The Man With The Barrel – the Barrel Man celebrating Leeds partnership with Dortmund

How many times have you walked past this fella and wondered who on earth he is?

The jolly man with a barrel is fondly known as ‘The Barrel Man’ and has been living outside St John’s Centre in Dortmund Square since 1980 and was a present from our twin town of Dortmund.

Named ‘Dortmund Drayman’, he was created by German sculptor Arthur Schulze-Engels and given as a gift to celebrate ten years of partnership between Leeds and Dortmund.

It has been reported on local forum pages that there is also a similar-looking man with a barrel over in Dortmund too.

The idea of twinning with a town came after the Second World War, to foster relationships and bring together different cultures that may have been on opposing sides during the early twentieth century.

The plinth on the statue reads: “In appreciation of the successful Twin Town relationship characterized by goodwill and cooperation and to symbolize the flourishing progress the citizens of Dortmund have great pleasure in presenting the city of Leeds with this sculpture. September 1980. Gunter Samtlebe, Oberburgermeister”

The act of peace is symbolised by the presence of the Dortmund Drayman and today continues to be a meeting place for visitors, locals and pigeons alike.

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To find out more about the history of Leeds’ most exciting pubs, statues and events, check out our Short Stuff series on TikTok and Instagram.

Feature Image – The Hoot Leeds

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