Museum Battle |Barry|Sue’s View

How ironic that, in the week ‘Spoons boss Mr Martin kicked off that crazy carpet saga again, we saw a rallying cry for our very own Museum.

There‘s a turn up for the books – with a twist.

Many of us want to rightly reinforce our deep desire to showcase Barry’s back story – but bizarrely some of us, don’t mind if it’s done on a Boozer’s beer-soaked floor.

I’ve already made my super strong feelings crystal clear about the pub chain playing fast and loose with our town crest.

And, believe me, my strong sense of outrage at the sheer arrogance of it all ain’t going to end anytime soon.

I also, of course, fully support the shout-out that sets to preserve our town’s history and heritage – in a dignified, and hopefully now digital, style.

For me, we must remember our roots. And knowing the good, bad, and even ugly background, to beautiful Barry is completely crucial to understanding our place in the past.

And that’s not just the sweet sentiment but also the hard-fact history that shaped our town into the cracking community it is today.

Mind you, I quite like a cheeky and cheerful reminisce too.

And as proud Barrian, have even got my own little Old Skool town tribute fantastically framed on my bathroom wall.

Got to love those vintage back in the day GWR Railway Posters haven’t you.

Who can resist a smile at the sharp slogans. ‘Barry – For Varied Enjoyment,’ ‘The Bracing South Wales Resort, and ‘The Children’s Paradise’ – classic.

I think they are absolutely perfect pictures to hang in our new Museum too.

This ambition was recently rebooted at a Vale Council Meeting – although those historic Hodges, Nic and Shirley, have also long mooted the idea.

The husband and wife team, already run both the free Victorian Barry Dock, and the High Street Quarter Tours, so are primely placed to know the attraction of all the tasty tales our town has to tell.

Maybe their Memo Tour in the making could take a trip down a Memory Lane that leads us into Barry Town Council’s now abandoned base.

We all know that they, and their angst at the afore-mentioned carpet controversy, have moved to pastures new, so I’m sure there’s the space.

But is there the cold hard cash?

The latest would-be crusader calling for local authority action, must surely know that neither the Councils can afford to fork out for our heritage to be permanently preserved.

And that national funding is a no no too.

Tapping the various community grants out there might make the mark, and some extra external funding could possibly pick up the slack.

There’s definitely a strong case though as, to my shock, I now know there is not even one accredited Museum in the Vale.

And that our only nod to our town’s proud past is the wonderful Barry War Museum.

Operated by the voluntary Barry at War Group its authentic wartime experience is a definite delight so surely we must take tips from them.

In my view, when the Report is considered by the Vale Council on January 16th…and then kicked into touch, some tenacious town residents should step up to save the idea.

With a sense of the Dunkirk spirit, as so energetically embodied by the wondeful Wartime Museum, a committed collective could start the ‘Bring Us Barry Museum’ movement.

And then drive forward a concerted community campaign to make the many times mooted pipe dream into a remarkable reality.

I’m game if you are.

Any takers?

Speak soon




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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.

Sue’s Views is the reboot of her much-loved infamous B&D opinion column from back in the day. Recently resurrected in Style Of The City Magazine, it focuses on the hot topics we are all talking about in beautiful Barry, and beyond – the good, the bad, the ugly.

Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.