Dear Leeds Branch members and friends,
Yesterday I received the email below from Prue Foster, which I have been asked to share with you.
I am sure there are people still enjoying Leeds Branch and Leeds club who will have known Barry Walker and his wife Brenda. Barry died in the early hours of this morning Saturday 3rd April. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer almost nine years ago and was still as fit and well as he could be until last Autumn.
Barry was an astute businessman and brought this strength to the Branch and in particular the Club and the Festival. He was very involved with the festival and in particular procuring the grounds and buildings at Beckett Park for us each year. Eventually, he was involved more and more with his own business and family. When Steve and I took over as secretary he still continued to advise us. He said we must always make sure there were enough funds to cover a year when we were let down by a band or there was a catastrophe. That happened one year when the band cried off at the last minute and Bob Wilson spent an evening phoning every band he could reach trying to get a replacement.
Barry was always involved in foreign exchange visits. Initially, it was to do with Leeds' twin city of Dortmund. Lasting friendships were made and then other countries were contacted. The Germans always brought beer and couldn't understand our liking for orange squash. The French brought crates of wine and still couldn't understand our liking for orange squash. Barry was one of the instigators of the shows we put on to raise money for the incoming visits. He would talk businesses into giving us contributions in exchange for advertising on the back of a programme.
Barry and Brenda are still in touch with Marianne and Arne Kjellburg in Sweden. We are still in touch with Ingrid and Lars-Olof Lundström in Västerås so I will email them to pass a message to the Swedish dance group.
There are people who will want to know about Barry's death but I have lost touch with them, in particular :
Ian and Stella Summers and Andrew Kellett
I am sure there are many others but in these uncertain times, we don't know about circumstances.
Please contact Steve or me for further information on 01274 594384 (answer machine will be on), or Steve's mobile 07710 221866 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am endeavouring to contact Ian & Stella Summers and Andrew Kellett, the latter through HO, if all else fails. If anyone has up-to-date contacts for them, please let me know so I can forward this email, or give you permission to do so; we don't want to flood inboxes with multiple copies.