Harry Potter fans transform summerhouse into Leaky Cauldron pub during lockdown in Leeds village
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Self-confessed “Harry Potter nerds” Dan Harrison and Mark Parkinson have transformed the summerhouse in the garden of their 18th century cottage in Thorner into The Leaky Cauldron from JK Rowling’s books.
The couple re-watched all the Harry Potter films and read the books again for inspiration for their Diagon Alley pub project.
They moved into the house in June and spent their spare time over summer trawling through antique shops, online auctions and charity shops.
The couple bought goblets, tankards, potion bottles, vintage books and antiques to decorate the pub.
Dan, 33, originally of Shadwell, said he and Mark, 30, used food colourings and salt water to recreate potions and printed labels including Wolfsbane and Polyjuice.
They bought custom made signs, bespoke beer mats, bar runners and a fireplace.
And they used an old chest of drawers to make a bar and used tree branches to create the canopy of lights with flying keys suspended by fishing lines.
Drinks in the fully-stocked bar include Butterbeer, Firewhisky and Pumpkin Juice.
The couple have been on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour London of The Making of Harry Potter and to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida.
Dan said: “I read the books as a kid and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
“The house came with a fantastic summerhouse in the garden and, as self-confessed Harry Potter nerds, we decided to transform it into The Leaky Cauldron.
“The time spent on the project was a welcome distraction and helped us focus on something other than the worry and anxiety of the Covid crisis.
“We were able to spend our evenings and weekends staining wood, making shelves and crafting, seeing as we were unable to spend time with friends and family.
“We had a brief window when we were allowed guests over and we have had many nights drinking in there all evening and playing board games.”
Dan, who works in data and marketing at Asda Head Office in Leeds, added: “Everybody loves it. They think I’m wasted vocationally.
“They think I should go into a very niche career designing Harry Potter pubs in sheds in people’s gardens.”
The couple decided to tell their story as part of the ‘COVID Diaries’ project.
The Yorkshire Evening Post has teamed up with Leeds City Council and developer CEG to document life in lockdown in Leeds through the project.
The initiative aims to collect reflections and stories from as many people as possible and place them on public record for future generations.
It is open to people of all ages to send in entries via video diary, blogs, photos and more. Visit www.coviddiaries.co.uk for details.
Leeds Museums and Galleries will also be looking into how they can be used in future displays and exhibitions exploring people’s experiences of the pandemic.
For more information visit www.coviddiaries.co.uk
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