Barry Thorpe



Then Now

Current Address

Heald Green  

Telephone Number (home)

0161 437 9442

Telephone Number (daytime)





Personal Information
(family, work, etc)

After the disastrous reorganisation in 1977 I found myself as Head of Classics in a split-site school where Latin and Classics were gradually fading away. I took a course in timetabling, and did the school timetable for three years using punched card input on a main-frame. This got me interested in computers, so in 1981 I took a sabbatical at UMIST to do a conversion course.

I found on my return to SJP that someone else had been appointed as Head of Computing. I was asked by MEC to take another two terms off to produce primary school software on the BBC Micro.

After this I said goodbye at last to SJP and became Head of Computing at Parrs Wood HS, then a crumbling concrete horror though built only in the sixties, now a new building on the same site as a 10-screen cinema and leisure complex.

At PWHS I taught A-level computing and later some IT (yuk!). I tried to arrange walking holidays there as I had done at St Augustines, but there was strangely little interest, except among the Sixth Form, but even there it was only in one-day jaunts to the Lakes. I did arrange a walk along most of the Cumbria Way, but this was in memory of two former students who drowned off a Morocco beach aged 19.

Having got fedup with being mucked about by the ever-changing exam system, and the "dumbing-down" of GCSE (among other things), I took an offer of early retirement at the age of 51, together with four other senior staff who were similarly fedup. I had to go back for two terms to see out the A-level group, since my replacement couldn't cope, and then saw an advert for a part-time Latin teacher at St Hilary's in Alderley Edge. "How restful", I thought, and for the most part it was.

Harry Rigby, then a deputy head at Xaverian College, asked me if I could fill in there for a maternity leave, and for a year and a half (since the mother did not return), I was commuting between St Hilary's and Xaverian teaching Latin in one and Computing in the other.

Finally, both jobs came to a natural end.

When I first retired I looked round for something else to do, little realising that I would soon have two part-time jobs. The local freesheet carried an article about a new charity starting in Stockport. I joined the team of volunteers at Nightstop to help with administration and desktop publishing, and soon joined the committee. It was a novel experience helping the charity through the launch period, though much of the groundwork had already been done by others.

Nightstop finds emergency overnight accommodation in the homes of approved volunteers for single homeless people aged 16-25. We operate in the boroughs of Stockport and Trafford, working with the housing department and social services mostly, as well as the Probation and Youth services.

When my part-time jobs came to an end, Nightstop was looking for a part-time coordinator, so I stepped down from the committee and applied for the job, which is what I am doing now. Among other things, I have raised several thousand pounds to keep Nightstop going and I am now a trustee of the national body, Nightstop UK.

The Homeless Need Bricks and Mortar

Here comes the plug:
Find out more about Nightstop on and take pity on my first and only effort at a website.
If there is anybody out there interested in volunteering for Nightstop as host, telephone answerer, driver or fund-raiser, please let me know either at my home address/email
or on 0161 474 0520 or
The website contains contact details for most of the other Nightstops for those who live outside Stockport.