Norman J Barnes Memorial Trust

Charity Number 1086259

The Objective of the Trust is to perpetuate the memory of Norman J Barnes by making grants to students to attend musical study courses or similar activities directly associated with music. The intention is to help students who might not otherwise be able to afford such courses but this should not preclude those who can. Applicants should be attending either King Edward VII School or the choir of St John’s, Ranmoor, Sheffield, and be under 19 years of age at the time of application.

The Trustees are:-
King Edward’s: Chairman Dr Karl Gehring; Secretary & Treasurer: Mrs Shelagh Marston
St. John’s: Mrs Eve Saunders; Mr Colin Roberts

Contact: Shelagh Marston (Hon Sec) 62 Endcliffe Hall Avenue, Sheffield S10 3EL tel: 0114 2664449
Email: shelaghmarston*at*

NJB died on 2nd April 2000. It was during the planning for the Memorial Service at St. John’s that a number of his ex-pupils expressed the view that it would be good to set up a memorial fund to perpetuate his name. A collection was taken at the service to start the fund going.

The Trust was finally fully set up in April 2001, just in time for the first anniversary of NJB’s death. Donations continued to come in for about two years and the final total was just over £6.700, a magnificent sum considering that it had all come from donations from ex-pupils. The Trustees decided to use just the income from the capital to make the awards. The capital was invested with the Charities Aid Foundation.

Each year since 2001 the Trustees have made awards in the springtime, usually of about £100 each, with one being given to a chorister and one to a pupil at King Ted’s. Occasionally in the days when interest rates were high, three awards were made in a year. The pupils at King Ted’s often request help for paying for the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra summer tour, but there have also been applications for unusual things such as a samba course. Choristers at St John’s usually want help with payment for an RSCM course.

Recently it has become increasingly difficult to fund the awards because of the very low rate of bank interest. In 2013 Trustees made the decision to start to use some of the capital sum. They decided that the objective of keeping the name of Norman Barnes alive was the most important objective and at a rate of use of £200 per year, the sum would last for some time anyway. It is written into the Trust Deeds that should the Trust cease to operate for whatever reason, the capital sum should be divided equally between the two institutions.

Norman Barnes was well known for his quirky humour, which caused much amusement. When a Trust award is made, the recipient receives from the Trustees an example of this humour. Norman wrote a memorandum on the problems of performing Handel’s Sampson in Papua New Guinea. The word ‘eclipse’ in the famous line of the blind Sampson ‘Total eclipse, no sun, no moon, all dark’, translates in the pidgin English as ‘kerosine-lamp-him-b’long-Jesus-Christ-him-bugger-up-finish-altogether’. According to Norman the performance ground to a halt at this point.

Trustees, who have been in place since the Trust was formed (there was one change after three years), are delighted to be able to run this Memorial Fund with which to honour the memory of Norman Barnes.

Shelagh Marston, April 2014