- December 27th 1944 - September 21st 2017 (Creation)
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Brian was a much loved man who took a very active part in many aspects of life in Bampton. One of his brothers, Henry Barber gave this eulogy at Brian's funeral service.
"My memories of big brother Brian were that he was an independent individual, who was a bit of a trend setter of the time. He made his mark in being the Teddy Boy of Bampton, and in the exciting time of the 60s he was instrumental in exploring other territories, making his mark, such as in Carterton, Witney, Swindon and Cheltenham and even Bristol. This was initially on his motor bike and then in his various cars one being a green Countryman which I learnt to drive in. His sister Sylvia was often given the task of ironing his clothes helping him to maintain his image before going on his adventures.
His early childhood was spent with local children playing cowboys and Indians making bows and arrows out of willow branches in the Back Field where there was a pond. So maybe this is where his love of the country side started. Although life was tough there was a lot of fun and Brian soon was being part of the gang. Brian did not escape his mum’s flair for dressing the children in fancy dress to attend the local British Legion Christmas Parties and Bampton Carnival. A particular one to note was Brian as a Chimney Sweep!!
He was keen to show his strength and determination and aged 11 started to work after school on a farm in Weald. This is where he met Don Rouse who was just beginning to start the Bampton Weight Lifting Club which Brian joined and done very well. There is a photograph of Brian taking part in the procession at the local Carnival doing weight lifting on a farm trailer. He also joined the Army Cadets as a teenager. On certain occasions, a lorry from the Army Camp would take us into Witney to the Shooting Range. The highlight of the evening was each of us putting sixpence into a kitty with the winner of the shooting having the prize of ‘a piece of fish and sixpenny worth of chips.’ Of course, Brian was the inevitable winner but because I had no money he always worked it that I did not go without. This was probably where his skills of shooting started, and this developed into a love for shooting and fishing.
Brian was well known around the local pubs and often had to be in charge of getting people home after a merry evening tasting the local beers and ciders. I have vague memories of being one of these on my stag do. Having spent the night playing drinking games I can remember Brian putting me into the back of his van and carrying me non to delicately up the stairs to bed with our Mum telling him to go careful
There was a kind and caring side to Brian who was extremely protective of his family and over the years has taken care of the younger ones particularly when our parents died and also later on nephew and nieces. Anyone knowing that Sparky was your brother done well not to mess around with you.
Brain enjoyed living at Bushy Row where his passion was gardening, fishing and following the local hunt with his dog always by his side. He was a man of the countryside learning his skills from experience rather than fancy books and he passed his knowledge to anyone who was interested. His door was always open for friends and family and in the later months it was these people who took care of him and who I would like to say Thank you to.
God Bless you Brian, you’ll always be remembered."
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- Bampton Community Archive (Creator)