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Kes Author's Wife Urges People To Show Compassion

Monday October 7 2013


Barry Hines Barry Hines


THE wife of Kes author Barry Hines is asking Barnsley people to be more compassionate to those - like her husband - who have dementia.

Eleanor Hines, 68, is working with the Alzheimer's Society to combat the stigma associated with the condition which can cause noisy and aggressive behaviour and can often be confused by people for drunkenness or the effects of drugs.

Eleanor, of Tankersley Lane, Hoyland Common, has had to deal with all kinds of cruelty and prejudice when out with Barry - ranging from jeering schoolboys to dirty looks.

Barry, 74, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007 when he was in his late 60s. He also has a second form of dementia, Lewy Body, which causes hallucinations.

Eleanor, who has been married to Barry since 1980, said: "On hearing about the diagnosis, people were shocked - most did not know what to say.

"There was a small initial flurry of phone calls, on the lines of 'let me know if I can help' but the only help offered was calling for a cup of tea. Then people just faded away."

By 2010, Barry had deteriorated to the extent that he had to go into care for his own safety. Eleanor said: "I kept him at home as long as I could and when I had to give in and place him in care, it was truly the worst day of my life."

What made matters even more painful was the way people had reacted when Barry and Eleanor went out.

"There were a few random acts of kindness, but it was the jeering boys from Kirk Balk, the dirty looks from a neighbour, people avoiding me, and the feeling of isolation which will stay in my mind for ever," she added.

"It's hard to look after anybody with dementia, but when they're very noisy and troubled, even going shopping is a nightmare. I apologise to Morrison's for all the half-filled trollies I had to abandon because of the outraged looks from other customers."

Barry, who was born in Hoyland Common, wrote the book A Kestrel For a Knave in 1968. It was made into the iconic film Kes which ranks in the top ten British films of all time.

"All I want is for people to understand what dementia is and not be so afraid of it," said Eleanor.

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Reply Posted by anon on Monday October 7 2013 at 16:07
we are lucky. we look after my dad who has vascular alzheimers, we don't have any help but we have some very understanding friends who treat my dad as he was and not how he is.

Reply Posted by kathy sykes on Monday October 7 2013 at 17:10
Total respect to Mrs Hines. I can't believe my fellow Hoyland Commoners have dis respected Barry after all he has done. I remember Price of Coal being filmed round Beaumont st where I grew up. Kes is an iconic film a classic book and film x Alzheimers is a terrible illness and hard for those who are trying their best to care for the people they love. I have total respect for anyone faced with this and I feel that the uneducated people who look down their noses should spend some time walking in Mrs Hike's shoes.

Reply Posted by EscapefromBarnsley on Monday October 7 2013 at 17:13
If the man who put Barnsley on the map with his fantastic book and the iconic film...what hope is there? Total lack of respect for all people in need...I feel so sorry for Eleanor and anyone out there with this disease.From what I remember, respect and empathy disappeared from the youth of Barnsley years ago.

Reply Posted by Rubydoo on Monday October 7 2013 at 17:21
Very sorry to hear Barry Hines suffering from this most cruel of diseases. Bestwishes to him and his family.

Reply Posted by not surprised on Monday October 7 2013 at 18:38
Sounds about right for barnsley people 2013 there's plenty like that on WAB

Reply Posted by yvonne on Monday October 7 2013 at 19:25
this really saddens me I have worked in care homes caring for people with this horrible disease it is so cruel both for the sufferer n there families mr hines was my English teacher in my last year at kirk balk mr hines read to us kes before it was even published we used to have a film night at our local pub in west Yorkshire as people talked about the film afterwards I was so proud to say barry hines was my English teacher my thoughts go out to mr & mrs hines & family xx

Reply Posted by Swifty on Monday October 7 2013 at 20:44
Mrs Hines and family. My wife is showing signs of dementia at the age of 54.we have experienced the last four years of life changing experiences. I hope you find comfort that not all people are morons They are genuine caring people that respect your situation you and your family are experiencing.

I never new your husband but what he's achieved in his work has brought hours of entertainment to generations of family's around the country.

Reply Posted by julie on Monday October 7 2013 at 22:18
People are scared of what they don't understand - perhaps educating people about dementia and how it is an illness which, at some time, will affect every family - the ones that mock are in for a real awakening - they won't be laughing then! Shame on them for their insensitivity and lack of compassion for their fellow man!

