Brigg, Lincolnshire and Dooyork, Geesala
Tributes have been paid to well-known publican, Myles Scanlon, who died recently in Brigg, England. Myles, who was 78, was born in the village of Dooyork in 1928. Like many Irishmen of his generation he came to England to work on the land, starting in Rothwell in 1946, and worked in half of England’s counties before settling in Caistor and later Grasby, after marrying his Co Mayo neighbour, Mary Barrett, (Mount Jubilee) in February, 1957.
The couple took over the Nelthorpe Arms in Brigg - which quickly became known simply as Scanlon’s - in May 1966 and they were firmly established as North Lincolnshire’s longest-serving licensees by the time they retired in August 2002. The pub was a busy place for locals attending Brigg’s Tuesday and Thursday markets, seasonal workers operating the town’s sugar beet factory and contractors opening up the Anchor site at Scunthorpe and the oil refineries at Killingholme.
For the Irish community in particular - both those exiled in north Lincolnshire and regular visitors from over the water - Scanlon’s was a home from home. An inviting bar with an open fireplace and an Irish and country jukebox which was capable of transporting listeners through space and time for a mere two shillings. Indeed, Myles and Mary became so renowned throughout the land they were immortalised in their own song, “Scanlon’s Pub in Brigg”.
As well as being the cheerful faces behind Scanlon’s, Myles and Mary were also well-known as tipsters for the big races at Cheltenham, Ascot, York and Doncaster, which they attended regularly.
They brought up three children – Martin who is a professor in food technology in Winnipeg, Mary is a florist and photographer in Manchester and Ann, who is a writer and journalist in London. They have three grandchildren, Liam, Jesse and Ciaran.
Myles also loved gardening, nature programmes and football – he was a lifelong supporter of Manchester United, Grimsby Town and Mayo GAA team – but his greatest love was his wife Mary. Her passing in March 2003 left a huge void in his life, but he continued to be a warm presence in Brigg, who lived life to the full.
A Requiem Mass for Myles has already taken place at St Mary’s Catholic Church and was followed by burial in Brigg Cemetery. Many tributes have been paid to Myles, who his family said “will be remembered for his laughing eyes, wonderful smile and tremendous wit. His daughter Ann said: “He has a great character and a true Irish gentleman”.
Among the hundreds of tributes paid to Myles was one from the London Irish rock band The Pogues, who dedicated their classic song “A Pair of Brown Eyes” to Myles at a recent concert in Nottingham.
Myles is also mourned by his brother Bernie, Dooyork, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, relations and many friends in the UK and at home in Mayo.
May he have eternal rest.
- Hazel Tomlins, Scunthorpe Telegraph.