Hilary Barker


Interested in everything and so love future learn. I'm like a kid at Woolies pick and mix counter!
Retired teacher, ou lecturer, mother and grandmother of 12. Oh and 1 great grandchild.

Location Cumbria


  • Not surprised. As a storyteller himself he would have been interested in reading, listening to and collecting other people's stories. If only for the enjoyment of it although I'm sure he must have been influenced by some of them as well.

  • A sorry sight I am today but you should gave seen me in my heyday! Many a dance I've been carried to by my first and last lovely mistress.
    She was such a darling there was no one quite like her in the little country town she found herself living in but at least she had me with her to remind her of home and family.

    Is this enough, a start, I could go...

  • My grandmother Ada, born 1895 was a wonderful baker and I have her bread board, wooden handled thin tined fork and rolling pin. I often think of her and remember the wonderful plate pies and barm cakes she baked. Of no monetry value but valuable to me.

  • Hilary Barker made a comment

    I thought it was very well sung and the guitar playing fitted perfectly. I am used to hearing the unaccompanied version of this ballad but very much enjoyed it with the music as it complemented the singing perfectly.

  • The river Irthing in Gilsland, Cumbria near me has some unusual large stones called The popping stones by it, said to be where Scott proposed to his wife. He popped the question there. They have been a tourist attraction for many years. Sadly, I believe the new landowner has just bulldozered them.

  • Hello, I live in Cumbria just south of Hadrians Wall so technically in the English borders. I have enjoyed his stories since I was a child and know that his wife came from Gilsland just a few miles from me and that they were married in Carlisle again just up the road from me. I hope to visit Abborsford this summer.

  • I note that there is no mention of the last ice age and it's destructive effects on what evidence may have been here before it occurred. We do know that there were people here before then from evidence left in caves in Wales, Somerset and Derbyshire. Clothing was probably worn then and it's hard to believe that tools of some sort weren't used.

  • Very frustrating to use! Timeline kept sticking! Why not keep to a normal top down written style?

  • All of the skills on the photograph plus a love of the outdoors and digging in the dirt!

  • I love any kind of history and especially love the detective aspect of gathering information and imagining possible explanations backed up by evidence.

  • I love archeology because it links me to ancient peoples and has helped me to understand our similarities and the way technologies have changed cultures.

  • The firelighting section. I pass those fungi regularly. Must try it out sometime.

  • A brilliant course! Thankyou. I will be taking it to a womens group I am part of for further discussions. Probably when we can meet again as I'm not a zoom fan. Does anyone else think that zoom is another place where males can dominate?

  • And Paula Sherriff for bringing it to parliament in the first place

  • First I wwas glald to see Diane Abbot was mentioned not only innterms of abuse because of her sex but also because she is black. I don't know Diane and have never met her but I really respect that she was not only the first black women in Pariament, she was the first blak MP. A working class girl who got to Oxbridge. She has overcome many barriers and gets...

  • I think I need to do it again to do it justice!

  • @ElizabethFinn I remember talking to students about this and there was a lot of confusion but it is illegal as Jackie says and although an active labour party member this was always made perfectly clear! It was a question of where they wished to vote not that they could vote twice.

  • Wow! I find it incredible that some groups of people and women had to wait until the 60's and 70's to vote!

  • Again, video not working.

  • Additional video is not working.

  • Nor me Marilyn and it's my constituency!

  • Hi Marilyn, I too live close to "The devils porridge". My own mother was a munitions worker all her life at ROF Euxton. She started when she was called up in WW2 and continued until she retired at 60. I never really knew exactly what she did until she came to visit the devils porridge exhibition.

  • It was so much more than I knew. Thankyou. This is a great course and I love the use of video and youtube. It means I can share it with others, therby sharing the knowledge.

  • And your answer to the question? Can you share it?

  • I opted for the Actresses' Fanchise League because I believe education shouldn't just be expected to occur in schools. It should be lifelong and realised through dramatic reconstructions that allow people to imagine themselves in situations they haven't actually experienced. Then, empathy and understanding will happen. I speak from many years experience as...

