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Barry Bridgewater

I am sad to report the death of Barry Bridgewater on 18th March 2018. Barry lived in Denby Dale and as a young man had been invited to the Holme Valley Beagles hunt where he took a big part in the hunt singing, something that would eventually lead to the LP, A Fine Hunting Day, produced by Bill Leader. Barry’s picture was on the cover. The other area of the country where after hunt singing takes place is the Lake District, and Barry often visited friends up there, calling it his second home.

The first time Barry and I were invited anywhere was to Leicester Folk Club around 1981. We went the following year with Arthur Howard when he was invited to the Downs festival. In 1983, I was asked by one of the organisers of the Holmfirth Folk Festival if I could get some singers together for a session: Barry was the first person I asked, and then with John Cocking and Ernest Yates we did the session, which went really well. This led to an invitation to perform at a folk club and our performing career snowballed from there. The session had been called The Holme Valley Tradition, so we carried on with that name, travelling around the country for a few years. Unfortunately, first Ernest and then Barry decided that they had had enough, so 1989 was the last year we all performed together.

Barry had always been to the carol singing at the Fountain, Ingbirchworth, and when the leader, Cyril Latimer, died, it was in danger of finishing. Barry was persuaded to take it on and he did a marvellous job for over 20 years until he packed in two years ago. His ability to pitch the carols so that everyone could join in comfortably was brilliant and he was definitely in charge of the proceedings.

He will be sorely missed.

Will Noble