WORKING class hero writer Stan Barstow has died at the age of 83.
The Wakefield-born author of A Kind of Loving was best known for being one of the band of “angry young men”, a generation of working-class northern writers, who became famous in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
One of the most influential writers of his generation, Barstow was born in Horbury, grew up in Ossett and had spent the last few years living in Pontardawe, South Wales, with partner Diana Griffiths. He died at Neath Port Talbot Hospital on Monday.
He never forgot his roots and was a regular visitor to public events.
Like his peers Alan Sillitoe, John Braine, David Storey and Keith Waterhouse, Barstow was born in the depression years but found success writing in post-war Britain.
His first novel was A Kind of Loving in 1960. It was an unsentimental portrayal of an unhappy marriage, which tells the story of Vic Brown, who gets his girlfriend pregnant and marries her.
It became a 1962 film, starring Alan Bates and June Ritchie.
Barstow’s father was a coal miner and he attended Ossett Grammar School, before working as a draftsman and salesman for a local engineering firm.
He once said: “There were no writers in the family (there were, in fact, few real readers).”
Other novels included Ask Me Tomorrow (1962), The Watchers on the Shore (1966) and Joby, which became a television play starring Patrick Stewart, A Raging Calm, Just You Wait and See and his autobiography In My Own Good Time (2001).
Barstow said in 1989: “I’m no longer young and promising. The angry young man is turning into a crusty old buffer, but I look back with a certain satisfaction on a pretty solid achievement.”
A collection of short stories, The Likes of Us, is due to be published next year.
He was father to Neil and Gillian, from his first marriage to Constance Kershaw, and he had one grandson.
His funeral is to be held next Tuesday at Margam Crematorium in Port Talbot, Wales.