Kes sculpture unveiled near author Barry Hines' former home in Barnsley

  • Video report by Adam Fowler

A sculpture based on characters from the classic 1960s film Kes has been unveiled opposite the author's former home in Barnsley.

Barry Hines wrote the novel A Kestrel for a Knave, which was adapted for the screen a year after its publication in 1967.

The film Kes tells the story of northern schoolboy Billy Casper who finds meaning in his life through his adopted kestrel. It won two Bafta awards and was nominated for a further three.

The acclaimed film was not just a boy training a kestrel but captured the gritty no nonsense life of South Yorkshire Credit: 'Kes', Woodfall Productions / MGM

Local children from nearby Kirk Balk High School unveiled the 6ft steel artwork near the terraced house Hines called home on Monday, 20 May.

It stands close to many of the locations used in the 1968 film, including Casper's fish and chip shop.

Cllr Robin Franklin said: “The poignant story of Kes and Billy Casper is known the world over thanks to the wonderful writing of Barry Hines.

“We were pleased to unveil the sculpture of the two friends in Barnsley town centre in 2022, but it is only fitting that they are also formally remembered close to where Barry lived.

“This is a fantastic new addition to Hoyland Common, and I hope people will be inspired and proud when they see it.”

Schoolchildren from Kirk Balk High School unveiled the statue Credit: Barnsley Council

The sculpture was designed by Barnsley artist Patrick Murphy, who has also been involved in other tributes to Hines' work.

The installation at Hoyland Common was funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority with Additional Restrictions Grant money aimed at supporting cultural and creative industries across the region.


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