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The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire 2014-2015

Mr Joseph Gurney Barclay



Joe Barclay and his wife, Joanna, live near Latimer in the Chilterns and not far from the beautiful Chess Valley.  It has been Joe’s base since 1952 when his parents moved there.  His father was a diplomat, so there were childhood spells abroad - in Copenhagen and Brussels - and he too has worked overseas - slightly further afield - in San Francisco and also in Paris. The Barclays have three adult children, one son-in-law, one grandson and a Border Terrier.

After three happy years at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where Joe developed a lifelong interest in Geography, played rugger for his college and learned solo aerobatics with the University RAF Air Squadron, life became more serious. He joined Barclays Bank in 1969, working in various locations for the next 30 years - Peterborough, Birmingham, London and Bristol, as well as California and France and a period at INSEAD Business School.  In 1999 Joe left banking to return to Oxford University to establish a new department in the University to improve the interaction between the academic world and business.  Twelve years later, he retired from that role.  During his time working for the University he was on numerous outside boards, one of which was Venturefest, of which he was Chairman for four years.  Venturefest is a successful not-for-profit company that seeks to harness new business ideas -  high technology in particular - to capital.  He remains an Honorary Fellow of his old college and is involved in their Development Campaign.  He is also a trustee of The Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Trust, The City of London Endowment Trust for St Paul’s Cathedral, The Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Trust and the Lady Mico Trust. The latter supports the Mico University College in Kingston, Jamaica.

Joe comes from a family with Quaker ancestry and deep roots in public service and philanthropy. He welcomes the prospect of being able to “put something back” into the County of his upbringing during his year as High Sheriff.  He looks forward to working with the Buckinghamshire Community Foundation and the Milton Keynes Community Foundation in fostering the many small, and often low profile, charities in the County, as well as fulfilling the traditional and key role of High Sheriff in supporting law and order.   As part of his preparation for his year in office, Joe has bicycled to all 216 civil parishes in the County.

Joe is a keen traveller, often in unusual places.  In his youth he hitch-hiked from Cape Town to Cairo and a year or two later he drove a Land Rover to Delhi and back.  It is a bit less of the backpacker style now, but the wanderlust remains.  When at home in Buckinghamshire he is essentially a family man and lover of the country.  As such he enjoys pottering about, often on the seat of his grey 1952 Fergusson tractor .