Crooked House models made by Dudley man tells the story of Britain's wonkiest pub - and its sad demise
A keen model-maker has built a series of stunning Crooked House miniatures that tell the story of the demise of 'Britain's wonkiest pub'. Ian Young was left gutted when the iconic Staffordshiire boozer was burned down in a suspected arson attack over the summer.
So the 58-year-old decided to create a trio of diorama pieces showing the Crooked House in its heyday, on fire, and finally it being demolished to rubble.
The whole set measures around 26ins and took Ian 40 hours over a four-week period to complete. In order to capture the famous wonky look of the 18th century pub, Ian lifted one side of his model by 5mm (0.19in).
A retired civil servant, Ian, who lives in Dudley Wood, West Midlands, said: "I have a lot of fond memories from the Crooked House. I first visited there with my wife and we took my parents there. We've also taken friends from Sweden. Although I didn't go regularly, it was a major point of interest.
"I have been model making for years and so when I saw what happened, I thought I had to create something to remember the site by. The actual pub is 3D printed, and I then make it up and paint everything from my model-making materials.
"Each piece tells a story which I think is quite nice. From the pub in its glory, to then having it on fire, and then the rubble. I'm hoping that one day, I will be able to make a fourth diorama, to complete the story, which will hopefully it being rebuilt again. The fire was the hardest thing to make look realistic, I used a white flock material and added bits of red, orange and black as well as flashing LED lights." Ian initially posted an image of his first model on social media, where it was seen by a man named David Smith who offered to buy it. David then commissioned Ian to build two more models - one of the famous watering hole ablaze and the second of its demolition with protestors on the land.
Ian added: "I had initially made the original diorama for myself but after putting it on Facebook, I got a lot of positive comments. David got in touch asking to buy it and then we spoke about recreating the whole story with a range of dioramas and we both thought it was a good idea."
David, 56, from Sedgley, West Midlands, added: "It's just the memories for me. I first went there as a child and I fell in love with the Crooked House. Then as teenagers when we were courting we'd sit outside and have a drink in the summer while sat outside on the benches.
"When I first saw Ian post it on Facebook, I thought that I had to buy it off him. Then we both had the idea that the full story had to be told, as a lot of people are upset with what has gone on. We wanted to tell each chapter.
"Each piece has little intimate details such as flashing lights on the emergency service vehicles, there is smoke vapour - they are amazing pieces. With everything that has gone on with the Crooked House, it really saddened me and I think it's important to document it so people don't forget it.
"I plan to exhibit these pieces. I feel that by being able to come and see the pieces in person, people will be able to share the sadness and memories. It really does evoke the emotions. It was such a unique, amazing place and its a tragedy what happened."