27.07.1957  -  30.06.2010

Barry Walker, the sound engineer of the Big Chris Barber Band for many years, passed away on June 30, 2010, after a long and painful illness. RIP, dear friend - we all miss you very much.
                      The Archive & Web Team / Ed Jackson & Andreas Wandfluh

Mike "Magic" Henry collected a lot of pictures from Barry that had been taken by himself, Band members and followers of the band. Sometimes, these shots had been taken with mobile phones, so the quality may not be the best one. However all the pictures show our good friend Barry in poses and situations as we all knew him.

Here you will find the

This is what his dear fellow band members and other friends say:
Peter Rudeforth

Barry (or as I called him Barrington) Walker  

My first day's encounter with the Big Chris Barber band involved me sitting next to Barry Walker at the sound desk at the back of the hall in Leamington Spa. He was very welcoming and produced a great sound from the band, which I was able to capture on my minidisc recorder, so that I could learn the set. 

As time unfolded I discovered him to be a fascinating chap with many interests including motorbikes and the quest for the Holy Grail. As you will know by now he was part way through presenting a TV series called Quest on this subject.   A very entertaining and caring character, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.  

Peter Rudeforth.
Here is a short video, filmed by Peter Rudeforth at the occasion of the bands visit to Jerusalem in 2009.


Vic Pitt

Barry. One of my favourite people. He worked very hard for the band,a group of people he loved. He was always there to help when time would allow,a great sound engineer and roadie. "I`ll do anything for you,cos your a diamond" he would say. We often had a beer together after a hard day and enjoyed our karting too. All in all he was a very nice  person to be with. Barry I will miss you ,cos you are a diamond.                                                                         Vic

Tony Carter

It's uncanny - I knew I had a photo of Barry somewhere with you, him and me at a bar somewhere (how strange!!) but I went to my photo draw and the first picture I came to was the one attached in this message. I don't remember taking it but it certainly is an etherial shot and took me by surprise. The times that I spent in his company were very happy ones - he gave 100% and was always ready to help anyone in any situation - what a unique guy and what a sad occasion

Chris Barber

Barry was a real good "front-of-house"  Sound-Man........Testimonial to that.....at my 75th Birthday Concert Van Morrison,  who is not known for suffering fools  (or indeed anybody) gladly checked  the sound Barry produced for the Band and subsequently (of course) sent his own front-of house  man (who is of course pretty cautious!!)  to check Barry's work on Van's part of the programme....They both approved whole-heartedly.......Van (never one to miss an opportunity to get good things)  immediately ordered a replica of our Monitor system by D & B......just in case it was the equipment rather than the man behind it!!!........Later he dropped that equipment because obviously it was Barry who made it work so well!...................

Barry was a man of varied interests.........qualified antique cabinet-maker & restorer capable of making (from the bare wood) a first-class violin..........but most of all the Knights Templar on which subject he had become a recognised expert........All done by a man with very little formal education.......I wish my (very formal) education had given me the ability to persevere with research like Barry........He will be missed...........

Chris Barber.

Bob Hunt
 BARRY WALKER 1957- 2010

a personal tribute

Mike Henry, Nik Payton and I first started doing gigs with the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band in the late 90s. As everyone knows it was then the Jazz and Blues Band plus “Bob Hunt’s Ellingtonians”. As time passed it lead to more and more gigs for the larger line-up so Chris eventually made it permanent in 2001. But way before then I remember this sound guy/roadie coming up to me after a soundcheck somewhere... I only knew him as Baz... and he said something like: “Bobby, this is going to be the permanent band soon. You know that don’t you....” I scoffed at this, but he continued: “and you are going to be the arranger and Chris’s right hand man.” I scoffed at this even more! But my god – within a couple of years Barry’s prediction had come true. He knew a thing or two did young Barry. He became quite a mate over the years – and his interest, some would call it obsession, with the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail became a bit of a standing joke in the band. But he knew his stuff. Once he had discovered that I was a freemason, then that was it. I was suddenly his “mystical adviser” – though in all fairness I knew and still know bugger all about it really! He would take me to one side after the gig and tell me all about his theories... and ask for my advice – advice I wasn’t really qualified to give, since freemasonry as I knew/know it, is just a load of hocus pocus not really founded upon any genuine history. One night in particular sticks in my mind. We were in Uppsala north of Stockholm, and had a couple of days off. Tony Carter and I had ventured forth and partaken of a rather splendid Greek meal. Upon returning to the hotel I found Barry sitting on his own in the bar. Tony sloped off to his room, and I joined Baz. We chatted about our usual topic – the Templar and the excavation of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem during the crusades... At some point we were joined by two rather delightful young Swedish ladies. Now instead of switching to “chat-up” mode, we just carried on. The girls were captivated! Baz went up to his room and returned with loads of maps and diagrams, overlays, you name it. This is where I first learnt about his BIG theory regarding a certain area of Hertfordshire... It certainly seemed to make sense – and the amount of research he had put in was staggering. Anyway, this went on for hours – until we were aware that the hotel staff were bringing out breakfast!

