Saddleworth mourns ‘our Barrie’ – villagers turn out in large numbers to pay respects

Villagers turned out in large numbers today to pay their final respects to one of Saddleworth’s best loved characters.

Barrie Ashley died of Covid-19 at Royal Oldham Hospital on April 16, aged 67.

And the affection for the long-standing Greenfield resident was evident as the funeral cortège passed through the streets, including Uppermill, where Barrie worked at Saddleworth School.

Pupils were among those saying their farewells to a man described by executive head teacher, Matthew Milburn, as a “true character and with a heart of gold.”

Onlookers burst into spontaneous applause as the hearse carrying Barrie’s coffin came into view. A white floral tribute bearing the word ‘Baz’ was placed inside the vehicle. Other white-Barrie’s favourite colour-flowers were thrown onto the vehicle.

The hearse stopped on occasions to allow people to clap and pay their respects. Barrie’s funeral took place at Oldham Crematorium.

Photo of Barrie: Marie Whitehead.

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