www.barrowvoice.co.uk First Publised 1975
Barrow Voice
3,175 copies published quarterly and delivered FREE to all households in Barrow upon Soar


This edition of Barrow Voice is awash with photographs. We’ve had such a brilliant summer it’s meant many events in the village have occurred under sunny skies.

Barrow Open Gardens was a phenomenal success and the group’s new-openers are featured here. The World Cup was less so but England did reach the semis and warm evenings meant we could follow them in local pubs on outdoor screens. The weather was hot for the Street Market too and building work at the library couldn’t possibly have been delayed by rain! (We have photographs showing the improved kitchen and toilet facilities.) And see how gorgeous Marans is in the summer - dining al-fresco under flowering trees! So although this is the autumn edition it does look back over the last few months while also anticipating the future with information about the marking of the end of WW1, the October Murder Mystery and Barrow Youth Theatre’s production of ‘Hairspray’. Much is coming!

Finally, a plea: if you have any Open Gardens photographs you are willing to share online through the Barrow Voice off-shoot ‘A Year in Pictures’, please send to either Helen Sadler hesadler17@gmail.com or myself barspiller@btinternet.com.

Gaynor Barton, Editor
Front Cover: Home-grown fungus (Found in a Barrow Road ditch near The Slabs, October 2016).

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor
I would be grateful to have the opportunity to reply to a letter you published from Martin Wigmore in the last issue of Barrow Voice, dated Summer 2018.

Mr Wigmore referred to a planning application made by BUSCA to provide a community hub on land at Fishpool Way. Mr Wigmore states ‘’the Millennium Park being used for the site…’’. Actually, the application does not affect the Millennium Park but refers to land known as the picnic area separated from the Millennium Park by the driveway to Fishpool House. Personally, if any application came forward for any kind of building on the Millennium Park, I would be dismayed.

It remains in our plans to use Humphrey Perkins School for the large BUSCA events e.g. pantomimes, youth theatre, murder mysteries and dances and would expect that other users who require a large venue in this village would do similarly. Mr Wigmore appears to be under the impression that this plan is about providing rooms for hire as available in the village pubs and clubs. I can only assume he has not read the planning application. For example, he makes no reference to the provision in the plan for a sports hall. The activities that will occur there cannot possibly be provided at the venues he mentions, neither can those others detailed in the application, for example, a day-centre for the elderly.

Mr Wigmore asserts that “It’s taking money away from the very community it is supposed to serve”. I can only guess at what is meant here but it may suffice to say that no public funds from any source have been used so far or will be used for the construction. All funds have been raised by the voluntary action of BUSCA and will be used in the best interests of the community.

By the way, the building and all it offers, will be available to residents of Walton on the Wolds and beyond.

Alan Willcocks BUSCA trustee.

Peter Preston
(as a boy)

(Barry Wilford’s article is in response to one in the spring edition written by Jerry Sykes. Peter Preston became The Guardian’s most famous editor because he changed a small regional paper, The Manchester Guardian, into an important national voice.)

On my return from South Africa I was saddened to read of the death of Peter Preston, a boyhood friend of mine. He was indeed born in Cotes Road on May 23rd 1938, and I believe, in the Dutch style house after the new roundabout. He moved later into the village with his family to live at 'The Cottage' in South Street. After that the obituary becomes rather blurred.

From April 1945 onwards I lived with my family at Geo Hill's grocery, opposite 'The Cottage', so we soon became friends. He was in the Cubs with me and was indeed very sporty, being a very agile goalie between two strategically-placed trees on his lawn whilst I was the super striker. One day on April 7th 1948, a month after taking my 11+, whilst playing with Peter, Mr Preston came home ill from work. He was a greengrocery manager at a wholesaler’s in Nottingham Road Loughborough. Mrs P suggested that I go home as Peter would go and sit with his father. On April 11th his father died of polio, and 11 days later Peter had the disease. By April 26th it was touch and go for Peter; by the 30th there was a turn for the better. During the next month my father took Mrs P by car to Harlow Wood to visit Peter, now mostly encased in an iron lung. By June 2nd Mrs P [later to become Mrs Brown] with the rest of the family, Bill and Susan, moved to 'Banockburn'. On his return from hospital I cycled most Sunday mornings from Barrow to his new home in Quorn. I believe that he was encouraged by his physiotherapist to take up magic, and indeed marionettes, to encourage the use of his hands. Many a Sunday morning he would entertain me and his siblings at a model theatre set up in the garage. I do believe he once appeared in a Barrow Scout Gang Show doing conjuring tricks. I continued to visit Peter until 1953 when I started an engineering apprenticeship at Herbert Morris Ltd whilst Peter was at Loughborough Grammar School, Oxford University and beyond.

Barry Wilford