Barry Fairbrother
Aliases: None
Age: 42
First appearance: Page 3
Last appearance: Page 5
Family: Mary Fairbrother, Fergus Fairbrother, Niamh and Siobhan Fairbrother, Declan Fairbrother

Barry Fairbrother is a member of the Pagford's Parish Council, as well as a bank manager, journalist and coach of the Winterdown Comprehensive rowing team. He dies at the begnning of the book, in a local Pagford golf course, where he was taking his wife to dinner in celebration of their nineteenth wedding anniversary. His death causes chaos within the town, and is a catalyst for one of the biggest wars the town has seen.

Outward AppearanceEdit


Barry is described as short, with dark ginger hair and a cheery face.

TV Adaption

In the BBC's TV adaption, Barry has dark brown, balding hair with a rounded face and stubble. He wears very casual attire, standing out within the higher-up class of Pagford, wearing a red hoodie, grey shirt and navy tracksuit bottoms.



Barry was born in a tenement flat in The Fields, which was part of Pagford, therefore allowing him to enrol at St. Thomas's. Barry relished the Victorian houses in Pagford when his friends invited him home, as he had, at that time, lived in a caravan with his mother and two brothers. He attended a birthday party in the house he later bought and raised his four children in. Barry fell in the love with Pagford, the attraction being the river, the fields and the solid-walled houses.

Career and PersonalityEdit

His love for Pagford is perhaps the reason he did so well at school, and was the first person in his family to go to university. Barry became a bank manager, parish council member, and journalist - his main writing focus being Krystal Weedon, who he took a liking to when he first saw her on a practie rowing machine. He wrote about her life in The Fields, perhaps wishing to write about the poverty that people suffered from there (a little like J. K. Rowling with The Casual Vacancy, remembering a little of her hard past). Barry is personified as engaging, but he found it difficult to put his personality into his writing.

Barry once coached a physical education lesson at Winterdown Comprehensive where he first met Krystal, and revealed his ability to relate to teenagers with his humour and understanding. It is clear that Barry often used his humour in influencing people's opinion on poverty, drug-addicts ect., with Parminder expressing a wish for Barry to be there when discussing the Fields future region.


Barry was husband to Mary Fairbrother for nineteen years, moving to Pagford with his wife when they married. They had two sons, Fergus (the eldest) and Declan, and two twin daughters, Niamh and Siobhan.


Barry's marriage with his wife was somewhat imperfect, despite everyone elses impression that it was perfect. Mary disliked the fact that he seemed to give everyone else but his family his attention - referring to his articles and arguments for the residents of The Fields, specifically Krystal. Barry tried to please his wife with small things, feeling that he always disappointed her with the big things.

Death Edit

Barry's death is foreshadowed as he endures a thumping headache for most of the weekend. Regardless, he decides to take Mary out for dinner to celebrate their anniversary. However, upon arriving at the gold club, he collapses in the car park. By the time the amubulance arrives, he is lying in his own vomit totally unresponsive and likely already dead. It is revealed later that he died of an aneurysm (a burst artery in the brain).


Barry's loyalties lied with The Fields and its inhabitants, which he supported in his writing and in his council. He had been working on his article which argued for Bellchapel Addiction Clinic to remain open, when he suffered from headaches on the day of his death.


Barry had many friends. Gavin claims at numerous points in the book to have been Barry's best friend but this is perhaps a way to get Mary, and Barry's seemingly perfect life. Barry had been on the council with Parminer, and they were both Pro-Fielders who shared the same opinion of poverty and class. Parminder later admits to herself that a main reason for sharing Barry's mission was that she was in love with him. Most of the people likes him


Barry was a known opposition of Howard Mollison, both in opinion and personality. Where Howard saw poverty-victime as blameworthy of thier own hard lives, Barry admirably understood it as a passive act that had happened to them, beyond their control. He would understand, step into other people's shoes, whereas Howard would condescend and take a right wing perspective.

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