Andrew Haile (F/SH 76-83)

“Bill was counted as a trusted, dependable and helpful friend by many at school. He was eternally positive in his outlook and was a straightforward individual. He took a direct approach to problems and didn’t waste time worrying about anything of little importance. He took pains to ensure that his surroundings were maintained at the most comfortable level possible: kettle, toaster, sandwich-maker, 8-track and a mountain of tape cassettes, brought back from the Gulf, of variable quality and origin.
An outstanding rugby player, Bill played a formidable game as prop being both tough and sturdy. He captained a number of the junior XV’s over the years before being captain of the 1st XV in his upper sixth year and he represented Cumbria at both Under 16 and Under 19 level.
He was Cadet Colour Sergeant in the CCF winning the Sword of Honour and the Hedley Award in 1983. He was a crack shot.
His love of motorcycling started early. He bought a moped (a black Honda MB50 with fairing) when he was 16 and this gave him the mobility to visit his friends during the school holidays from his home in Bootle. He would often call in and visit their parents if his friends were out. I once returned home to find Bill in residence in our kitchen, entertaining my parents and being fed my tea by my mother! He is, and will be, remembered fondly by many families.
In his final year at school he had bought a larger motorbike (an orange CB100N) that he kept in a garage on School House. He held a legendary 18th birthday party at his home in Bootle, mention of which still produces broad grins and slowly shaken heads 27 years later!
It was a complete shock for his friends to hear the terrible news that unfolded on the 20th November. What was not a surprise was the fact that under those terrible conditions, with people in need of help, Bill stepped onto the bridge to deliver that assistance. If you were in a tight spot, you need look no further for help than to a man like Bill Barker.”
(Photo available at

The St. Beghian Society, St. Bees School, St. Bees, Cumbria, CA27 0DS

tel: 01946 828093