  • I agree wholeheartedly with your comments but the key question is how do we educate those who are not interested in politics? I love the use of the arts in education as used by suffragettes and would love to see a return to the kinds of drama that I remember from the 60s such as play for today, Hull Truck theatre company etc but times have changed and the...

  • @LesPedrick Sectionalism is always annoying I agree. Divide and rule rules OK? I have lived in London and Kent as well as being from the north and living in the north. Poverty and class division is everywhere!

  • I certainly hadn't heard about it. I knew about the destruction of property and the Rokeby venus but not the bombs in public places I think it was played down. Interesting as to why it was played down.

  • Fascinating! So much I didn't know. Thankyou

  • I think their style of leadership both helped and hindered. They were bold, inspiring and exciting in style which must have been attractive to many frustated women. They gave the impression that they meant business and would achieve their goals. On the other hand, they must have been exhausting at times and who likes to bossed around by people who thought...

  • Women had been asking nicely for a very long time. What was left for them but to escalate their actions? I agree with June Purvis and really admire the courage of the women who faught so long and hard for the right to vote. I'm not sure I could be so brave.

  • I hadn't heard of it and was delighted to see one banner had Carlisle to London on it as I live near Carlisle.
    I was appalled at the disrespect they were shown on their route and especially at the hands of the police who on the whole did not protect them from assults.

  • Only more liberating in that they were cleaner and more human in nature dealing with people. Not being a slave to a machine meant that they could be a little more in control of their own work rate rather than subject to the timimg of the machine. The hours worked would be more humane but they were still subject to all the other demands of work and usually...

  • I am not surprised as I was aware of the work done by women and children in the mines and factories as well as in the home. I also knew they were considered to be cheap labour in relation to men.

  • She appears to be handing over a document which may be a legal document. This would imply that she has legal rights. I wonder why he is dressed like a puritan? Possibly because non conformists were excluded from most professions and banking was an exception as per Barclays Bank set up by Quakers. I wonder who the other two characters are lurking in the...

  • The painting Application for a ticket to the casual ward, moved me to tears. My father aged 96, experienced this with his mother and sister in 1926. He remembers clearly though he was only about 2 years old. Today mothers are still playing the same protective role in terrible circumstances when they are homeless and end up in bed and breakfast accomodation...

  • Very hard labour!

  • Hilary Barker made a comment

    Thank you so much. I had thought I was familiar with this period of social history but this course has helped to tie all my disparate chunks of knowledge into a clear time line of events which has furthered my depth of understanding. I have raved about it so much that I have now been tasked with presenting a short account of it to a local group I am a member...

  • @DerekDeegan I love Joyce and that is one his most moving for me.

  • I agree with you. I'm not sure I would have been as brave but I note that similar action is beong taken today by extinction rebellion. Often drastoc action is the result of deep frustration, anger and helplessness when those in power refuse to share any of it. I was very shocked also by the level of sexual assualt that was deliberately condoned and...

  • I wonder who he was weeping for? Himself perhaps?

  • Hilary Barker made a comment

    She sounds like someone to respect! As usual most people have never heard of her. I like the focus on taxation without representation which is still happening today with ex commonwealth soldiers who have lived and worked in the UK paying NI and tax now being presented with huge Nhs bills! Justice is still seen to be lacking for some.

  • @WilliamArmstrong Sorry! Lol!

  • @DerekDeegan An interesting read Derek. My grandfather initially joined the South Lancs in Wigan. It was based at at Warrington, but he also was transferred, to the Hampshires, due to huge losses at Gallipoli. After leaving Gallipoli he was sent to Basra to fight the Turks and was at the fall of Baghdad. At some point he was also transferred to the...

  • I voted for the secret ballot as prior to this workers could and did lose their jobs if the boss found out how they had voted and it wasn't to the employers liking. This came from my grandfather born in 1880. I suppose this means that this high regard for the secret ballot had been handed down within the family.

