Obituary : Sheila Barnes

Sheila Barnes

It is with great sadness that the family of Sheila Barnes announces her passing on 8th August 2021 at the age of 89. Sheila passed away peacefully and will be lovingly remembered by her family and friends.

Sheila trained as a nursery teacher and taught primary children until her retirement.

Sheila began dancing in her home town of Nelson and recalled her first visit to St Andrews summer school in 1956, forging links with Bill Ireland and others from the London branch and becoming a member of The Cockerel Club, (an ‘exclusive secret society’). Sheila married Harold in 1958 and they continued visiting summer school on an almost annual basis. They moved to Bedfordshire in 1960 when Harold was appointed headteacher of a secondary school. With ‘encouragement’ from Miss Milligan, Sheila and Harold set up the Bedford branch of the RSCDS and when they moved to Norfolk maintained their links with Bedford whilst teaching classes locally. When they moved to Somerset in 1980, they again started classes and the Somerset branch was formed in 1987.

In between their dancing life, Sheila and Harold also spent time as walks leaders and just after Harold’s death in 1997 Sheila was honoured to receive the John Hunt award for “outstanding achievement or endeavour in increasing human well being and goodwill through outdoor pursuits.”

On her 85th birthday, Sheila was made president of the Somerset branch of the RSCDS in recognition of her services to Scottish Country Dancing.