Brian Barnes came to live in Stony Stratford as a 13-year-old boy in 1935 when his father opened a restaurant in the High Street - aptly named Barnes restaurant. Brian took over the running of the restaurant until he sold it in 1987 when it became the Peking Chinese. He remembers some hostility towards the Catholics in 1962 when the Franciscan Monks wanted to buy Fegans orphanage - now the Mogul Palace Indian restaurant - and turn it into a boarding school for Catholic boys up to the age of 13. This anti-Catholic feeling resulted in the bid being withdrawn and when the building came up for sale again the Monks used an agent to make a bid, which was accepted. When things cooled down the Franciscans moved in and opened St. Paul's school. (The chapel inside the former Fegan's orphanage is pictured below, decorated for Harvest in 1935.)

audio to be added

Above - Brian pictured outside the house next door to the Peking where the family lived when they ran Barnes restaurant. Brian later bought a smaller home a few doors up where he still lives today.
Right - this is Brian when he served in the RAF in World War II. He was later married at St Giles Church in 1953. He says the congregation of St Mary the Virgin was not happy when it closed down and they had to go to St Giles.
"St Mary's people regarded the St Giles people with a certain amount of suspicion and I suppose vice versa. St Mary's generally speaking was supposed to be High Church. In fact Rev Payne the incumbent at St Mary's was known as Pope Payne."
In the winter 1962 edition of the Link - the Northampton Diocesan Magazine - news that the Catholic monks were to take over the former Fegan's home was said to be "by no means greeted with universal acclaim in Stony Stratford itself". It continued: "Mr Fegan's Homes Council are ardent Free Churchmen, and the secretary of the Council is reported to have said that they did not wish to sell the buildings to this 'Roman Catholic' organisation, as it had always been a Protestant home. Other people who were "shocked and disappointed" at the news were the members of the interdenominational church whose services were until recently held in the home's chapel."