Barnes, Harry

First name/s: Harold
Last name: Barnes
Known names / nicknames: (known as “Harry” from the time I went to Ruskin). In Commons’ Hansards between 1987-2005, I appear as Harry Barnes.
Date of birth: 22/07/1936
Year of birth: 1936

Life before Ruskin

Date and place of birth: 22 July 1936. Easington Colliery, County Durham.
Family: My father was a miner at the local pit. My mother also came from a mining family. Their names were Joseph (Joe) and Betsy (Betty) Barnes. I was an only child.
Work: Railway Clerk.
Politics/Trade union activity: Secretary of both the Easington Colliery Branch of the Labour Party and the Peterlee and District Fabian Society prior to attending Ruskin. Branch Delegate to a Line Conference of the Transport and Salaried Staff’s Association. (TSSA)

Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin) ~ other Trade Union

Life at Ruskin

Dates at Ruskin: October 1960 to June 1962.
Source of funding: LEA grant from Durham County Council
Campaigns/political activity: Member of the Oxford Committee of 100. (see my account of my life at Ruskin in
Subjects studied at Ruskin: Economics and Politics.
Qualification: Diploma in Economics and Political Science.

Life after Ruskin

Education: Hull University 1962-5. B.A. in Philosophy and Political Studies (2.1.)Work Lecturer, North Notts College of Further Education 1965-66. Lecturer, Sheffield University Extramural Department/Division of Continuing Education 1966-87, mainly teaching trade unionists on day release courses. Member of Parliament for N.E. Derbyshire 1987 to 2005.
Politics/trade union activity: Held a variety of positions in the North East Derbyshire Constituency Labour Party from 1970 to 1987 and then became their MP from 1987 to 2005. I am currently Political Education Officer for their Dronfield Branch. Was active in my ASTMS/MSF Branches at University, then in the Commons.
Family Married Ann Stephenson (a miners’ daughter from a neighbouring colliery) in 1963. Children – Stephen and Joanne. Grandchildren – Joseph and Amy.
Place & date of death:

Since 1969 my wife and I have lived in Dronfield in Derbyshire.

Date of death:
Year of death: 0

Achievements / Publications

Publications include :

(1) “The New Left, the Consensus, and the Intelligentsia”, Political Studies, Volume xvi, Number 1, February 1968.

(2) “Background Notes on Local Government”, Workers’ Educational Association, December 1969.

(3) “Company Pension Schemes” (with R.H. Heath), Trade Union and Industrial Studies Unit, University of Sheffield, 1973.

(4) “The Public Face of Militant”, Independent Labour Publications, 1982.

(5) “Words, Not Swords”, New Socialist, No 7, Sept/Oct 1982.

(6) “Dronfield’s First Miners’ MP”, Dronfield Miscellany, Issue 14, Autumn/Winter 2007.

(7) “The Birth of Easington Colliery”, North East History, Volume 42, 2011.

(8) “Easington Colliery : Growth of a Community 1911-19”, North East History, Volume 43, 2012.

(9) “Easington Colliery 1919-1935 : Years of Definition”, North East History, Volume 44, 2013 (due for publication).

(10) “The Twin Pillars of the Derbyshire Miners”, Labour Heritage Bulletin. Autumn 2012.


I have had a variety of articles published in Tribune, the Morning Star, the Guardian (with Ken Livingstone), Labour Weekly, Local Socialism, London Labour Briefing, the Derbyshire Miner, Post-16 Educator, the Sheffield Star, the Chesterfield May Day Brochure, the Eckington Leader, the Dronfield Advertiser, the Chesterfield Advertiser and in other publications. Between October 1975 and August 1983, I had 50 articles published in Labour Leader (Independent Labour Publications). In my period as an MP from 1987 and 2005 copies of my articles were often circulated in 121 reports which I issued at Constituency Labour Party meetings. It is my intention to eventually deposit copies of these with the Derbyshire County Council Archives. My contributions in the Commons can be found via the parliamentary indexes between 1987 and 2005 and via other parliamentary sources, including Committee Reports. Since 2006 I have run a blog which up to 11th June 2013 contained 690 items. See – . Since January 2009, I have also contributed some 150 items here –

Material in archives or already published articles

See – .


Notes on Image/s

Photo of Harry Barnes

Harry Barnes

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Comment of contributor/s and sources


Harry Barnes

created 14/10/2013 at 5:13 pm, updated 11/12/2013 at 12:56 am

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