new welney sign

The Welney Website

Helen Barry - Obituary

page created July 2009; updated Friday, 16 July 2010

home contents news and views sports and social information centre local government links commerce other

Helen Barry died on 16th June 2001, aged 65.

The following obituary was first published in "Welney News" issue no.47, written by the editorial team

"It is our sad duty to report the sudden death of our Editor, Helen Barry, on the 16th of June. Helen will be deeply missed, not only by those of us who enjoyed the privilege of her warm-hearted and generous friendship, but also by members of the wider community, to the life of which she contributed so much. Apart from being the (brilliant) editor of the Welney News, Helen was a committed school governor, and served as secretary of the Parish Hall Committee and as a member of the Welney MAP committee. On a more social level, she also enjoyed the winter quiz nights at the Three Tuns, with her team, the Welney Wets.

Helen was born 9th April 1936. After a high-flying career with the BBC, Helen and her husband Patrick settled in Welney about 12 years ago. Though often frustrated by ill-health, Helen followed her interests and hobbies of reading and needlework. She also managed to fit Open University courses into her already active life.

When Tom Fisher initiated and master-minded the Village Appraisal, Helen was responsible for the History section. Following on from the Appraisal, there came the launch of the Welney News with Helen as founding Editor. Her flair for writing was obvious to all. The children of the William Marshall School benefited from both this and from her warm interest and affection for the children themselves; last winter and two years previously they performed Christmas plays which were specially written by Helen.

Around eighteen months ago, Helen brought her father, Thomas Fry, (now ninety years of age) to live in Welney at Marifa Lodge so that she could help care for him and spend time with him.  Our deepest sympathies go to Mr Fry and to Patrick at this time.

 ...We never know whom we shall miss. Some deaths leave a gap that heals over But others leave presences."
Webmaster's note:

 for most of her time in Welney, Helen lived at Welney Hotel (a private house - it hadn't been a hotel since the 1950s) along the Bedford Bank West beyond Pisces. A year or two before her death she moved to a bungalow at Suspension Bridge, whilst Patrick remained at Welney Hotel.

The hotel could only be accessed by a 4x4 car.

Car & hotel in 1995, photo by Tony Smart.
welney hotel 1995 Later information from Tony Smart, 2006.
 Helen was born in Langley Vale, on Epsom Downs.
She won an award for being in the production team for the TV mini-series "Porterhouse Blue", set in Cambridge (screened in 1987 on Channel 4)
top of page Obituaries directory e-mail webmaster