Remembering Adrian Barnes

1951 -2020

Adrian Barnes at the CSC Final 2015 Helsington Burrows by Wendy Carlyle
Compass Sport Cup final 2015, Helsington Burrows by Wendy Carlyle

We have been deeply saddened by the death of Adrian Barnes. His contribution to the club has been incalculable. I’m sure you will join us in mourning his loss but celebrating his life.

Adrian Barnes: An appreciation, by John Crosby

Adrian started his Orienteering career whilst a student at Swansea University. As a post graduate he helped found Swansea Bay Orienteering Club.

He was also a founder member of Combined Harvesters and helped to promote the “Harvester Trophy”, a relay which involved navigation in both night and day conditions. Over the years NATO hosted one such event in Dipton Woods.

Moving to the North East c.1975, he worked as a computer programmer for Rio Tinto (Alcan) at Lynemouth. When he came to the NE he joined Morpeth Harriers and soon became involved in the coaching of their club juniors and made an attempt to encourage seniors and juniors to take up Orienteering. He competed in Orienteering events and eventually joined NATO.

He quickly took up the reins and helped with the coaching of members
within the club. He was a grade one controller and planner and over the
years planned events within the NE including two British Schools
Championships at Gibside and Druridge Bay. His last major event was the
Junior Home Internationals in 2016.

As a Grade One Controller he controlled events up to National level all over the UK. He was one of the club’s main mappers over the years and maintained the club’s map register/archive until last year when he passed the reins over to Fred Miller.

Circa 2000 he had a pacemaker fitted. It worked with a bit of maintenance and kept him going. He took to cycling as part of a fitness regime and took part in a number of cycle rides to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

Adrian liked holidays in Spain – a week here and a week there. Then Urban O took hold and he regularly competed in international events in Spain and Portugal , the last one in Orporto.

Over the last few years he has had a number of setbacks and in 2016 a brain tumour was diagnosed which affected his vision but with chemotherapy he was pulled back to active duty. Heart problems began to overcome Adrian’s fitness, but he continued with active orienteering competing in local events along with Benji (his dog).

He had a triple bypass and continued with a careful active life. As well as his Harriers and Orienteering, he was a staunch member of Morpeth Lions and regularly took part in their fund raising activities and gave help to Morpeth residents.

In January 2020 he was waiting for a valve replacement as I went on holiday. When I came back in April to lockdown and shielding, he was in a similar situation but the valve had developed an infection. He still managed an early morning escape to take Benji out onto the Common for a long walk but heart problems did not go away and he spent a lot of time in hospital.

Adrian was a star in his own branch of sports, a reliable planner and controller, an encouragement to young people and a thoroughly nice man. As a club we owe a very great deal to him and we will miss him. We pass on our sympathies to Anna and to the rest of his family who all live out of the area.

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