Farewell to St Albans campaigner Barrie

COMMUNITY champion Barrie Mort died suddenly in his sleep on Friday evening at the age of 74.

Best known in recent years as chairman of the Verulam Residents Association, he had been vice principal and acting principal of Oaklands College during his working life.

After retiring, he continued to be a much loved and respected contributor to a variety of areas of life in St Albans including submitting many apposite letters to the Herts Advertiser over many years.

He lived on the Verulam Estate and chaired the residents association for 10 years, only retiring last year, and he represented the residents on many groups and committees in the city.

As well as his residents association work, he was a Friend of Verulamium Park, involved in the Verulamium Heritage Park Project and participated in the St Albans planning core strategy consultation process.

Barrie, who was christened Richard, was educated in Bath and read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at University College, Oxford. As his career progressed in teaching – he came to St Albans in 1972 as head of business studies – he maintained all the interests that had developed in his school days including walking, travel, playing the piano, photography and a love of butterflies. He had a passion for books which was frequently a source of humour for those who knew him.

Barrie was a devoted family man and is survived by his wife of 42 years, Pauline, children Karine and Dominic and four grandchildren.

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Paying tribute, St Albans planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier, said he had known Barrie for many years and he had been a great supporter of the Verulam Residents Association and a great advocate for no building on the adjacent Bedmond Lane site.

He went on: “Whenever I went to any residents association meetings or core strategy meetings, he was always there and very kind to me when I was speaking. He said he would never do my job in a million years but he always thanked me for coming.

“Whenever there was an issue on the Verulam Estate he would phone me at home. He was never given to ranting but always gave me critical and constructive advice and I never knew him to lose his temper.

“I didn’t always agree with him but I for one will miss him.”

Barrie’s funeral service will be held at 11am next Friday, February 4, at All Saints Pastoral Centre in London Colney.