Barrie went up to St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1959 to read engineering and physics. He rowed for the Hall’s 2nd VIII at a time – he would stress – when the 1st VIII provided some of the UK’s Olympic rowing team. After Oxford, he moved to London where he lived for most of his life. His career began at Ove Arup & Partners as part of the structural engineering team for the Sydney Opera House project. He soon moved on to a career in management consultancy, firstly at Industrial Market Research Ltd and then at PA Consulting, and at Systems International, a Rolls-Royce subsidiary in Belgium. His wide-ranging career as an independent consultant saw him undertake projects in Europe, Africa and the USA, as well as in the UK. Latterly, he worked in corporate finance at Barings, Hill Samuel, and WestLB Panmure, where his engineering background was particularly appreciated by clients.
Thanks to his work, Barrie travelled widely. He was able to become an accomplished skier and ski mountaineer, and he also climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and, later, Toubkal in Morocco. Sailing was his great passion though and it was on water that he could recharge the most. He raced on the Hill Samuel company boat and he spent many summer weekends in Cowes racing an Etchells class boat, winning the class’s national championships in 1993.
Shortly before his 60th birthday Barrie married his long-time partner, Bridget, a marketing communications consultant. Together, they restored an old stone house on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, and moved there permanently in 2000, enabling Barrie to sail more, by then on an ocean-going yacht. Onshore, Barrie enjoyed the complexities of boat maintenance, and he loved walking the Purbeck beaches and clifftops with his beloved saluki/greyhound lurcher by his side. He was active in village life as chairman of a Community Land Trust and as treasurer of an arthouse cinema club whose screenings enabled him to oil his rusty French.