  • I'm really learning a lot about the beginnings of trade unionism and socialism and intend to go back over it to study some sections again. I am a labour party activist but had never systematically studied the origins of the labour movement in this country but I fully intend to study it in more depth now. So much of what was said in the past has relevance...

  • My mother born 1921 and the youngest in a mining family of 8 was only allowed the top of a boiled egg from a workers egg until she left school at 14 to work in the cotton mill when she was allowed a whole egg to herself!

  • My grandfather fought at Gallipoli with Clement Atlee who was one of the "posh boys" but who was very much influenced by the strength and bravery of those stunted Lancashire miners he led. Grandfather was only 5ft 2in but survived being shot through the mouth at Suvla Bay and recovered enough to be at the fall of Baghdad.
    Atlee was also wounded at Gallipoli...

  • And don't forget the injustice of the waspi women too. You're absolutely right about sectarianism. It's still there I'm afraid.

  • Sorry, Lorry!

  • Seems to be ok now Loory

  • Relating to Theresa Locks posting I understand the Rosa wasn't the first black woman to have refused to give up her seat on the bus but as is often the case in the history of oppressed people many heroes went unacknowledged and unknown.

  • My ancestors fled the famine in Ireland and ended up in the cotton mills and coal mines of Lancashire via Liverpool. They also ended up in unmarked graves in Wigan. Some as recently as the 1920s and 30s sometimes via the Wigan workhouse. Is it any wonder I am a socialist!

  • Quakers such as the Cadburys set up model towns and villages minus ale houses but with parks, educational institutions and health centres.
    Also Lord Leverhulme at Port Sunlight and port Lever on Harris.

  • Yes, I liked the banners too and was deeply moved by some of them.

  • Unfortunately the hanging rarely killed them, it was the drawing which killed them slowly and cruelly by cutting open the midsection, taking out the entrails and laying on the chest, by which point the poor soul had often regained consciousness! Barbaric!

  • @JoannaDebenham I said education "and" knowledge. Speaking for myself I could see both sides of the arguments but felt that the general public did not have enough factual knowledge to make a proper informed decision. Plus there was a lot of misinformation by various parties which confused people even more. We are a representative democracy which means we...

  • Heartbreaking cruelty!

  • I cried at this section as it reminded me of my aunty who, in the 1920s entered the Wigan workhouse with her 2 little girls aged 5 and 7. They were seperated and the girls sent to an industrial school in warrington. They never saw each other again and one of the girls soon died in the industrial school.

  • I visited it last year and it was certainly worthwhile. I really enjoyed the collection of banners on display there. I would definately recommend it.

  • Socrates had grave reservations about democracy without education and knowledge which is interesting in light of the recent referendum.

  • Crown policy for me as it planted not just ideas, religion and people but legal sytems and cultural mores that were at odds with the existing traditions.
    Economics became more important than social ties and duties towzrds each other and traditional land ties.

  • I agree too. I go for principles every time and usually end up on the losing side!

  • Why did they even bother with pleats? Why not just wrap it around like a skirt and throw the excess over the shoulder?

  • What an excellent speaker! Very clear analysis.

  • Agree! In practice it isn't working very well in the UK either. I fear for the poor in the third world!

  • This section seems to cover all the important points. My only reservation is in the practice of the ideas stated. For example, mental health services in the UK are already at breaking point with long waiting lists for clients. Telephone helplines are often inadequate as is the current case with 111 helpline. People have been told to stay in isolation with...

  • Agree with what you say and am also concerned with people travelling from airports on public transport, eg; the tube from Heathrow into London.

  • So, the UK had a WHO representative here. Did the government take their advice? It seems not. We had no plans in place, nor ppe equipment, no ventilators, hardly any testing kits. Shocking!

  • This video has confirmed to me that the UK government have handled the pandemic very, very badly. Where was the emergency plan in the first place? Having worked in our cities emergency planning room during the foot and mouth epidemic I know that all organisations are required to have emergeny plans in place before emergencies arise. We are still not...

