Name of new Wetherspoons pub in Leeds chosen as tribute to one of city's industrial fathers

He was one of the towering figures of Leeds industry during the first half of the 20th century.

By Paul Robinson
Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 11:30 am
Charles Henry Roe.
Charles Henry Roe.

And now, more than 50 years after his death, the city is set to raise a glass to the memory of the great coachbuilder Charles Henry Roe.

A new Wetherspoons pub on Austhorpe Road in Cross Gates will be named The Charles Henry Roe, it was announced today.

Bosses at JD Wetherspoon picked the name after the Transport Yorkshire Preservation Group approached them with the idea of paying tribute to Mr Roe, who died in 1965.

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An image of the beer garden planned for the new Wetherspoons pub in Cross Gates.

His carriageworks, founded at Cross Gates in 1920, made more than 18,000 buses until its closure in 2011.

Work on the new pub is due to get under way next month, with its opening currently scheduled for the autumn.

Transport Yorkshire Preservation Group chairman James Fairchild said today: "At present the only legacy of the carriageworks in Cross Gates is a small number of historic buses cared for by organisations like ours, with no formal commemoration – unlike many other of Leeds’s industrial fathers, who have been rightly recognised for their achievements.

"Next year sees 100 years since the first buses were made at the carriageworks and we intend to mark this in some way, hopefully by bringing some of the buses made there back to east Leeds for the day, including of course visits to the pub and to the nearby site of the carriageworks.”

JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We strive to commemorate historical individuals in the names of our pubs.

"The Charles Henry Roe is a very apt name for our forthcoming pub in Cross Gates and we commend the Transport Yorkshire Preservation Group for bringing Mr Roe’s achievements to our attention.”

The Charles H Roe company became part of British Leyland in the 1970s.

Its Cross Gates factory was earmarked for closure in 1984 but a group of 100 employees pooled their redundancy money to stage a buy-out before relaunching as Optare.

Optare switched its operations from Cross Gates and sister sites in Rotherham and Blackburn to a new £3m base at Sherburn in Elmet in 2011.