Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

Stan Barstow

I’m sad to hear that novelist Stan Barstow has died at the age of 83. His Guardian obituary is here.

I served as Northern Chair of the Writers’ Guild for a couple of years more than a decade ago, and Stan and his parter Diana Griffiths were two of the most reliable regulars at our (often sparsely-attended) meetings above the Mitre Hotel behind Manchester Cathedral. I found them both warm and supportive, and Stan maybe a little shy; some found him taciturn, and I wonder of the shyness increased when Diana wasn’t around.

I liked both of them, a lot. I tracked down a first edition of A Kind of Loving with the idea of maybe asking Stan to sign it someday. Though I never did.

Stan was white-haired and full-bearded when I knew him, and I used to joke that it was as if God himself had showed up for Guild meetings. Though not in his presence, of course…


One response to “Stan Barstow”

  1. One of my favourite things about serving on WGGB committees and councils is getting to meet the writers you most respect… and if you're lucky, becoming friends. Over the years not one of them has disappointed me… quite the contrary.

    I'm sorry I never met Stan Barstow, but what a glorious writer!