Godmanchester Cambridgeshire Community Association Online

Charles 'Barney' Christian

Barney was born in Godmanchester on 13 October 1944.  He lived in three separate houses in the same street which was unusual.  They were 53 Post Street - which Barney built himself - 35 Post Street, near the Black Bull, and in a property - now long gone - on the site of the Mill car park where he was born.  He lived there with Grandad (Booter) Holmes, Granny, Mum, Dad and two elder sisters and a lodger.  The council horse lived at the back as Grandad worked on the night cart - mains drains didn't arrive in Goddy until 1958.

I met Barney at a dance in the Commemoration Hall in 1964 and we married in 1967. We had two daughters and a son - the 3 ‘Ds’ - Dawn, Donna and Dean.  In later years we moved to Cambridge Villas. 

With Ron Sheldrake, we started C & S Builders, trading for thirty years and employing many local people and family members.  Barney was known as the ‘Fat Controller’ and I was ‘She who must be obeyed’.  Pip Woodhouse persuaded Barney to buy a plot of land with a derelict cottage in Alconbury and loaned him part of the deposit.  Barney was also an outstanding sportsman, particularly as a cricketer, therefore, Godmanchester Cricket Club pulled down the cottage so he wouldn't miss the start of the cricket season!  Health and Safety hadn’t arrived at this time.  Barney still holds the record for the highest number of wickets (121) taken in a season.  His ashes were buried on the cricket ground on 12 April 2019. 

However, a true Gumcestrian, six months proved too long for Barney to be in Alconbury, so with our three young children we lived in a caravan and built a house in Post Street. Renovating the Granary and doing many extensions, Barney certainly left his house-building mark in Godmanchester.  

A born gambler, Barney owned a racehorse with Chris Turner who, after a stint with C & S, returned to football management with both Cambridge United and Peterborough United.  Barney enjoyed going to the racetracks and to football matches with Chris.

A supportive and loving Dad, Barney adored his six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.  At his funeral, the crematorium was packed showing how loved and respected he was.  He leaves a big hole in his family’s lives.

There will never be another Barney - a true Character.

Linda Christian

Previous Page