Barry Fairbrother
Age: 44
Fate: Deceased
Gender: Male
Occupation: Council Member
Bank Manager
Friends/Family: Wife: Mary
Daughters: Niamh, Siobhan
Sons: Fergus, Declan
Home: Pagford

Barry Fairbrother was a deceased man in his early forties (44 according to Gavin Hughes). Barry lived in the town of Pagford and he was a city council member, and the manager of the town's only bank branch.

Following his unexpected death, an election was held to fill his position. Three individuals began posting anonymous messages on the Pagford Parish Council website by hacking his account on the site and changing the username to Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother.

Outward AppearanceEdit

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



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 which he later bought and in which he raised his four children. Barry fell in 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, to whom he took a liking when he first saw her on a practice 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 etc., with Parminder expressing a wish for Barry to be there when discussing the Fields' future.


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 daughters, Niamh and Siobhan.


Barry's marriage with his wife was somewhat imperfect, despite everyone else's 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.


Barry's loyalties lay 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 claimed at numerous points in the book to have been Barry's best friend, but this was perhaps a way to get into a relationship with Mary. 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 admitted to herself that a main reason for sharing Barry's mission was that she was in love with him.


Barry was a known opponent of Howard Mollison, both in opinion and in personality. Where Howard saw poverty-victims as blameworthy of their 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.