Wynford Barnet (a tribute)
Wynford Charles Barnet died on the 2nd of August 2018, he was 68 years of age.
I hardly know where to begin. Wyn and myself go back a long way, I don't know exactly when we first met, it must have been the mid 60s. I'm not a local boy, I came to Fodens from the Black-country in 1960, I was 16.
Wyn was born in Mow Cop. Sam Brough, Wyns father in law was also from Mow Cop, Sam Played in Foden's Band and has always been a good friend to me from when I first came, I think it's through Sam I first met Wyn.
From an early age Wyn was a gifted musician, certainly versatile and confident, confidence must be 95% of everything. His instrument was the Trombone, I know he played other instruments including the piano, I think the Trombone was his first love. In his early years he played in local Bands, Road Heath, I recall him being there at an early age. When Edward Gray (Teddy) was made musical director of Greenway Moor the Band began to take off, Wyn was 2nd Trombone, Norman Machen was principal Trombone and Jack Fletcher Bass Trombone, a successful section. In the late 60s Greenway seemed to win every contest they competed in, Wyn was part of this. As I recall, the Area, Nottingham, Buxton two years running and the Grand shield and more, a chest full of spoils.
On the 2nd of October 1967 Wyn joined Foden's Band on 2nd Trombone, sitting next to the legendary solo Trombone Alec English, Dave Richardson was on Bass Trombone, again this was a superb combination. At this time Wyn was 17, quite young to hold this position. Something which amazed me about Wyn was this, he was never boring, a master of innovation, if it hadn't happened or never been done, Wyn may just make it happen.
After a night at the Bluebell in Smallwood, the four of us, Wyn his girlfriend Susan, Louise and myself, on returning to our home we invited Susan and Wyn for supper, it was late with snow on the ground.While attempting to scramble out of the back seat Wyn accidentally closed the door on my left hand, this did not further my welfare, "Wyn" I said, "you have my hand trapped in the door", "Sorry Jimmie" Wyn replied, "why didn't you cry out". I don't recall what we ate for supper, Only that I could feel my heart beat in the end of my fingers, strange what stays in your mind.
Wyn and Susan married in 1968 at Alsager Church. I don't remember much about the reception only that I was the worse for wear next morning. In the late 70s I was put in charge of personnel in the Band, a sort of Band Sergeant, really just a general dogs body. I said before that Wyn could be full of surprises. I only vaguely remember the incident of Wyn turning up to a Band engagement wearing one black shoe and one brown. Fortunately, Tom Foster ( Foden coach driver and a great man) was wearing black shoes, they must have been Wyn's size or close, this sorted the situation, Granville enlightened me, this meant that Tom was sitting in the audience wearing one black shoe and one brown, I have no idea which one was left or right, it matters little. Alec left and Wyn was promoted to solo Trombone, the open test piece that year (1976, hot summer) was Epic symphony, this is quite a demanding piece for any Trombone section. At one point all three play cadenzas in turn, the section on the day was good, we weren't in the frame, well I don't think so.
A couple of incidences, again it would be in the late 70s. I tried (in vain) to get people who were traveling on the bus to put their names on the sheet of paper provided on the notice board. That sounds simple but almost unachievable. The bus loaded and ready to go. No Wyn, so, no mobile phones, I had to go to a phone box ( I had the numbers of.the people who had phones, not everybody. I called Wyn, " Jimmie, what can I do for you", "Wyn, we have a Band job today", Wyn, "Jimmie you're joking", Wyn I'm not". "f---- hell". We waited and it worked out. The week after, another Band job, Wyn was on the bus. I went through my list and Edgar Spurr, (great man) was not with us. "Has anyone seen Edgar", I shouted down the bus, Wyn jumped up, "sorry Jimmie I was supposed to pick him up but it slipped my mind". Well we couldn't wait so Wyn picked Edgar up and brought him to the venue. I still have it written down in my diary, really good concert last night, Wyn sunk me, the week after Wyn sunk me again. I think it's one of the reasons I always loved him like a brother.
Sadly Wyn's wife Susan died in 2001, she was a lovely lady and they had been together for over 35 years, it had been a wonderful relationship. In 2007 Wyn found love again with Diane, this was a good match and they found happiness together. I first met Diane when she was a baby, how about that. Early in 2017 Wyn was diagnosed with PSP, (progressive Supranuclear Palsy). This is a debilitating cruel condition, I had never heard of it until Diane explained the symptoms and prognosis of this terminal illness, I also know that Diane wants to bring awareness to people who know little or nothing about this illness, also the reason I've gone into a little detail.
Wyn has had loving care from Diane and his family right to the end, Diane said to me, "Jimmie, it's easy when you love someone". To sum this up. The way I see Wyn, his persona. As a character, his great assets were his flexibility and rare ability to get on with people of all kinds, that in itself is a rare finding. These words are not mine but I believe fit the occasion.
"Wyn is there, his impression clear as a bell, never flustered, always somehow balanced whatever the occasion, almost invulnerable behind that enigmatic smile of his". Rest in peace Wyn.