David Dipple is leaving Barrow!
Whether it’s for inspiring hundreds of children to develop a passion for music, coaching countless kids the finer skills of cricket, or donning a dapper outfit and announcing the news of the village, there is little doubt that David Dipple will leave an imprint on Barrow long after the last peals of his village crier bell fade into silence.
Before becoming a well-known name throughout the village (and beyond), David first arrived in Barrow in 1990 when he began a teaching post at Hall Orchard. He wasted little time before taking the initiative to start teaching children to play the recorder, an instrument he had played almost his whole life. He recalled the intense feeling of satisfaction he’d receive when, in barely a few weeks, his young prodigies would progress to actually making music rather than just noise. David’s enthusiasm for recorders was contagious and, to this day, he has a small legion of miniature musicians who regularly perform at Leicester Cathedral and Rainbow’s Hospice as well as local concerts and soirées. He described how rewarding it is to see children become enthralled by music and progress to playing other instruments, while others refuse to abandon the recorder for years after leaving Hall Orchard.
However, announcing his presence on the recorder alone was not enough. David’s plethora of qualities, including ‘being loud’ and ‘talking a lot’ made him an ideal town crier. Not only that, but he loves embarrassing people and gets a real kick out of people running away when they see him out of fear that he’ll call out their name. David’s last cry was judging the scarecrow competition on 31st July but over the years he’s been a central figure at many a turning on of the Christmas lights where, on one occasion, he even ran into local Olympic swimmer Rebecca Addlington who was visiting friends in Barrow. David’s crying even made him into a local celebrity when the village gathered outside its front doors last summer to applaud the efforts of our frontline workers. He’d don his dandy outfit and walk up and down the road ringing the bell. A neighbour, perhaps out of concern for his eccentric behaviour, contacted the BBC who travelled to Barrow to interview him. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-nottinghamshire-52412925/page/3
David has also been a key figure on the Barrow cricket scene, having trained in sports coaching after finding history teaching a little dull. At first, he focused on hockey and football but had always loved cricket and, before long, started coaching at Hall Orchard, Barrow Town and Humphrey Perkins, as well as working alongside coaches from Leicestershire Country Cricket Club.
It is also thanks to David that there is a connection between Barrow and the city of Gondar in Ethiopia. Some 15 years ago, David’s wife went to Gondar to start a psychiatric unit and later made a personal connection with a lady who wanted someone to teach English at her school. Always up for a new challenge, David leapt at the opportunity and initiated what would become regular trips to Gondar and continuous support for the school’s children. He taught English through music (naturally), brought over books and set up a non-fiction library at the school, as well as sponsoring children and providing them with food, learning materials and medication.
Having been such an active part of the village, David will miss his life in Barrow almost as much as Barrow will miss him. What he loves the most in Barrow is the smiles and waves he gets from so many people around the village – a constant reminder that he can’t have upset too many people over the last three decades. I’m sure the whole village would like to wish him all the best with his future endeavours in Redcar on the northeast coast, which will certainly feature an allotment and will hopefully involve yet another generation of small children falling in love with the recorder.