High St Tour |Vale|Sue’s View

Days of old on my very own doorstep saw me spend a lazy Sunday afternoon knee deep in the memories of our mercantile municipality.

For me, although a seasoned traveller who so likes to get about, its equally as important to recognise our roots – and where we, as a town, turned up from.

So, Skip Run done, (don’t ask!),  what a fabulous way to spend International Women’s Day hopping around High Street with the historic husband and wife team of Nic and Shirley Hodges.

I’d already been on the highly recommended Victorian Barry Dock Tour, so was looking forward to a trip around the neighbourhood of my misspent youth to hear tales of crime, camaraderie, and carryings on.

So, dodging the showers, and delighting in the sunshine, I made my way to our meeting place of Barry Town Railway Station with other like-minded locals for the hour and an half history lesson that is the High Street Quarter Tour.

As always, this free walking wonder, was expertly delivered by Nic Hodges, dapperly dressed for the part, who gave us all with all the facts and fun needed as we looped around the popular Shopping site.

I don’t want to give too much away, as I so want you Barrians to follow the Victorian Barry Dock Facebook Page and find out exactly what all the fantastic fuss is about yourselves.

Also worth keeping a look out for the next nightly Victorian Talk by Nic – ‘other fish to fry’ meant that I missed the first one so I’m keen to catch up with that too.

And of course, the more we support beautiful Barry’s fight to preserve our past, the more chance we have of making the Museum dream happen.

Or Heritage Centre, as a little bird told me it may now be called – watch this space!

Back to the mean streets of High Street, with Nic, and Shirley, as always hot on the history that shaped both ours and the world’s, also with their nod to International Women’s Day (IWD).

The day, as all you feisty feminists know, is dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres.

Collectively founded by women, it also brings attention to gender parity and women’s rights with the IWD 2020 #EachforEqual campaign theme drawing on the notion of “collective individualism.”.

This refers to the idea that every individual is a part of a whole, and that an individual’s actions, behaviours, and mind-sets can all have an impact on larger society.

Fabulously fittingly, we in booming Barry at the start of the nineteenth century were up close and personal with the mass Suffragette movement.

We played host to the infamous Emmeline Pankhurst, and the most well-known female hunger striker of the times too.

Both spoke in the town, against a backdrop of mischief and misogyny, on the women’s fight for the right to vote.

All of which you can find out more about the High Street Tour…so what are you waiting for?

Talking of International Women’s Day, which of course I do a lot, I was delighted, after taking the Tour, to flick on my phone and find out that I was on the Wales Arts Review 100 Women of Wales on Twitter list.

This is a list of women who will keep you “informed, entertained and inspired on social media’s premier platform.”

Wow! I am humbled, honoured, and happy to be recognised in this way for my writing, and in such illustrious company too.

Thank you so much for that, and too all those who regularly read my bold blogs whatever they focus on – my arts adventures, my LGBT life, or my town and around tales in our, sometimes brash, but always beautiful Barry.

Solid support for each other is absolutely crucial of course, so please show some for, the Barry Dock Victorian Tours, our town’s women whatever the day, our local bloggers whatever the topic, and our residents in whatever way they are making a difference to our brilliant birthplace.

A special shout out too, to all those trailblazers, women…and men, who bravely went before.


Speak soon.



(c) mrssvj.co.uk

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.

#CommSpirit is where Sue, mixes up news and views to showcase some of the movers and shakers in our town. And promotes those lush locals who are putting our very own stomping ground firmly on the map.

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