Horace Barks

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Horace Barks, OBE was Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent in 1951–2.[1]

Horace Barks
Born 1895
Ipstones, Staffordshire
Known for Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent
Esperanto

Barks was born in Ipstones in the countryside near Stoke-on-Trent and came from a working class background. His experiences in World War I left him with pacifist beliefs and experience of railway operations. After the war he became a train guard and, in 1921, a member of the Labour Party, the dominant party in Stoke-on-Trent during the twentieth century. He was elected a Stoke councillor in 1930 and made an Alderman in 1948. He served as Mayor for 1951–52.[2]

Barks' cultural interests included Esperanto and the writer Arnold Bennett. Barks and his son Guy were active in the Arnold Bennett Society, which is based in Stoke-on-Trent. The reference library in the city is named after Barks.

Esperanto[edit]

Barks was involved with starting classes at the Wedgwood Memorial College in Barlaston, which remains an important centre of Esperanto education.[3]

Through Barks' influence his local pub in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent, acquired the name "The Green Star" (an Esperanto symbol) and a sign in Esperanto "La Verda Stelo". It is mentioned in a poem by Raymond Schwartz.[4] Smallthorne also has a street named after Zamenhof.[5]

He married Agnes Catherine Johnson.

References[edit]

  1. ^ People of Stoke-on-Trent
  2. ^ "People who made the Potteries - Horace Barks". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "A Tribute to a Noble Worker for Esperanto: Horace Barks", was included in (Esperanto) Rubenaj Refrenoj (Ruby Refrains), Gubbins, Paul (ed.), Berkeley: Bero Publishers, 2001
  4. ^ ::Cxe l’ Verda Stel’ en Stoke-on-Trent ::-se cxio sekvos sian fluon- ::la filoj de potfara gent’ ::el potoj cxerpos novan gxuon
  5. ^ Green Star Public House, Esperanto Way, Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent

There are two posthumous autobiographical publications by Barks, both based on taped reminiscences.

  • Fragments of Autobiography, 1986
  • North Staffordshire regiments in the First World War: Part 1: The Military Experience of Horace Barks, 1914-1918 - Michael Occleshaw, Staffordshire Studies, Keele 1988.