  • @MartinSweeney Martin, the kingdom of Strathclyde used to include Cumbria. David the 1st built the keep at Carlisle castle in the 12th century. He lived there in a cell he had built into the wall. He was very holy and lived very simply.

  • Well the fish was a surprise!

  • And some of us have joined late! Sorry!

  • Fascinating! Loved this section and I now understand what runes are. It's so i teresti g to think that not only were there many different languages but also so many different ways of writing.

  • You may be interested to know that St Patrick is said to have been captured by Irish pirates from Cumbria. He was taken to Whitehaven (Banhaven) harbour and from there to Ireland. Cumbria has a history of connections to Ireland. Birdoswald roman fort on Hadrians Wall was said to be where he was taken from as a boy. It's old name was Banna. There is also a...

  • I am from Cumbria in the UK. It's hard to choose one but I would say The Lindisfarne gospels are pretty good. I like the neolithic remains as well, especially the art work.

  • Hilary Barker made a comment

    Better understanding the role of psn system and it's relationship to past trauma influencing current and future behaviours. I wonder what role genetics might play in this? Are some individuals more genetically tuned in to the psn responses?

  • I really approve of it and would like to see it taught to staff and children alike as it's important for the child to understand what's happening and that its not because they are in any way inadequate or deviant.
    This would be useful for parents to know as well.

  • Love it! I would like to see this approach used in mainstream schools too!

  • Keep calm and try to let them know they are safe. I talk quietly and softly using reassuring words to let them them know that I am calm and that they can trust me to do whatever is best for their needs.

  • I find it fascinating to think of behavioural problems in terms of neural development and can see that it makes sense in that emotion, behaviours and neural pathways must ge linked and interelated.

  • My thoughts exactly John.

  • Crossed.

  • I live within 30 miles of Dumfries and have visited his farm just outside the town as well as various Burns locations within it.

  • Hilary Barker made a comment

    You as a country are showing the way forward and I hope other countries will follow especially the UK!
    I love the way you are willing to experiment and try out new ways of living together. Thank you I have learned a lot.

  • It's so much more natural and humane to have mixed ages socialising and I know from my experiences with my mother when she had dementia she absolutely loved the company of children. More of it please!

  • @TimShipway My mother had dementia and we often laughed together at the things she did or didn't do. It wasn't laughing at her, it was laughing with her and never patronising! Laughter with love!

  • What a lovely empathetic man. I wdould .ike him to look after me if I needed it.

  • OK I found The Corries and Dougie McClean singing it on youtube. Both good versions. Good to hear it sung by men.

  • They resonate because they contain universal truths and feelings that can cross time and cultural differences.

  • It made us feel inferior that's true but to be fair to them they thought they were educating us to be ladies, whatever they understood by that. I guess they thought they were preparing us for a world of predjudice. Which it was and is! Thank you for feeling putraged. You have good instincts!

  • It's beauty is is no way dimished by knowing about the writer. It's how it is experienced that matters for me.

  • I thought the same and would like to hear it su g by a man as it is a man's song.

  • I tjink it can be teanslated and still be powerful but not as powerful im my opi ion.

  • Same thing happened to me in grammar school. Suddenly our natural accents and dialect words were looked down upon as not being correct english and we would be corrected. We were shamed in a way without understanding why.

  • Hilary Barker made a comment

    Interestimg about the class and cultural associations with the "common" language. In my lifetime, 70 years, my own common language has disappeared from Lancashire. It too was considered to belong to the lower classes and was referred to as "broad". There are still a few dialect poets left keeping it alive on the page at least. A pity as it had nuances and...

  • Lots of Irish, Welsh and Cornish poets have a strong sense of national identity which is regected in their poetry. Dylan Thomas, Dominic Behan, WBYeates etc;

  • I bought a copy of The Merry Muses in tbe sixties when I was teenager expecting it to be romantic. What a shock to my innocence!

  • I chose talented becauze I think he was exceptionally so.