THERE wasn’t an empty seat in St Andrew’s church on Sunday afternoon as family, friends and BBC colleagues showed their appreciation for one of the nation’s favourite antiques experts, David Barby.
The service of thanksgiving and celebration for his life, attended by more than 500 people, followed a private family burial in Hillmorton on August 16. David died on July 25 after suffering a brain haemorrhage on July 12. He was 69.
Although David had been well known in Rugby for many years, he was also a hugely popular personality all over the world, thanks to his work on BBC television series including Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and Antiques Road Trip.
Tributes were paid by David’s nephew Adrian Barby-Moule and fellow expert and close friend Philip Serrell, who shared his often amusing memories of filming with David over the last ten years.
His was one of many famous faces in the congregation, as David’s daytime television colleagues travelled from all over the country to pay their respects and remember not only his great knowledge and passion for antiques but his professionalism and sense of fun.
The BBC will be paying their own tribute to David with a special week of his programmes from Monday, October 1.
Sunday’s service was taken by the Rev Peter Beresford, with an address by the Rev Anthony Orr and reading by Lay Minister Sue Goddard.
David’s wife Janet and family, were led into the church by his nephew Dylan Hithersay, seven, and great-nephew George Barby-Moule, ten, both wearing red bow ties and one of David’s golden gavel pins, awarded on Bargain Hunt for the great achievement of making a profit on every purchase.
Along with all the men in the family, the boys waved auctioneers’ gavels and the girls and ladies all carried posies of red roses, as David was born on St George’s Day, April 23 1943.
Their entrance music was In Dulci Jubilo, sung by St Andrew’s Choir.
This piece was played in the NHS scene at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, with the children dancing on the hospital beds and Janet chose this to emphasise how children are the continuation of life.
Angela Youngman-Stewart gave a beautiful rendition of O For the Wings of a Dove, which David had sung as a young choirboy at St Andrew’s.
Organist Nick Scott-Burt played Sheep May Safely Graze, providing a time for reflection on how David had touched everyone’s lives and the farewell music, Promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition, recognised David’s love of art.
The sunflowers decorating the church were inspired by the floral tribute sent to Janet by the BBC after David died, recognising his sunny and ever-cheerful personality.
Janet said she was overwhelmed by the number of people at Sunday’s service and would like to thank everyone for their presence, messages of sympathy and kind thoughts which have been of great comfort.