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Robert Barry Rose (OS 1953)

Stockport Grammar School was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Old Stopfordian Robert Barry Rose in April 2022.  Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

The school was notified of the news by Mr Rose’s son and fellow Old Stopfordian, Mr Neil Rose (OS 1984).

Mr Rose attended Stockport Grammar School between 1947 and 1953.  As a loyal supporter of Stockport Grammar School, Mr Rose was a member of the School’s Shaa Society, for which we remain most grateful.  Mr Rose regularly attended the School’s Shaa Luncheon’s and Remembrance Services, alongside his wife Patricia.

Obituary: Mr Barry Rose

9th April 1936 – 8th April 2022

Barry was born in Bramhall, Cheshire on the 9th April 1936 to Bob and Gladys Rose, and was the older brother to Graham. Barry’s childhood was spent, for its entirety, at Lees Road and he became integral to various organisations within the village. From a young age he had a wide and varied range of interests, many of which developed into lifelong hobbies.

His academic life, at Stockport Grammar School (SGS), helped to cultivate many of his pursuits. Indeed, he took a full and active part in school life, not least a range of sporting activities. His attachment to SGS was to remain throughout his life, by way of his engaged membership of the Old Stopfordians. Barry’s participation in “the Old Stops” was hugely significant to him, and provided an important source of belonging.

Beyond school, Barry was an energetic member of 3rd Bramhall Scouts. He commenced this involvement as a scout, and later capitalised on his innate ability to organise and manage by becoming a Group Scout Leader. He considered his scouting role as an important aspect of his life and maintained these links for many years.

Barry conducted his National Service in the RAF, and relished this time of duty.  On completion of his service, he joined Barclays Bank. The bank would be his employer for the whole of his working career, finally leading to retirement at the age of 57. His last post was as Manager at Radbroke Hall Knutsford, where he was commended for both his “usual high standards” and excellent management style.

In terms of family, Barry’s marriage to Sylvia was graced by two children. Neil followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a student of Stockport Grammar School and Gillian won an assisted place at Withington Girls School. Barry was proud of his children’s various achievements and later followed his grandson Dan’s footballing and scholarly success with great pride.

In 1987 Barry married Pat and they settled into life at Gawsworth, following his retirement from Barclays Bank. Barry maintained a range of interests and hobbies; of particular note were his voluntary roles with the National Trust and Macclesfield Hospital. His association with the latter continued well into his 70s, where he was a much valued contributor.

Walking was a great passion for Barry, especially in the Peak District. He was the founder of the Gawsworth Ramblers and accordingly led numerous walks, over a period amounting to 16 years. He also participated in his beloved “Last of the Summer Wine” walking brigade, which covered many miles rambling throughout Derbyshire and Cheshire.

One of Barry’s most enduring passions was sport: chief amongst which were cricket, rugby and football. Indeed Dan and Neil remember – with great fondness – an impromptu game of cricket in a sunlit garden in Wilmslow, several years ago. Barry assumed his favourite role of wicketkeeper, providing several well-considered coaching tips to assist Dan’s batting. Barry was also a keen member of both Norbury and Radbroke Hall Crown Green Bowling clubs, and he leaves behind a trove of trophies which attest to his prowess.

Pat and Barry were well-travelled and one of their most memorable trips was to New Zealand, in order to visit his brother and family. The excursion was augmented by a visit to the nearby Norfolk Island, which provoked a particular interest for Barry. Indeed he conducted painstaking research into its history and culture, from which he presented a series of talks to local clubs and interest groups.

Barry had a focus and determination throughout his life and this would ensure that he always gave the best of himself, to all that he did. He had a commitment to his Christian faith, characterised by a sermon he authored in 1963, on the subject of happiness, and the importance of a generous spirit so as to achieve true contentment.  This writing remained in his treasured possession until his passing.

At Gawsworth Church he became a warden, and subsequently a member of their Parochial Church Council, where he served for over 20 years. This included a period spent as Treasurer. His contribution is perhaps perfectly summed up by the PCC, who noted: “Barry did so much for the church with absolutely minimal fuss. He just got on with all of his many roles”. In fact, he was due to give the St George’s Day toast once again this April, and took immense pride both in that event and in delivering the reading at the War Memorial on Remembrance Sundays.

A later life diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease came as a shock to both Barry. However, this neither undermined his faith nor did it deter his resolve to remain active. Nordic Walking and a daily exercise regime encapsulated this commitment. More recent ill health tested his determination to the maximum, however, together with family support, he never allowed this to infringe upon his valued friendships.

Barry’s family have been overwhelmed by the number of cards expressing their condolences. Many speak of a kind, caring and positive individual who is remembered by all as a lovely and true gentleman. Those who knew him will recall a modest man who endeavoured to do everything to the best of his ability. Accordingly, we celebrate a life lived to the full and characterised by the pursuit of a wide range of interests with huge enthusiasm. I will never forget his endearing habit of declaring,  “I really enjoyed that – thank you”!

Neil R. Rose (OS 1984)