Absent Friends

Barry Jones

A Tribute to Barry Jones - 27 Feb 2009 - Graham Marr



Barry was my form teacher for about 4 years at  Horsenden School in the middle part of the 1970s.


He is the most respective person I’ve had as a teacher. I recall Barry and his love for those many cars he purchased,

I even remember one of them being a “mini-Cooper style car”. Barry had it looking all smart and fine only to have it stolen.


I recall many long and happy school trips to the Lake District and the Isle-Of-Wight. Over the years we had many happy class-room parties at Easter, Christmas, many happy summers and sports days.

Education was fun and exciting for us all with Barry. Even parents day was made into a positive event by our Mr. Jones. I recall Barry moving into his house in Hanwell, a bunch of and spent many weekends helping teacher do his DIY. How many teacher do you know that can get a bunch of people around to do free DIY decorating for them. Ha. He made us all laugh even during hard work.


I recall around 1974 Barry showing us in the class room our first ever sight of something called a calculator during math’s lesson.  It was his own calculated and cost him a fortune at that time.


Barry was that teacher that gave us our first sex education lesson. What a task. Class of 35 kids.

During the years at School I recall Barry talking very proudly of his own father. Telling us stories of his child-hood years bringing him up. He use to say “ do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Barry came from a small family as many of you will know.


Barry always preferred to believe the best of everyone. Its been the most beautiful thing to have know him. I struggled during the early years at School and Barry told me we cannot all be brilliant Graham, but anyone can be dependable. Now at 44 years of age I still recall those words.


All the foundations of my education came from Barry and his style of education has put me in the fast lane of life with more than anyone could wish for. Understanding my needs as an individual, Barry would say things like "politeness goes far and the greatest pleasure of life is conversation"  (But not in the class room Graham). Ha. We even had the words "silence is golden" above the black-board in the class room.


In later years Barry was kind enough to stay in contact with my very own parents in London as such a few summers ago I was lucky to have one or two beers with Barry and his son. I must say Barry’s son has all the love for man-kind as his Dad, encouragement is the oxygen to the soul. Barry understood the trick of growing up without growing old. He could talk to anyone about anything and anyone could talk to him.


Three years ago  I contact Barry again. Imagine that, I contacted my old form teacher from 30 years ago for some advice. I wanted to discussed an opportunity in my life to move down to Australia. We had many email exchanges and the odd phone call. He told me that I would be more disappointed by the things I didn’t do than the ones I did. So, I was to throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour on my London home to Sydney. How cool is that to have been able to talk to my form-teacher from 30 years ago. He was there for me, yet again.


Not sure of the names on this email, if any of you attended class or the school, one things for sure he is a one-off bloke.


Thank you Barry, your cool mate, thank you for ever, old memories and young hopes.

© Colin Cadle