Barry Selwood: 1943-2017

barry town hall 2Many of Barry Selwood’s interests centred in Bournville where he lived – in later life – as a resident of Flat 19 in Oak Tree House, Quaker run housing for people over 50.

He was an active member of the Bournville Village Council (Estate Management & Scheme Representative). The BVC organises several events each year, including the Christmas lights celebration, Jazz Concert and the annual Bournville Festival.

Duncan Cadbury, Chairman of the Bournville Village Trust, writes: “I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Barry. I had the pleasure of knowing him through his membership, as a Bournville resident representative, on the Estate Management and Scheme Committee of the Trust.  He always came well prepared to meetings and often had thoughtful and helpful contributions to make.  Outside meetings he would liaise with staff to follow up suggestions he had made, and it was very evident that he had the interests of both residents and the Trust when discussing ways forward. He will be greatly missed as a valued member of the Committee”.

Barry appreciated the Trust’s use of passive and active solar systems and had suggested the building of an ‘off-grid’ house, or one built on passivhaus principles. Another interest Barry shared with the Bournville Village Trust, the president of Cannon Hill and River Rea Linear Parks and the regional head of the Wildlife Trust, was the linking of wildlife corridors – roads, parks and waterways – to enable wildlife migration.


He was an active Liberal Democrat, a member of the Victorian Society, Bournville, Stirchley, and Highgate neighbourhood forums, the Progressive Christian Network, a lifelong member of CND, on the panel of a local Patients Participation Group (PPG), a member of the city’s South Central Clinical Commissioning Group and of a committee involved with the setting up of the new Midlands Metropolitan Hospital. As a keen recycler, whenever refreshments were left after committee meetings and other events he would take the food to St Anne’s hostel for the homeless or Fireside, near the city centre

As a member of the congregation of St Albans Church of England in Highgate, which Historic England added to the Heritage at Risk Register for 2016, Barry used his expertise (Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) in its maintenance and contributed to the successful bid for funds to replace the lower roof of the Grade II* listed building.  He also regularly attended Northfield mid-week Quaker Meeting.

wayfarer-croppedBarry was a member of the CBSO SO Vocal choir and often attended concerts at the Barber Institute and Bournville Friends Meeting House.

Other recreations he enjoyed were yoga, swimming, folk music and several types of dancing, including membership of the Wayfarers Group which was invited to dance at events in several countries over the years (left, in Besse, Germany).

Last year he went to a festival at Halsway Manor in Somerset, home of the only permanent residential folk centre in Britain. As a young man working nearby in the 70s, Barry was one of a group of folk dancers and singers who founded the Halsway Manor Society.

He led a life that ‘took away the occasion of all wars’ and will be greatly missed by those who knew him well.









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