Baz never lost sight of his “quest” and even right at the end it was still right there in the forefront of his mind. Ultimately I sort of avoided talking about it with him, simply because I was way out of my depth. I feel a bit sad about that now. You know, he may really have been onto something.

If anyone knew all about Barry’s theories it would be Mike Henry. He travelled thousands of kms in the van with him and no doubt heard it all many a time! But no doubt Mike will write about that!

But please – don’t think of Baz as just being obsessed with this one thing – far from it. He was a terrific expert on antiques, and was a good craftsman. His handmade barometers were absolutely terrific. Once, when he came to my house he spotted my old bureau... which was left to me by my grandfather. It had come all the way over from Belarus I believe, when my grandfather had to leave the country at the turn of the century. The same piece of furniture had allegedly belonged to HIS grandfather... Baz clocked it and said “that’s Russian that is. About 1780. Have you got it insured?” I hadn’t. “well you better insure that for at least five grand”. I didn’t, of course... but I was amazed at his dating and apparent accuracy. He didn’t know anything about my ancestry, and the fact that my forefathers were from Russia.... strange.

One of Barry’s most lovable traits was his rather individual use of sayings. Once we (me, Magic, Slaughts) were outside the stage door having a cigarette (we smoked in those days!) and Barry came out urging us to get back on stage because Chris was “Biting at the Champ” brilliant! (for those of you reading this who aren’t English, there is a phrase relating to horse riding, wherein an eager horse is “Champing at the Bit”...)

After his heart attack, he came back and told us his blood pressure was “going up and down like a rocket” During a soundcheck there was a nasty boom coming from what appeared to be Vic’s bass amp... no – according to Baz there was “a giant waffle under the stage”.

And most famously, he once declared to have “the ears of a unicorn”.

Great little guy – and I just know I’m going to miss him.

God bless you Barry.

Love from Big Ol’ Bob the Bear xxx

John Service

I know we used to laugh sometimes at his "Quest" escapades, but the enthusiasm of Barry was incredible and his thirst for knowledge and research was unending. I can remember sitting with him long into the night many times, and he discussed and demonstrated his theories with unabounded enthusiasm. I'm so sorry that he never got to complete his research - mind you, I think if he'd lived to be 150 he'd never have finished!!  

"Where's me cuddle Salts?" was always his opener after a break and it's really sad to think that I'll never get to give him a cuddle again. RIP with those Harley's and Nortons in the sky and who knows, you may find the answers to your "quest" at last. xx 

John Service.

Colin and Sue Miller  

"I spent many happy hours sitting next to Barry at the sound desk, sharing "Barryisms"and talking about his kids,of whom he was so proud. What a sad time for everyone.

I spent seven years on the road with Barry and can honestly say that he was very helpful to me on many occasions and often kept me amused with his many sayings and views on a variety of subjects.

Cheerio Bas

Colin and Sue Miller

Sheila Henry – (Magic's Mum)  

Mike I was so sad to hear about Barry he was such a nice person and you must be really feeling his loss. We only met him a few times but I always remember he was smiling every time. There are no words when someone you love dies all you can do is pray for them and hold them close in your heart. I shall light a candle for him at Mass tomorrow. love Mum.xxxxxxx (Sheila Henry - Magic's mum)

Niklaus Zust  

For me it was always a great moment to see Barry. In each city he was the first indication for me - the band is in town.

Jacqueline Van Hattem

Thank YOU  Barry for being a real friend, always good humoured, optimistic, helping wherever and whenever you could, and  most of all:  for being so TRUSTFUL and KIND: ´You´re wonderful´. I Won´t forget You

Love Jacqueline

Ria and Wim Wigt


We will miss you so much - always helpful, modest, energetic, positive, trying to find solutions, loyal, always there....

In our memories you are a great man....  

Ria and Wim Wigt

John Slaughter

Barry's passing will leave us all with our own fond memories of him. I travelled for years with him in his Mercedes van, always up and out on time and laughing at my silliness. 

But the best times we had together was up on the Norfolk Broads in our big old cruiser that we had hired, fishing away all day or cruising about looking for somewhere to fish.Having a jolly good time together. 

God Bless me old son.

