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Barrys 2012 in Review

by Barry

Having seen a few reviews of 2012, it reminded me that this has been a year of fantastic change within the Kirby Household so I thought I would capture some of the Highs and Lows.


  • In late December 2011 I make the big decision to leave my steady employment and take that huge leap of starting up my own company.  January saw me working out my notice period and setting everything up for getting K Sharp Ltd up and running.  With my first client already signed up with what seemed at the time as a rock solid period of work for at least 6 months but expected to be more like 12/24 months, it was looking rather good.

  • Paul James defended criticism of the Gloucester Carnival by saying that those who think it could be better should get involved.  Being a sucker for this sort of thing, and as someone who thinks that the Carnival and Festival Fortnight is a really good thing, I got involved and started attending Carnival Committee meetings.




  • Properly started as a Consultant, daily commute to South Wales to work at the site of my client.  Lots of mileage, but also the feeling of freedom in being able to make my own decisions.
  • Took part in the Mens Walk – Walk, Pie, Pint – Done!

  • A family we know decided to invite a few friends round on a weekend to discuss Non Violent Communication (as in not talking in a combative way) in a workshop format – Not something I would have thought of  spending  a Saturday doing, but actually really beneficial and really made us think about how we talk to each other.


  • Was invited as a Community Leader to meet with Richard Graham MP to discuss the Boundary Proposal – interesting discussion really focused around getting us to agree with his proposal – I disagreed, but it was an interesting discussion.
  • Held the Kingsway Residents Public Meeting, including discussions about SkillZone, the Transport Consultation, QUVL updates and the head of the Primary School.


  •  Very busy in the run up to the City Council Elections.
  • Lots of work at Severn FM regarding Fund Raising and the like.


  • The Kingsway Jubilee Festival was brilliant, despite the weather.  With local bands and lots of people turning out for our Big Lunch, it really was a day to be proud of.


  • City Council Elections saw Chris Chatterton take the Grange Seat, the only Labour Gain in Gloucester.  Just shows what hard work and persistence can achieve.


  • Annual Parish Assembly was a poor affair.  While it is not technically a Parish Meeting, it is seen as one and to have around 20 people turn out speaks volumes.  I presented the Parish Plan I had spent the last 6 months writing,  and got voted in.  Lots to learn for the next one.
  • The kids entered the Quedgeley Community Trust Annual Show with 2 entries to the Education section and came away with a 1st and 3rd – not too shabby at all.  Will be great to see what they do in 2013.


  • The Contract I was working on ended sooner than expected, many contractors leaving at the same time, however met some great folk which was fab.
  • Moved from being a contractor to bidding for work in my own right by being part of the consortium winning some MOD work.
  • Took part in the Gloucester Carnival with my Severn FM hat on

  • Held the Residents Association Public Meeting – including Quedgeley News and QUVL updates


  • The prize giving of the first “Kingsway a Village in Bloom” – a success despite a lower than expected take up, but a great start to what is hopefully an ongoing annual competition.

  • Got down and dirty making the Community Garden – Very proud of the Maze – didn’t think that designing it would be so difficult.


  • I got selected by the Labour Party to be the County Council Election Candidate for the May 2013 Elections


  • Asked to attend the opening of Little Bundles in Gloucester – Fantastic work done by the team and great to Jennie Dallimore doing the honours.

  • I was asked to be the Agent for the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections – new challenge and interesting insights.
The Pledges of Rupi Dhanda

The Pledges of Rupi Dhanda for the PCC Elections

  • Halloween in Kingsway was a rather damp, but very fun affair after some very frantic setting up of Gazebos and the like.



  • A very upbeat Kingsway Residents Association AGM where I took the opportunity to present what we have done over the past 5 years – Quite a lump in throat moment to stand down, but really pleased with the achievements.  Included the head of the new Waterwells Academy and QUVL update.
  • Helped at both the City Fireworks in the Docks and the Quedgeley Fireworks at Dimore II – Great events despite the weather.
  • The culmination of the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections saw Rupi Dhanda come third, but also saw Martin Surl the independent win.  For me, the most telling aspect was the number of deliberately spoiled ballot papers, some with proper essays on them.  Not a popular vote at all.


    • Watching the Home Ed Christmas Panto was a great thrill, seeing the kids perform in the climax of a lot of hard work and effort by everyone.   We will just overlook the dads effort….


  • The culmination of my first year in business was heralded with my first K Sharp Xmas Do.  Really pleased with my first year in business, onwards and upwards.


So a great year all in all, lots of positive action – now to build on that for 2013.

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