Barry Floyd RIP

Barry Floyd (l) with his friend David Wilkinson circa 2014

We regret to report the death of Dr Barry Floyd, aged 94, on Tuesday, February 18 at his home in Watchbell Street. Barry Floyd was a distinguished academic, in professorial posts at the universities of Nigeria and the West Indies before being appointed to Durham University. There in the 1970s and 1980s, he lectured in the geography department on regional and agricultural geography of the global south.

Following his retirement, he and his wife Jean came to live in Rye, to live in in the same street where Barry’s parents had bought a house in 1964.

Here in Rye, he pursued his interest in philately, and in 2006 published his book “Captain James Cook the explorer: an historical & philatelic review”, which has been awarded a range of international medals, including gold at the Chicago Philatelic Society in 2007. More recently, he has been working on stamps issued in honour of Charles Darwin.

Barry Floyd kept to the end a lively interest in everything around him. He was always courteous with a gentle sense of humour and will be greatly missed.

We send our condolences to Jean, herself a very active member of the Rye community, and to their family.

Image Credits: Family photo .


  1. First, thanks to Ken Bird for so deftly summing up the long, active and productive life of the man, once my geography lecturer in the US, who whisked me off to a fascinating life of academic nomadism interspersed with times in Rye — our children’s ‘England’. — and at last our fulltime home. Grateful thanks also to the readers of Rye News for the cards, emails and phone calls in response. I am inundated at present with tributes to his achievements since RAF days as a scholar, author, professor, philatelist and more with mentions too of his personal qualities , but it is the comments on those characteristics by our neighbours, friends and acquaintances in Rye that I am especially grateful for. He was a gentle, kind, generous and humble man, with an ability to establish rapport quickly and a sense of fun always most obvious in the presence of any of his 11 grandchildren. who adored him. Your mention, with examples, of your experience of the very qualities which have made him such a treasure to me and all the family have touched us deeply. We thank you.

  2. Dearest Jean;
    This is Julia Joseph sending you this message across the miles from Trinidad in the Caribbean. I only just found out about Barry’s passing. My sincerest condolences. I just posted a message to his face book page to your daughter. I remember Barry’s kindness and his love for people. I admired how knowledgeable he was and his meticulous detail when planning work schedules for the British Council teaching programme and the tours of southern Britain which were included as part of the learning experience for the many teachers who came from across the globe to participate in the English Language programme.

    I came to the UK in 1993 for the first time from the Caribbean to pursue my BA in Public Relations with Information Technology at the College of St. Mark and St John in Devon and got to know Barry in 1994 when I was hired as his Assistant for a summer job with the British Council. This job helped me successfully completing my studies as I was financing my studies. Moreover, it contributed to me having a wonderful experience studying and living in the UK and an appreciation of the great work done by the British Council. I never got to return to the UK after graduating and leaving the UK in 1995, but kept in touch as much as I could via mail. I shall always remember Barry’s wonderful Christmas letters providing updates about how you and he were keeping busy with various interests and the growing Floyd family. In August 2019 and January this year I was hoping to return to the UK for a short visit, but this did not take place. On my list of people to visit were you and dear Barry. You both hold a special place in my heart. I shall always remember you. Rest in peace dear Barry. My condolences are extended to the Floyd family especially your beloved children. I am happy that Barry lived a long and fulfilling life and shall always have fond memories of both of you and my time in the UK.
    Sincerely Julia Anestine Joseph. (Trinidad).

  3. I am Zimbabwean and never met Barry, but am inspired by his scholarly work on Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia. My condolences. His scholarship was really distinct, only if the Rhodesian government had listened to his advice Zimbabwe could be a different place today. I started research on the impact of colonial agriculture, this past month and I was so grateful I bumped into his, only to be greeted by the bad news when I searched for his contacts to try and establish contact. Am sure were he with us, he would have enriched my research. I hope I will get more of his work after Covid in archives. Am hoping to read more of his work in the then Rhodesian agriculture.


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