Tag Archives: Minor Characters

Robert Barlow – teacher and athlete

I can find nothing about Robert Barlow apart from this affectionate portrait by his friend and colleague L.R. Reeve* whose archive we acquired. He may have been born in 1897 but that's about it..His obscurity is particularly odd because Reeve rated him 'supreme ...above all' and he had met many famous men and women, some world famous.

ROBERT BARLOW

In my opinion Robert Barlow, born in Manchester, was the most outstanding Lancastrian of his era, and during the last hundred years Lancashire has been rightly proud of many great men. Moreover, although I spent most of my long life in London persistentIy visiting the House of Commons, colleges of the University of London, conferences, public meetings and lectures in search of and finding really great men and women, supreme above them all stands Robert Barlow.
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J. W. Samuel B.A

From the papers of L.R. Reeve* this record of a remarkable educationalist, mathematician and speaker. He is unknown to  Wikipedia and online research reveals very little.  He contributed some photographs to the Country in Town  exhibition (July 2 to July 16, 1908) at  Whitechapel Art Gallery to illustrate 'Day Educational Rambles' in the education section. He appears to have received a double honours degree at London University in Anglo- Saxon and Early English (1901?.) As with many of Reeve's subjects he was a remarkable speaker...

J. W. SAMUEL, B.A.

It was during a conference at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, London, that I first saw J. W. Samuel. He was delivering an address, and I recall vividly the profound impression he made upon me, for I was listening to a man who was one of the most effective speakers in London. He had every attribute required for the highest standard of oratory, and his first essential gift was a perfect delivery. His cultured accent, smoothly expressed, would certainly be my aim if I were to enter a competition in debate, and for some mysterious reason which I could not quite explain, his voice always made me think of Earl Balfour, one of England's greatest statesmen.
  Additionally he was a remarkably handsome man, tallish, with a magnificent head of white wavy hair. He had a truly extensive vocabulary, which made him a most persuasive speaker who could, in a debate, demolish most of an opponent's points and, when he occasionally felt that way, would add a little sarcasm to complete his triumph.
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Harold P. Webber – bowls king

Found in the papers of L.R. Reeve (see A.J. Balfour and many others) a piece, from about 1970, about the life of a bowls champion Harold P.(Percy) Webber. One of Reeve's more minor characters and well beneath the Wikipedia radar but a sort of 'village Hampden' in the world of bowls and the author of a notable book on the subject, written with Dr John William Fisher: Bowls - How to Improve your Game (Pitman, London 1934.) Apart from his sporting skills ('his length bowling was uncanny') Webber was a fine orator…

H. P. WEBBER

Harold Webber's recent sudden death, left the members of his club in a state of bewilderment and shock, and had there been a Wailing Wall like the well-known meeting place in Jerusalem, his departure would have caused a record assembly among the mourners. At the time I was very impressed moreover not only by bowlers of other clubs, but by non-players who never went near a club. One acquaintance declared that he couldn't get the deceased celebrity out of his mind. At last his wife said, "It's no use dwelling on his death; it won't bring him back."
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