Is it me or has Barry gone totally Turbo lately?
A seventeen year old killed by a marauding pack of at least eight – and then just dumped over the Docks. Teenage thugs burning the new, and nearly finished, Community Centre completely down.
Thieves nicking the whole roof off Barclays Bank, all the windows at Barry Train Station smashed to smithereens, and a malicious vibe swirling over the town that I can’t quite put my finger on.
What the Hell is going on?
I know Barry has always been a bit rough and a bit ready, with an edginess that I personally wear as a Badge of Honour. But whilst we’ve walked on the wild side at times it was never this ballistic back in the day was it?
Or is it just me looking through my rose-tinted sunglasses?
The Harry Baker murder has got to be one of the most heinous crimes in our town’s history. I’ve already poured my heart out on that one but I still can’t get my head around the actual act and the fact that there were so many, so willing, to carry it out. I am still shocked to the core.
What about the little vandals who burnt down the new Community Centre. It was to be ‘a multipurpose space that would benefit us all.’ Instead it’s razed to the ground by two 14 year olds running amok in the early hours of the morning.
Young people always tell me there’s nowhere to go these days…but then set the bloody place on fire when there is. Go figure.
Then whilst we are counting the financial, and emotional cost, of that going up in flames, thieves are shinning up our buildings to pinch the lead, and vandals are smashing random windows just for the sheer fun of it.
And we’ve had all the above, and more, in about three bloody weeks…Jesus Wept Barrybados!
It’s a crying shame because one thing I know for sure, is that mostly we have got a cracking community that always looks out for each other. And the majority of us always try to do the right thing – even when no one is looking.
So my respect to those who fight to make our town a better place, who rally around when the going gets tough, who pick up the pieces when we hit hard times.
And just when you want to throw your hands up in despair, pull out all the stops to come up trumps for the community.
Nowhere was this more evident than at Barry Pride’s brilliant Launch Event on Wednesday evening at the ever welcoming Academy.
What an absolutely outstanding Panel Session, hosted by the always lovely Beth Fisher, and featuring the Lesbian Legend Lisa Power, Trans Activist Jenny Charles, Iris Prize Founder Berwyn Rowlands, teacher turned OUTNAW Chair Bleddyn Harris, and Role Model Firefighter Georgina Gilbert.
So proud of Hannah Isted and her team’s dedication to making this whole week happen. Absolutely chuffed to bits too by the packed audience who were full of pride and passion for Barry and our queer family within it.
Believe me, it won’t take away the town’s off the scale antics of late, but I promise you it will restore some much needed faith in our bruised and battered community.
Bring it on!
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications special
She blogs about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.