of a collaboration between Leeds Museums and Galleries and the Irish Arts Foundation, a registered charity based in Leeds promoting the arts and heritage of Ireland and Irish people throughout Britain.

Des Hurley from the Irish Arts Foundation said: “Although the building has been long since demolished to make way for the Sheepscar interchange project, it lives on in the memory of the many of its regulars.

“The Roscoe was a popular meeting place for in particular the sizeable local Irish community in nearby Harehills, Scott Hall, Chapeltown, Hyde Park and Woodhouse – many who socialised in the Sheepscar area particularly in the 1960’s and 70’s.’’

The Roscoe was open from 1857 and was demolished in 1983.

Following the closure one of its regulars, Barrie Pepper, wrote a book, Farewell and Hail detailing the history of both the original and New Roscoe.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “This model is a wonderfully creative and imaginative tribute to what is a fascinating chapter in the story of Leeds.

“Leeds is a rich tapestry of communities, each with its own history and heritage and collaborations like this help us to ensure more people are able to learn about the people, places and events which have helped shape the city we know today.”

Leeds City Museum is free to enter and is located on Millennium Square.

For more details, visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries