Saddleworth mourns sad death of ‘our Barrie’

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Saddleworth’s best known and best loved characters, Barrie Ashley, who passed away on Thursday, April 16.

Picture by Marie Whitehead (

Barrie, 67, lived in Greenfield and worked for more than four years at Saddleworth School. He leaves two older brothers, Martin and Brian.

It is understood Barrie died from a coronavirus related illness and passed away at Royal Oldham Hospital.

Saddleworth School announced the sad news on social media.

They said: “It is with great sadness that Barrie Ashley passed away this afternoon.

“The Saddleworth family are all deeply upset by this tragic news and Barrie will be sadly missed by everybody at Saddleworth School and our community. RIP Barrie.”

Joe Wheeler, a former school head boy, described himself as  “Absolutely heartbroken to hear about the passing of ‘our Barrie’.

“A true saint of Saddleworth School and beyond. A man who had the ability to lift anyone’s spirits with the slightest of ease. A real gentlemen.

“R.I.P Barrie. You will be so dearly missed from our community. My love and thoughts goes to your family at this tragic time.”

Linda Finan is steward at Boarshurst Band Club in Greenfield. Her partner, Steve Ashley, and Barrie are cousins.

She had been updating Barrie’s concerned friends and acquaintances of his condition for several days.

“It is so sad because everyone round here knew Barrie,” she told the Independent. “He certainly kept himself young

“Barrie was a character that is for sure. I put up a post on Facebook and people have shared the sad news and been passing on their condolences.

“We are now waiting to hear news of Barrie’s funeral.”

Helen Scargill said: “So sorry to hear of the passing of Barry he was so lively, funny and a genuine lovely man xx

Rachel Wood said: “So sorry. Thinking about all the family at this sad, sad time.”

Last summer Barrie, known as Baz, was invited to attend Saddleworth School’s Year 11 Prom night at Saddleworth Hotel.

Executive head teacher Mathew Milburn described Barrie as: “An absolute star, a true character and with a heart of gold.”

Barrie was a former Saddleworth School pupil.

• Barrie’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, April 29.

His final journey through Saddleworth will start from Pogson and Armitage’s chapel in Diggle at 12pm, passing through Uppermill along High Street at approximately 12.15pm, down Chapel Road and passed Tesco’s Greenfield then along Chew Valley Road to the roundabout at The Clarence then back again to Station Brew before going onwards to Oldham for the cremation.

Feel free to pay your respects to Barrie and support for the family along the route. Please wear something white, which is a colour Barrie loved.

Please remember to stick to social distancing rules because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Family members only will be allowed at the funeral due to government guidance. Barrie’s chosen charity is Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.

When possible, there will be a service of remembrance and a wake to celebrate Barrie’s life.

22 Replies to “Saddleworth mourns sad death of ‘our Barrie’”

  1. He knew my mum and I remember him he was never to busy to have a chat with my mum or anyone and was always pleasant and had a lovely character, you’ll be sadly missed Barry by many , condolences to all your family and friends R.I.P ♥️♥️♥️♥️.

  2. I’m pretty sure everybody will know or have a memory of Barrie. What a waste of a life through this horrible virus R.I.P Barrie. Shaun Delaney and Everybody At Hyde Accessible Transport Ltd.

  3. I worked with Barry years ago often see him around will be missed such a lovely caring man R I P

  4. My condolences to Barrie’s family. I will miss the chats I had in the village with Barrie. He always made me chuckle , he was a lovely man. Uppermill will not be the same. R I P Barrie.

  5. Condolences to Barry’s family with loosing such a lovely, happy and he always said hello and has a chat x will be sadly Missed in the villages of saddleworth x

  6. My condolences to Barrie’s family at this very sad time . He used to call in the bakery for a chat he would lighten your day , especially on a busy day.

    1. I agree Mark I rememberber the chats and laughs we had at the bakery I also remember he was always willing to help if he could. Condolences to Barry’s family at this sad time

  7. Such sad news to hear of Barries passing.
    Barrie was such a thoughtful and caring person, with an infectious laugh.
    Our thoughts are with Barries family at this sad time xx

  8. So very sad to hear of the passing of Barrie. I knew him from when I was born. A lovely, kind and gentle man who always put a smile on anyone’s face with his fantastic sense of humour and mischief!. He will certainly be missed at school and my family will miss him so much. Sending condolences and love to his family. Rest in peace now Baz. With

  9. R.i.p Barrie everyone in tommyfeild market knew him . Always had time for a chat & was always happy xxx

  10. Barrie was a very special man. He will always be remembered for the care, friendliness, energy and positivity he brought to so many people.
    Our thoughts and love go to all that are missing him.

  11. So sad and sorry to hear about Barry, he was always smiling and happy. Uppermill will not be the same without him, such a shame that he should die this way. I cannot stop thinking about him. God bless.

  12. Barrie was a customer of our salon, he would come in every Saturday morning without fail, he would bring us biscuits and crisps and chocolate every week also. All our other customers looked forward to him coming in and chatting with him while passing their time waiting for a trim. He will be very sorely missed by all the staff at Steven Caine barbers.

  13. Go sing and dance with the angels Barrie. You had a heart of gold and touched the hearts of many people who truly loved you to bits.
    RIP my friend. Cant believe it!!!

  14. Still in shock about the very sad news of Barrie’s passing we had some fun times with him in Malta a long time ago but was talking to him at Christmas and he was still the same old Barrie full of fun and laughter rest in peace you sweet man . God bless.
    Sue Deane & Family x x x x

  15. Barrie was one of a kind, we will all miss him, the crowd he saw in Malta plus those who live in Malta will miss him he’s always laughing. Still can’t believe he has gone and we will no longer see him on holiday in Malta. Rest in Peace Barrie. We was only looking at the DVD of our holiday a few days ago and all the pics of us all together xxx

  16. My dear Uncle Barrie , you were one of a kind and a huge part of Saddleworth Community. Everyone is going to miss you so much . I would like to thank you all for the lovely kind messages I have been receiving. After all the pandemic is over we will be having a service and celebrating Barrie’s life with everything he loved , music and dancing . RIP Uncle Barrie xx your niece Clare xx?

  17. So sad to lose you Barrie, you were a lovely person, always smiling. Many times we would laugh about the weekend we had in London in the late 70s with Boarshurst Band. It was one of the best fun weekends my husband and I ever had.

  18. So sad and sorry to hear of Barrie’s passing. I knew him from Knoll Spinning and saw him out and about in Oldham. Always cheered you up such a loving and kind gentleman. Will be missed. My condolences to all his family and friends. R.I.P Barrie

  19. so sad to hear of barrie passing away what a lovely person alawys happy he was looking forward to going on holiday my loved you and loved working with you you will be missed love busbyxxx

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