A regional daily photographer who covered the Ethiopian famine and was once covered in manure by a cult member has died aged 84.
While at the Advertiser, he covered events including the famine – which led to him becoming a lifelong donor to the charity Ethiopiaid.
On 30 December 1977, he was also involved in an incident while covering the eviction of a farmer by the Moonies cult with a reporter, which led to buckets of manure being hurled at him by one of its members.
Advertiser deputy editor Michelle Tompkins, who worked with Barrie in the 1990s, said: “You wouldn’t say he was the most cheerful character in the newsroom but he was a character we all loved.
“He could be gruff on occasions but if he snapped at you he’d always then look at you with a glint in his eye which told you he wasn’t being entirely serious. And you always knew you’d get great pictures if Barrie was out on a job with you.”
Barrie joined the Advertiser in the late 1950s after working in a photo studio and completing his national service in the RAF as an aircraft mechanic.
A lifelong member of the National Union of Journalists, he was the Swindon chapel’s welfare officer, and worked for the newspaper until he was made redundant.
Barrie’s son John said: “His whole life was photography. He was always taking pictures.”
His daughter Christine added: “He was a real character. He was very grumpy but everybody loved him.”
A grandfather and great grandfather, Barrie lost his second wife Christine in 2012.
He died at Moormead Nursing Home on Christmas Eve, surrounded by his family.