Motorcycling Queensland was saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Barry James William Marshall on October 10, 2016, at 72 years of age.
Barry was very well known figure within the motorcycling fraternity, particularly with a camera around his neck, whose involvement in motorcycling can be traced back as far as 1975.
We hear from a couple of people who worked with, or knew Barry throughout his career as a motorcycling photographer:
Kevin Mortimer (MQ Motocross Subcommittee)
I’ve probably known of or known Barry since I started racing Motocross in 1972. I seem to always remember him being at the meetings I was at.
Barry was responsible for writing race reports in magazines like REVS and later AMCNs, ADB and Dirt Action, he also provided excellent pictures for his reports. He was a permanent fixture in Australian motorcycle sport.
I recently was at a sixtieth birthday party and there were old copies of REVS there. One of the copies of REVS from 1977, and had a race report from Barry in it. There was a two page report, with photos from the that year’s Queensland Unlimited Motocross Championships at Tivoli. To have a two page, newspaper size spread in a National magazine just shows the quality of Barry’s work. Why did I remember this? Well in the story it said Kevin Mortimer rode an excellent race to finish third in the second race…
I have many Barry stories, most I won’t put in print. One that does stand out is this: I was helping out at Supercross at Archerfield, where a rider crashed on a double jump. I was standing beside the track trying to slow the riders down. A rider came around the berm and I could tell by the sound of his bike he was going to jump the double. I yelled at him “don’t jump” and he braked.
After the race the rider’s father came up to me shouting and carrying on, saying why did you yell at my son. I explained why I yelled and he said “but he didn’t jump. I said yes because I yelled , and it settled down after that. As many people will know Barry also occasionally worked as a bouncer. He told me he was watching the rider’s father and was ready to step in if things got any more heated.
The Big Banana (Barry) was an important part of Queensland Motocross, Enduro and other disciplines for well over forty-five years. He may be gone but he won’t be forgotten.
Dave Radford (MQ Dirt Track Subcommittee)
I have this photograph I took at an RTCB 12 Hour Pony Express in around 1989, it’s got Barry in the middle taking a photo of the landowner Michael Joyce with the shotgun, getting ready for the start. I don’t know how many starts are by shotgun these days:
(Image thanks to Dave Radford)
Andrew ‘Clubby’ Clubb (Trailzone Magazine Editor) on behalf of Marshall family
Best known as Big Bazza, Barry was a much loved and highly respected member of the Queensland motorcycling community for more than four decades.
Boasting a beaming smile and fabulous sense of humour, and always armed with a brace of ever-ready Nikon cameras, Barry was an infield and pit lane fixture at hundreds, if not thousands, of state and national race events and functions over so many years.
At his recent funeral in Brisbane, which was attended by motorcycle sport and industry figures that included Stephen Gall, David Armstrong, John and Kevin Titman, Tony and Gavin Eales, Michael Oliver, Darren Smart, Dave Lucas and Alan Halley amongst others, Barry was remembered for the unwavering support and infectious enthusiasm he brought to all his activities in motorcycle sport.
A literally larger than life figure, Barry will be warmly remembered by all who met him, and all who knew him through his published work.
Lacey Sawtell (former Motorcycling Queensland employee)
Barry and I spent many years pouring over his images for the Motorcycling Queensland Ride! Newsletter when it was still a publication that got printed and posted out. His generosity as a person, enthusiasm for the sport and its heroes, was as large as his presence.
He would print his chosen photos out as large high quality photographic prints - not because that was how we needed them - but because they were more than an image to him they were his works of art and I was his audience.
My all-time favourite photo was a Speedway shot with a rider and passenger hanging off the side of the bike, with both of them inches off the ground leaning way into the corner while facing right into the camera - and the passenger is doing the peace sign!! To this day just a glance at that photo makes me smile. In this one image you can feel the speed, taste the dust, hear the noise, but above all else feel the thrill, joy and freedom that personifies the whole sport of motorcycling - this is Barry's legacy.
(Main images thanks to the Marshall Family)