Life

Radio review: Recalling precious final hours of a teenager's life

Nuala McCann

Broadcasting House Radio 4

The Reunion The Enfield Programme Radio 4

It was a mere four hours out of a young boy's 15-year span but those hours were precious.

Sunday's Broadcasting House featured an interview with Paul Barnes whose son was stabbed to death in January 2017.

Quamari Barnes loved music, especially Bob Marley. He cooked for the family – chicken and rice was his speciality; he rang his sisters when they were out late and told them to get home.

He was leaving school on an afternoon in January last year when he was attacked.

That's where a stranger, Tamsin Nathan, came in. She stayed with Quamari, talked to him, comforted him until the ambulance arrived.

The Barnes believe that she gave their son just a few hours more of life – enough for him to tell the nurses to sing Marley, enough for his mother to get there to say goodbye.

Quamari survived four heart attacks in those four hours and died at the fifth.

Tamsin is now an honorary member of the Barnes family even though she brushes off what she did. “It was a tragedy, it was horrific, but I was blessed to be able to show some kindness,” she said.

She has created an abstract dance performance in his memory aimed at making youngsters think twice about carrying knives.

It was 1977 and there were more than a few bumps in the night at 284 Green Street, London.

The Enfield Poltergeist gripped the nation.

In The Reunion, Sue McGregor spoke to photographer Graham Morris, journalist Roz Morris and Richard Gosse who helped his father interrogate the ghost.

Graham saw it for himself and he felt it too.

The moment he walked into that house was “life changing” he said.

It was gloomy in there and once they brought the children in, objects started flying about the room. He was hit hard in the face with a lego brick and it hurt.

Marbles flew about, furniture slammed about, a toilet brush rose into the air and settled on top of the toilet.

The ghost was particularly fixated on two of the young girls, Janet and Margaret Hodgson.

Morris, who was working for the Daily Mirror at that time, got a photograph of one of them levitating.

Some people believed the family was up to tricks to get a new house.

But Roz Morris said that the woman who lived there did not want to leave. She stayed there until she died and she never made any money out of her story.

We heard a tape of the supposed poltergeist barking like a dog.

Whatever the truth, listen ... it'll make the hairs rise on the back of your neck.

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