Reply Posted by Swifty on Monday October 7 2013 at 22:30
Dementia can effect any person at any age don't think its just for old people. My wife life changed over night and everyday is a challenge and we will take everyday at a time.

Tomorrow you could be in our position. I hope you don't have to experience this with your loved one at any age.

Reply Posted by rob on Tuesday October 8 2013 at 06:00
I work in a Dementia unit / Mental health care home I c the pain the family and the person go through this illness , I feel for them every day I go into work I love my job and I try to make a difference to the family and to the person with dementia , yes and you people out there should stop and think this could be you tomorrow that I am looking after . Love n best wishes to Barry n Eleanor xx

Reply Posted by sharon on Thursday October 10 2013 at 10:27
Unfortunately the support for dementia in older persons is hardly getting recognised in Barnsley anymore, younger mental health get lots of medical treatment and support from their specialised £10 million in patient service, but what do elderly mental health patients get, My mother was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia 2 years ago, i did'nt have clue, i was referred to a local service, based in barnsley through the NHS and they were a load of rubbish !!!!....... it took 8 weeks before they actually came to see her, i have self taught myself through research on the internet or with books from my local library, and Dementia is a very cruel Disease that is becoming more and more apparent every day, why is there not more support groups available, and what ever happened to "Kendray Hospital".......... sometimes i wonder if it's true what people say that " once your over 60 nobody cares ".............. well done Mrs Hines for all your love, compassion and bravery, Barry will never be forgotton in Barnsley i'm sure, has most comments have stipulated, never say never, it can happen to anybody !!!!!

Reply Posted by craig on Thursday October 10 2013 at 17:05
Such a shame - talented writer. Read today they are close to a cure - hopefully we can get rid of this terrible disease

Reply Posted by susan on Friday October 11 2013 at 01:51
I was so saddened to hear about Barry. He went to school with my brother and taught me at kirk balk. His mum was also my dinner lady at junior school. He is one of the loveliest men you could wish to meet and this shouldn't be happening to this lovely lovely man. I admire you Elanor this can't be easy for you . My best wishes go to you and Barry...or should I say "Sir"...

Reply Posted by Tony on Sunday October 13 2013 at 23:17
This man is a legend. All the best to him and his family.

Reply Posted by Keith Thompson on Tuesday December 10 2013 at 18:49
Learned from my nephew abut Barry and am stunned and saddened what has happened to you both.
I went to Ecclesfield Grammar School and was a friend of his in the same year .We played in the same football team and remember his competitiveness and enthusiasm.I remember well our English Teacher reading to us an essay of his about a teashop.
My wife Joyce ( Foster) also knew Barry. We lived in Sheffield Road, Hoyland Common and now live in North Devon .We live not far from Alan Bacon and have renewed our friendship,
My feelings and sentiments go out to you both. Remember there are more people who do care than those who don't.
Please say Hello to Barry from us both and you are both in our thoughts.

Reply Posted by lorraine fisher on Saturday July 19 2014 at 23:49
Hello, i am in the process of moving from Birdwell to a house in Hoyland Common, i have been told by the current owners that Barry and his amazing Wife lived in this property, andhe actually wrote several books there, can anyone enlighten me to the truth,,,would be very grateful, i currently work within the Dementia Field myself so fully understand your dreadful situation, thankyou for any information Lorraine

Reply Posted by Katy liversdge on Thursday April 30 2015 at 18:44
I feel so sad for you Eleanor listened to your on radio today and cannot understand the human race I find it worse as I get older God bless you and Barry and ask people to think before their actions and think that how Barrie's illness has taken him over it could happen to any of us or our family and our friends so so cruel x

Reply Posted by James Hines on Thursday July 23 2015 at 22:07
I can remember reading Barry's book, A Kestrel For A Knave at school in yr 11 n being asked if I was in anyway related to Barry. As far as I know there ain't no connection although must admit he looks like my late grandfather. And then having a grand mal

Reply Posted by Joanne stanger on Tuesday August 18 2015 at 22:02
As a pupil of lound infant school in the 70s remember Mr Hines comeing and showing his dogs too the class, Mrs hines my teacher at the time. Nice memories