Barbara didn't play much of a part in her son's life after he moved out to live with Gail Tilsley. Gail didn't know what Barbara thought of the ten-year age gap between her and Martin and was worried when she heard that Barbara would be visiting them after they announced their engagement in 1991. In the event, Barbara was down-to-Earth and open-minded, and the age difference didn't even come up. It turned out that she had come to give Gail a slinky blue slip to wear at the wedding.
Later, at the reception in the Rovers Return, Barbara and Barry gave the newlyweds their gift of a honeymoon in Abersoch, with Barbara staying on at 33 Hammond Road to look after Nicky, Sarah Louise and David while they were away. Barbara then took charge of the party and got everyone doing the conga.
Barbara didn't encounter any problems while watching the kids although Ivy Brennan gave her a cool reception as she didn't feel she was properly part of the family and was critical of Barbara drinking at the reception when there were children around. Barbara tried to get to know the Brennans by inviting them over for dinner, but only Don came as Ivy was annoyed at him for accepting on her behalf and refused to go. Barbara didn't pick up on Ivy's feelings and when Ivy later offered to take Nicky off her hands for a while by taking him to church, Barbara was grateful.