The Barnes Family

The Barnes family pictured outdoors. Four members stand with Robert Barnes seated at the front.

Five members of Robert (Bob) Barnes’ family have studied at Loughborough, including grandson Jonathan, who graduated in 2020.

Bob Barnes graduated from Loughborough in 1956 with a DLC in Handicraft, and his son, granddaughter and grandson would follow in his footsteps.

Here, Bob shares his story.

The family

“My wife Shirley and I have six grown up children, including triplets. Including our grand and great grandchildren there are 34 of us holding 20 degrees, including a PhD and six masters mainly in Engineering and IT, but also in nursing and education.

Pictured in our family photograph, left to right back is Steven Harmond, who was at Loughborough from 1999 to 2002. He studied BSc Computing and Management and is now the director of a prominent design, manufacturing and installation company. He is married to my granddaughter Rachel (nee Tan) next to him in the photo.

Rachel was at Loughborough from 2000 to 2003 when she graduated with a BEng Hons in Product Design and Manufacturing. She is now a director of a health and medical equipment company.

Next is one of my grandsons, Jonathan Barnes, who gained a first-class Meng degree in Innovative Engineering in 2020. He is now working at Rolls Royce. His father next to him, Robert Barnes, was at Loughborough from 1983 to 1986 gaining a BTech in Production Engineering and Management with honours before studying for an MSc in Computing at Hatfield.”

Bob’s Loughborough journey

“In the photo I am seated in the front. I am 88 so it's a long time since the Autumn of 1950 when I was still at Taunton's School, Southampton and went for an interview at Loughborough College for a place on the Handicraft Teacher Training course.

The weather was extremely cold with thick snow on the ground as I made my way via London by stream train to the town.

I still have the brochure of 1949 with a cover showing the original entrance to the college. My Design teacher at Loughborough was Edward Barnsley, and I still have the furniture I made under his guidance.

Today we call the subject Design and Technology, and I can claim to be one of the those who strove to update the subject before the Government's Project Technology was launched. I first taught in Bristol's Lockleaze School and used to meet with Geoffrey Harrison (GBH who became the new Head of Creative Design which replaced Handicraft at Loughborough in the 1960s) and some others in an Association promoting Technical Education.

I left Loughborough with an honours DLC and a distinction, ending up as a Senior General Inspector of schools in Birmingham, then Essex. I wrote the first textbook on School Technology in 1974, was an adviser on industry/ education, a university examiner, the founder chairman of the Nelex SATRO for ten years and after I retired from full time work, I became an Ofsted Inspector, and then the Quality Assurance Inspector to Teacher Training group until I was 80.

The University awarded me an honorary degree during its centenary celebration just over ten years ago.

At Loughborough I resided at Charnwood Hall and was the Hall Treasurer, sharing a room with my longest lasting friend Jim Billingham, who still lives in Northampton where he taught since Loughborough times.”

Do you have a strong family affinity to Loughborough University? Get in touch.