‘A lovely tribute’: First look at Bramley play equipment honouring late ice cream seller Mr Rossi

The new Mr Rossi climbing frame has been installed in Bramley Park. Photo: Facebook

By John Baron

New park play equipment honouring a former West Leeds ice cream seller who passed away last year is starting to take shape in Bramley Park.

As reported by WLD last March, Bramley mum Alison Arnison started an online crowdfunding appeal towards a new piece of play equipment in the shape of Mr Rossi’s iconic ice cream van in Bramley Park. The crowdfunder, which is now closed, raised more than £260.

Councillors on the inner west community committee then agreed to pay an additional £10,000 towards the equipment.

Installation hasn’t yet been finished, with work on the base still to be completed.

But Ms Arnison has taken to social media to express her pride: “I’ve just been up to the park and my vision has at last come to life. Thank you to everyone who donated and to Councillor Kevin Ritchie for making it happen. Hope the kids enjoy it for years to come once it’s finished and open to play on.”

Mr Rossi – his full name was Vittorio Di Mascio – was well-loved in the West Leeds area, and for more than 40 years drove his trusty ice cream vans around the Bramley and Pudsey areas. 

Bramley residents have welcomed the installation.

“What a wonderful and thoughtful thing to do,” one posted. “I had known him many years at least since I was about five or six and I’m now 50 this year! RIP Mr Rossi and may your memory live on.”

Another added: “He will be smiling from heaven. He was a true legend.”

“Absolutely fantastic the children will have lots of fun playing on this, money very well spent and wonderful tribute to a great man,” said another. “Nothing better than seeing smiles and laughter of children. Well done Ali Arnison.

And another added: “It looks fantastic. A lovely tribute to a lovely man. I’m sure the children of Bramley will have hours of fun playing on it. Well done to you and Kevin Ritchie for making it happen.”

Mr Rossi’s passing led to hundreds of tributes on social media at the time.

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