Snapped up my rather fabulous Barry Island Calendar this week – a snip at just thirteen quid, from our talented local photographer Dave Clemett.
I loved getting my little hands on the collection of perfect pics of the jewel in Barry’s crown.
Called the ‘People’s Choice,’ it features 12 of Dave’s finest photographic moments as chosen by us, the residents, through a facebook poll.
For me, the Calendar is not only a superb snap shot of the Island, but also a chance for our cracking community to support their own.
Flicking idly through the Calendar also set me off speculating about the future of Fair – and romantically reminiscing about the Island of old.
How fab is the area now. We have the ever popular Gavin and Stacey effect, the posh plans for the toilet block, wonderful pit stop places like Whitmore and Jackson, the Rumba Bar and Teddy’s Diner.
And just recently I also caught up on Henry Danter’s latest ambitious plans to make our fairground even fabber too.
This includes much-needed holiday flats to bring back what we sadly lost when Butlins was bizarrely sold to builders.
If I remember rightly from my B&D days, it was, and maybe still is, the only headland site ever to be developed as a residential estate.
This, in my view, was a short sighted mistake. For me, the lack of overnight accommodation in a top tourist town is an epic fail that needs to be tackled pronto.
I’m not suggesting we turn the clock back to Hi De Hi holiday camps and those train loads of visitors coming for a fortnight, just something suited for our town today.
Mind you, who doesn’t remember the halcyon days of ‘working over the Island’ in the School Hols.
The racy red Pleasure Park Bib and Brace and the sunshine yellow polo shirt. The illicit swimming in the Log Flume, the testing of the Pirate Ship before shift.
And the sheer terror of that very vertical Funhouse Slide. I still went crashing down head first with aplomb though – always the show off.
I’ll also never forget the excitement of Challenge Anneka filming in the Fair with her infamous Chopper landing loudly on the Prom.
Be honest too, how many people can say they saw the diminutive Pop Princess Kylie at the Radio 1 Roadshow before sloping off to spend hours working the kids’ Caterpillar ride.
Remember then how the 10pm close of play klaxon called and we all clocked out and hopped on that rickety free blue staff bus home.
Happy days with many memories made, and what was most definitely the start of my love affair with the Island.
Thank you Dave, for triggering my trip down Memory Lane with your cute calendar.
And for stylishly capturing how beautiful our Barry Island is today.
How lucky we are to have this seaside speciality on our doorstep.
Find me at the beach!
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Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
One of Wales Arts Review 100 Women Writers of Wales, the dedicated community supporter, passionate arts lover, and award-winning queer activist, will keep you “informed, entertained and inspired.”
Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.