Remembering .....

The purpose of this part of our Web Museum is to enable people to record their memories or sentiments upon the passing of a loved one or friend who lived in Winsham. Please click here for the tribute to Paul Smith





The Countryman

Like it is in the country, it is seldom easy to recall when a character appeared but when that person is gone there is a void which is instantly and lastingly felt in the community. So it has been with Roger Barrett although throughout his life in Winsham during the last quarter century or so, his many activities have marked for posterity his contribution to life in the parish.

When we returned from army life in 1988, Roger was already adapted from city life, well settled in and in demand. We discovered him helping John and Barbara Loveluck and quickly contrived to poach his services which, as was typical of him he enthusiastically and elastically extended whilst loyally continuing his support for the Lovelucks, Jefferys, Smiths and others around the parish. Betty recalls his quiet presence as he and husband John worked together. He was both interested and interesting, a man of diligence and integrity with time for everybody.

Roger's outdoor forte soon lay in the garden. He encouraged Trish and passed on his expertise in taking cuttings, erecting bean poles and many other skills. Inevitably it was not long before farming priorities intervened. He was soon immersed in the day to day life of a mixed livestock farm, where enthusiastic as always, he took on calving, lambing, haymaking and the many other activities. He possessed the knack of being on top of things - he worked like a quiet dynamo. If asked to do something, he had probably finished it already. This allowed him to be available for the unexpected and furthermore, willing and enthusiastic to undertake it. In the face of a long battle with grave illness which those who did not know him well, might never have suspected, he was cheerful and optimistic to the last.

A' glass half-full' man if ever there was. Thank you great soul; we are honoured and a privileged to have known you.

James Goddard

Dedicated Church Treasurer and tireless Fund Raiser

Roger gave remarkable service to St Stephen's Church. After their arrival in the village both he and his beloved Pam soon became involved in church life. Roger agreed to become treasurer and remained in that post for almost 25 years. We are told that God makes use of our talents and that he loves a cheerful giver. Roger combined a talent for financial management with a light and cheerful touch. His contact with the congregation and supporters of the church ensured that they, too, became cheerful givers. Over the years he was involved with countless Gift Days, fund raising events and ultimately the current appeal to restore the nave roof. The fact that we have almost raised the necessary sum is very much due to his shrewd acumen, skill and wisdom in handling the funds.

Roger was an untiring loyal supporter of the church, often to be found clearing ivy from the walls, cleaning brass, weeding. If help was needed the cry was 'ask Roger' and he responded, no questions asked. He always thought of others before himself as many can testify. On the day he was hospitalised he made sure that the banking was up to date and that we had a signed cheque for floats for the stalls at the Duck Race. He would have been amused and delighted by the collection of ducks adorning the wicker basket that sent him on his way. We shall miss him greatly.

Peter Saunders

Stalwart supporter of the Jubilee Hall

As Representative Member for St.Stephen's Parochial Church Council, Roger served on the Jubilee Hall Management Committee for many years. His wisdom and experience during a very difficult time for the hall when it faced closure was to prove invaluable in all sorts of ways.
Many Committee decisions reflected his input, always made with limitless good temper and common sense. He
was universally respected and liked, and his loss is a heavy burden.

 John Sullivan

Enthusiastic Actor...

Roger loved taking part in village plays. Quite recently, he was one of the quire in 'Under the Greenwood Tree', singing robustly and enjoying the theme of keeping traditional church music alive. Some of you may remember him as Mac the Sheep Stealer, a comic medieval play we performed in the pub and the church. People with long memories will recall him as The Investigator in 'The Winsham Conquest' - the hapless official trying to get answers from Saxon peasants to enter in the Domesday Book. He will forever be remembered, stripped to the waist and wearing hairy trousers, as Mr Tumnus the faun from Narnia in 'A Ring of Time'. Roger will be deeply missed from the village drama scene, as from so much else.

Stella Abbey

...and Panto King

Always reliable, always up for a laugh, Roger participated enthusiastically in all four village pantomimes - perhaps
most notably as the gleefully wicked Uncle in 'Aladdin' and the splendidly ridiculous King in 'Jack and the Beanstalk' whose nightly duet with his Queen (Meg Terret) brought the house down every time. What will we do without him?

Penny Pargiter

Thank you from Pam

Pam is overwhelmed by the kindness and comfort expressed in all the wonderful cards and letters she has received and would like to thank everybody for their continuing and invaluable support.

The above first appeared in the Joint Parish Magazine, August 2009



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