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Barry Hines

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Name  Barry Hines
Role  Author

Education  Ecclesfield School
Shows  Threads
Barry Hines wwwbbccoukstaticarchiveacf9a1417c7e61299ec2cc
Movies  Kes, Threads, Looks and Smiles, The Gamekeeper
Nominations  BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay
Books  A Kestrel for a Knave, The price of coal, This Artistic Life, Looks and Smiles, Elvis Over England
Similar People  Ken Loach, Tony Garnett, David Bradley, Mick Jackson, Colin Welland

The Sheffield Authors Showcase - Dave Forrest & Sue Vice: Barry Hines, Kes, Threads & Beyond

Melvin Barry Hines, FRSL (30 June 1939 – 18 March 2016) was an English author who wrote several popular novels and television scripts. He is best known for the novel A Kestrel for a Knave (1968), which he helped adapt for Ken Loach's film Kes (1969).


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The price of coal barry hines ken loach

Early life

Hines was born in the mining village of Hoyland Common near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. He attended Ecclesfield Grammar School and played football for the England Grammar Schools team. After leaving school with five O levels he took a job with the National Coal Board as an apprentice mining surveyor at Rockingham Colliery. A neighbour he chanced to meet at the coal face disapproved of his failure to meet his potential; Hines later said that was when he decided to return to school to take his examinations. He achieved four A levels and studied for a teaching qualification at Loughborough College. He worked as a Physical Education teacher for several years, initially for two years in a London comprehensive school and subsequently at Longcar Central School in Barnsley, where he wrote novels in the school library after the children had gone home. He later became a full-time writer.


His first play, Billy's Last Stand, appeared on the BBC Radio Third Programme in 1965, with Arthur Lowe and Ronald Baddiley. Hines is best known for his novel A Kestrel for a Knave (1968); he co-wrote the script for the film version Kes (1969), directed by Ken Loach. It tells the story of a troubled schoolboy living in a mining village near Barnsley, who finds comfort in tending a kestrel that he named 'Kes'. Hines also wrote the script for the BAFTA award-winning TV film Threads (1984), a speculative television drama examining the effects of nuclear war on Sheffield.

He was known for writing scripts in the Yorkshire dialect. Ken Loach wrote, "He loved language and his ear for the dialect and its comedy was pitch perfect."


Loach's film Looks and Smiles (1981), based on a novel by Hines and adapted for the screen by the author, won the Best Contemporary Screenplay prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Kes won a number of awards, including a Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best British Screenplay and a BAFTA nomination for Best Screenplay. Threads (1984) won a special award at the 1985 Monte-Carlo Television Festival, the Broadcasting Press Guild Award in 1985 for Best Single Drama, and was nominated for seven different awards in the 1985 BAFTA Awards, winning the Best Single Drama award. Hines was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Letters) at the University of Sheffield on 14 January 2010. Hines died on 18 March 2016 at the age of 76.


  • The Blinder (1966)
  • A Kestrel for a Knave (1968) (later filmed as Kes, Hines co-writing the script)
  • First Signs (1972)
  • The Gamekeeper (1975) (later made into an eponymous film, Hines co-writing the script)
  • Looks and Smiles (1981) (later made into an eponymous film, Hines writing the script)
  • Unfinished Business (1983)
  • The Heart of It (1994)
  • Elvis over England (2000)
  • Short story collections

  • This Artistic Life (2009)
  • Radio, film and television

  • Billy's Last Stand (1970)
  • Speech Day (1972)
  • Two Men From Derby (1976)
  • The Price of Coal (1977)
  • Threads (1984)
  • Shooting Stars (1990)
  • Born Kicking (1992)
  • References

    Barry Hines Wikipedia