'Dad was a real character': son's tribute to photographer Barry Mounsey

Tributes have been paid to a larger-than-life character who was the face of the Spenborough Guardian for many years.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 5:00 pm
Barry Mounsey

Freelance photographer Barry Mounsey, who ran his own Cleckheaton-based studio, John Barry Photography, for more than 50 years, has died aged 75.

Barry, who had a long-term partner Elaine and a son Wayne, combined his work as a newspaper photographer with PR commissions for commercial clients and also weddings and family portraits for local people.

Barry loved his classic cars – Jaguars and Ford Capris – and had a passion for steam trains. He would travel long distances – even into Europe – to take photographs of rare trains.

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His photographs from years gone by are still in demand from specialist publications today.

His son Wayne Masterman said: “My dad was a real character and will be missed by many people. He was probably a bit eccentric but that’s just the way he was. He would often start something and not quite finish it but that was him.”

Barry was born in Cleckheaton and lived in the same house all his life. He attended Whitcliffe Mount School and served as an apprentice at a Brighouse printers.

He started his own photography business in around 1970 and did a lot of work for some big companies including Morrison’s supermarket and Tetley’s brewery.

His passion was for trains and Wayne said: “He would tell us how he and some mates, when they were kids, would break into railway sheds just to see the engines.

"They would always get caught by the workers who would just laugh and say: ‘Carry on!’

“He went to Germany to photograph trains and slept in a Mini van for a week, he’s slept on train platforms just to get the perfect shot and family camping holidays often meant visits to the local railway.”

Freelance photographer Porl Medlock, 61, recalled how Barry helped him out with work when he first started and added: “Everyone loved Barry and he was really successful in his day.

"He was generous, funny and a really good mate.

“He would work for the Spenborough Guardian in the morning, the Telegraph and Argus in the afternoon, then he’d do weddings on a Saturday and he’d be out seven days a week.

"At one point he probably did half the weddings in Cleckheaton.”

While Barry had switched to digital photography he still loved film and printing black and white images and still had a dark room.

Barry took the photographs at Porl’s wedding to Suzanne in 2016 and Porl added: “Ours was the last wedding Barry ever did on film. That’s a treasure and it means a lot to me.”

Barry’s partner Elaine died some years ago and he leaves three grandchildren Jack, Harry and Emilybeth and three great-grandchildren Rosie, Freddie and Mabel.

Barry died on September 28 after collapsing at home. His funeral will be held on Thursday, November 4 at 2.15pm at Park Wood Crematorium in Elland.