Stanley Thomas Barr (30th June 1943 - 2nd October 2016)


Ken Newman


Stan was my best mate at Redhill. We made balsa wood aircraft and had "dogfights" with others on the front lawn. together with Andrew Cleare and his binoculars we collected aircraft registrations and watched the Meteors from West Malling. We were rostered together to clean a classroom in the New Wing but we used our brooms to play hockey - one wild shot putting a large dent in the blackboard! Generally he was a more quiet soul. Very genuine and honest. His sense of humour was also a quiet one. He collaborated with me on a humourous sketch for a school revue for which Shaw gave us ten shillings each: a few weeks pocket money in those days.

His main love throughout his life was his music and playing his guitar. He was probably the first student at RHS to electrify his instrument and also composed tunes. We kept in touch for a while in the early 60's and I visited him in 1962. At that time work was hard to find in the Wirral where he lived with his mother - his father was a steward on an Atlantic ocean liner so rarely at home - so his playing his guitar at home and the occasional gig was how he spent a lot of his time.

I managed to track him down and gave him a surprise visit in 2010. Sadly, he had problems with his hands and was unable to play his guitar. He was unemployed, rather withdrawn and did not appear to have a social life. I don't think he ever married and was still living with his mother. He didn't respond to emails and so I lost contact with him.


Photo on right courtesy of Ken Newman (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION) --->






Mike Lacey


I did not realise that Stan had passed away. As I recall he was the one who brought a guitar to school and I eventually bought that from him as he moved up to an electric guitar. I would say that Chris Davies (CD) was also a friend from those times and one of the "original" band members. That band included Peter Browning (trumpet), Rookie Fitzsimmonds (drums), CD (clarinet), Stan on guitar and me following along on guitar too. We were encouraged by the music teacher, Mr Stapley who took us to play at a concert at his school in London and we also played to an audience in the Sutton Valence village hall. It was the time when skiffle still ruled although rock and roll was making inroads.

It is hard to place exactly when that was in the grand scheme of things, I would guess around 1959/60. But I also remember him with his guitar listening to a very early Beatles song in the end classroom of the new wing. It is a puzzling memory because I don't know how it fits with Lonnie Donegan who was also one of our inspirations.

We all knew each other even before we were teenagers, in most cases; which seems ancient history these days and I regret that Squish (John Welch) and I never did make a trip to Liverpool to visit Stan........even though he really didn't want us to. I suspect that Ken Newman was the last to see him and I haven't seen Ken for a while now...nor Squish. I would never have played guitar if it had not been for Stan and we shared an interest in airplanes too.


Photo on right courtesy of Mike Lacey --->





Chris Davies

A sad day for me. Stan was a rare musician who could play any instrument he picked up. RIP old friend - go and lay down a few chords for the heavenly choir


Robert Jamieson

I endorse what CD says about Stan's musicianship. I am unclear, though, whether or not he became a pro musician. He certaily had the ability. He was also good, like Squish, with radio and and electronics. Indeed that last time I saw him he seemed to be nesting in a pile of half eaten amps. Did he ever move away from Moreton Wirral?

The last time I saw Stan was in the early seventies in the company of another departee, Chris Burkill. At the time Chris was driving three tonners, and I was on my art school foundation course in Birmingham. We went up to Liverpool to deliver three tons of suspicious offal to a meat pie factory, and on the way back we overnighted in Moreton Wirral with Stan. He was happy to see us, but rather down because he had recently become the one who had left the band just before they became famous, or at least local heroes.

So, three of our generation are gone in a twelve month period. We must be under a bad moon. Farewell mate.


Fred Challis

I wonder if 'When The Saints Come Marching In' was played at his funeral. It would have been great if it was played, it was his swan song I remember.



Photo below taken by Ken Newman at Stan's house in Wirral (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)