Barbara grew up in Cornwall and was schooled in the West Cornwall School for Girls in Penzance. After school she took a job on the Isles of Scilly as Secretary to the Town Clark. She was ambitious so she moved to London where she wrote for a magazine that went out to Odeon cinema staff. Barbara went to Hillcroft College in 1951 after hearing about it at a party, where she studies English novels. Hillcroft College's Principal Constance Dyson wanted a student to become an MP, so Barbara went and worked for the Labour Party at Transport House. After deciding that a political life was not for her, she went and worked for a mining company in Tanzania. On returning to the UK in 1958 she went back to Transport House and wrote speeches Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. She the entered the Civil Service in press information officer posts.
Barbara went on to become controller of Information Services at IBA, a political consultant for Yorkshire TV, has written for the Spectator and New Scientist. Barbara received a CBE for her work for the Irish peace process.
Looking back, Barbara credits Hillcroft College with opening up a new path for her, and has many fond memories of her time at the College.