He’s a genuine legendary figure at OVF and we’re all very grateful for everything he brings. Here’s Barry’s tale…
About this series
In Who are Yer we profile some OVF forum users and look at how they came to support Port Vale and join OVF.
This profile features Barry, also know as Aussie Rules.
Barry is pictured right taking part in his first Scout camp back in 1954.
On his love of Port Vale:
I was born into a Port Vale family – ‘The Lads’ as my dad and uncles would call them. My eldest brother went to school with Stan Turner. Many of the families living in and around our street were ‘Valiants too. As the saying goes ‘It is what it is’, and as tough as it has been at times I have never wavered in all things Port Vale.
An article on Onevalefan titled Tommy Cheadle’s Bootlaces best describes the essence of what it is to be a true ‘Valiant when saying… “to me Vale’s story is hopelessly romantic and stirring. It was and is to do with where you’re from, your friends, your family, your past, your town”
Before connecting to the World Wide Web in 1999 news of my beloved Port Vale came in letters, on the back of postcards and the occasional Sentinel – all sent by my second eldest brother Alan.
As you will all have guessed, my first engine search was ‘Port Vale Football Club’. Two websites were prominent i.e. the official Port Vale website and ‘There’s only one Vale fan in Bristol?’ Intrigued by the ‘Bristol’ website I opened the page and to my absolute delight my Port Vale past was now connected with the present in ways I had previously not dared dream of.
When Rob moved to London “There’s only one Vale fan in Bristol?” was renamed Onevalefan and then, as now, I contribute the occasional memoir and poetry blog item [OVF editor – and much, much more besides]
On his background:
I was born in 1942 and lived the first 13 years of my life in Bucknall. In 1955 we moved to Bentilee. By April 1960 – with my mum, dad and sister we were in Western Australia (my eldest brother Thomas came ‘Downunder in 1950).
My educational journey was via Bucknall and Townsend Primary, then Cellarhead (renamed Moorside) Secondary Modern.
In January 1975 I enrolled in a 12 month College Course in ‘Residential Child Care’ and upon successful completion was appointed as a Group Care Worker with the Western Australian Department for Community Services – commencing December 29, 1975.
In the early 1980’s I sat for and gained a University place to study for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences – successfully completing with Majors in Sociology, Politics and Anthropology.
Back in the 1950s I was akin to a Good Samaritan doing for and helping others I perceived to be less fortunate than myself – sometimes known as good deeds – and without necessarily focussing on my future it would occasionally occur to me that I had a vocation waiting for me helping others.
Without listing them there were defining moments in Scouts and the Bentilee Youth Fellowship when I knew one day I too would be dedicating my life serving others.
It was in Western Australia in 1964 that I started voluntary youth work with the Church of England Boys’ Society engaging boys aged 8 to 17 in a range of indoor and outdoor activities. By late 1974 I was changing my focus from youth better placed in life to homeless youth, youth in care, incarcerated youth and other youth less fortunate.
Over 38 years working for the Department for Community Services (now known as the Department for Corrective Services) I worked with adolescent runaways, homeless youth, youth incarcerated, youth in foster care, youth before the Children’s Court, and worked alongside police and other community groups toward resolving parent-child conflicts.
I retired from the ‘Department on the 31st March 2014 – age 72.
Looking back over 48 plus years working with youth – 10 voluntary and 38 plus as a vocation – I can honestly say that despite some very ugly times experienced by several young people at risk and their families it has been a rewarding journey with defining moments fulfilled.
It’s fair to say Barry has had a fascinating life both online and offline and his willingness to help others marks him out as a true legend of OVF. We all enjoy his many contributions and grateful to have him.
If you want to be featured in a future “Who are yer?” feature please contact email@example.com