Barbara was born in Yeovil to a military family in 1940. As a child of 6 years old, she was living in Gibraltar where her father was a regimental sergeant -major. She told the story of how her father used to put her up on a table in the sergeant’s mess for her to sing to the troops; she had a glorious voice and a powerful stage presence even then.
In 1957 Barbara was 17 and was ‘discovered’ by a talent scout in Maidstone. He changed her name to ‘Jackie Daniels’ and managed gigs for her to sing at where she would play the guitar and sing the pop songs of the time.
In November 1957 local amateur musician Ted Fletcher was playing clarinet in a trad band at a venue in Maidstone and was struck by a vivacious girl dancing at the front. Once Ted heard her sing it was a win-win situation; they formed a new music/singing group and worked together.
Ted and Barbara married on 1st August 1959.
Barbara’s singing ability was extraordinary and worked well with the musical aspirations of Ted and brother Guy. Their amateur efforts quickly led to professional achievements and as a vocal group, (the Cameos) they worked for the legendary record producer, Joe Meek during the years 1964 to 1966 and at the same time Barbara was bringing up son Guy junior, and later, Guy’s brother Conrad, and later still, Daniel.
But Barbara’s extraordinary talent was noted by others and even as a mother of young children she was signed to Pye Records as an artiste under the name ‘Barbara-Ann’, recorded her own singles, a cover version of ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’, sang the sound-track for the TV series ‘Agony’ and a series of ‘Windolene’ adverts.
But family commitments were arduous and her professional work diminished, although she still worked in cabaret with artists like Chas and Dave at venues around the Thames Valley, while son Guy became more successful as a professional musician with ‘Dire Straits’.
In 1986 Ted and Barbara decided to take a drive to the West Country with the germ of a thought to move because of the air pollution in the Thames Valley. The trip turned out to be pivotal as they found an ancient cottage sitting in 5 acres of land in a village close to Newton Abbot. They agreed to buy it on the spot and moved in August 1987.
The local vicar was an organiser of bell ringers and a real ale enthusiast. Barbara learned bell-ringing to a high level but left her mark in Exeter cathedral by demolishing a bell-stay, which has her name on it to this day.
In Devon Barbara met enthusiastic Christians and became a significant part of the Christian community in Torquay and Exeter. She started to sing and play again after a pause of several years and started to write Christian songs which Ted was happy to record and turn into albums using their own studio and with local musicians including young Daniel who was still at home and at school and proved to be a fine bass player.
Ted and Barbara moved from the ancient cottage to a house in Torquay and then to ‘The Sound House’, a rambling ex-hotel home overlooking the harbour where Ted had his workshop and there was room to record Barbara’s songs.
But Ted’s business demanded changes and so in 2015 they moved to Bognor Regis, to the Aldwick Bay Estate to join son Guy.
In Bognor, Barbara and Ted joined ‘Grace Church’ and contributed to music and events.
During a return visit to Exeter in 2017 Barbara suffered a severe stroke which affected her speech but she retained her love of painting.
Sadly, on 24th November 2018, the birthday of her youngest grandson Tom, she suffered another stroke that was even more severe and she never fully regained consciousness.