R.I.P. Slaughts

Syd Appleton – Kenny Ball's sound engineer  

I had the pleasure of knowing Barry as a colleague for the best part of his Chris Barber days when with Monty Sunshine and then Kenny Ball. Barry was always polite, helpful and regardless of how tired he was never gave less than 100% and had a great sense of humour.

I personally will miss him very much and I am sure I also speak for Kenny Ball and the band ....

R.I.P. Barry and condolences to Paula and the family.... Syd

Pat and Shirley Halcox

Barry was always most kind and helpful. He was always cheerful and did his best for every one.

Pat and Shirley Halcox xx

Mike "Magic" Henry
Barry James Walker
Sound engineer - Big Chris Barber Band
b. 27.07.1957 - d. 30.06.2010

Barry James Walker, or Baz to his friends, was born 27/7/1957 in Enfield, north London and   grew up in the London/Hertfordshire area.

His talent for crafts was spotted at an early age, when he carved a perfect copy of his hand.  He was offered an apprenticeship as a teenager at the V & A Museum in London, where he enjoyed restoring antiques and musical instruments.    

His passions in life were motor bikes, (he had a restored Norton 'Fastback')  and the legend of the Holy Grail and Knights Templar, about which he produced a series on DVD. 

He became involved in sound engineering, first as a monitor engineer for Iron Maiden and later as sound engineer for the likes of Enya, Judie Tzuke, Sweet Substitute and Cliff Richard.

Barry worked full time for The Chris Barber Jazz & Blues & Big Chris Barber Band for 15 years. He was a super sound guy for the band and always took pride in laying out his stage for a gig, no matter how long it took. No Job was too hard, even when we had overnight drives to the next gig, he was always ready for action !

I spent 10 years travelling around with Barry, as I am a roadie for the band as well.

Life was never dull with Barry around, always plotting and scheming together, we spent hours talking about Knights Templars, hidden treasure, where we were going to explore next. In between tours, we did odd jobs for people, including all the brick work in our back garden, which helped us win 'Best back Garden Hammersmith & Fulham'  3 years running.

Here's some of our handy work !

Joan Viskant

I didn't know Barry Walker a long time but when he appeared one day with my partner Mike Henry,  the world suddenly became a richer place. There were tales of the forest, ancient mysteries and rituals, treasure hunts...

Barry would look around and see magic in anything, then set about making that magic happen. He could produce an architectural rendition of a project on paper, and translate it beautifully into bricks and mortar. He could fix anything, make things look better, sound better.

His greatest magic was to bring joy to those around him, selflessly. I'd like to think that he's in a place that he has described to his friends, taking a sip from the Holy Grail.

Cheers Barry.

Ray Green  

So sorry to read on here that sound engineer Barry Walker passed away June 30th. We will always remember his kindness and enthusiasm from the 2000 Down Under Tour when we first got to know him and the band.

At all subsequent concerts when we caught up in Europe, Barry not only made us welcome (as did the other band members) but latterly, with all the personnel changes, he always managed to usher us backstage before the concerts to renew acquaintances with the ones we know well.

I'll be forever grateful for often offering us a seat alongside him during the concerts, passing over a set of headphones, then cranking up the banjo for me!

As the sound engineer he had a tremendous workload as the band grew and for those that understand how concerts work, had to be on the road very early to get to the next venue with a mountain of equipment, set it all up before the band arrived for the sound chack, then as soon as the concert was over, pack everything away again and possibly head straight off to the next venue.

Those of us who occasionally have our ears assailed by modern music, are used to tensing up immediately before the Chris Barber concerts, expecting more of the same, and immediately relaxing to enjoy the music which has never ever been too loud.

We always appreciate the Barber sound and much of that has been due to the efforts of the sound engineers, so Barry, we really will miss you, and are deeply saddened by your early departure.


Richie Burns

RIP Barry great guy great sound man.

The times I would be at a CB concert I would sit with him at the desk,he always have time to talk to you and was a real gent.

My thoughts are with his family and his close friend Magic. Magic spent many an hour on the road touring with him in the van, god bless Barry (RIP)

Kind Regards

Richie Burns (Drummer)

Andreas Wandfluh

I have had the chance to meet Barry already a long time ago and spent many hours sitting at the sound desk in many European places. It was always a great pleasure to discuss different subject with him. Remembering the moon night in Ascona (2009) when whe discussed (after the bands concert and the jam sessions - about 0300h in the morning) about moon and stars and of course of Quest subjects. Or the great italian food in Copenhagen in January 2005 - prior to the concert with the Symphony Orchestra etc. etc.

Thanks Barry, for your great friendship all over those years. RIP

Andreas Wandfluh (co-webmaster)


I read this very bad news but I cant believe it.What can I say.All the best to Barry`s Family and Friends. I`m so sorry. J.

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