10 reasons I like Barry…

The town of Barry does not always attract the best publicity. I have never lived there, but I attended the town’s Teacher Training College for three years in the late sixties and early seventies and still make frequent visits. I have family and friends who live there.


There are many reasons for Barry’s decline over the past years. To my mind the main reason was Cardiff. For many years after county council reorganisation Barry found itself as part of South Glamorgan. It was at the time of Cardiff’s huge Bay regeneration programme and sadly all the county’s time, effort and cash was diverted into that project. It meant that towns like Barry were left to slowly decay. Thankfully in the past few years, especially since South Glamorgan was split and The Vale of Glamorgan was created, much effort has gone into lifting this lovely Welsh town out of the doldrums and giving it a bright new future.

I am alarmed that the Welsh Assembly government is thinking of giving Barry back to Cardiff. That must never happen.

I love Barry – here are ten good reasons why!

  1. Glamorgan College of Education

I attended The Glamorgan College of Education from September 1969 until June 1972. It was a brilliant three years. I left qualified to teach, something I enjoyed for the next almost 40 years. I think I learnt more in my first week of teaching than I did in three years in College, but it was still a great place to be and I am still in touch with a few of my student friends.


I lived at home during those three years but often stayed with friends in the ‘dorms’. I remember there were three residences – two in the main old building. Morgannwg, (affectionately known as Forgy) was the name of the male dorm and Gwent was the girls’, but they also had a modern tower block, which went by the name of Hafren. Morgannwg and Gwent were Welsh county names and Hafren is the Welsh for Severn as in the River I think.

I remember are representing the college in table tennis and during one league match took a game off a former Welsh champion. One other thing was that the college football team were at one time coached by Mel Sutton, the Cardiff City midfield hard man. He used to give me a lift home after training and we became friends and for several years he gave me free tickets to all the Cardiff City home games.

I remember sitting in lectures and watching the old steam trains being transported off to new homes from the Barry Scrapyard. Barry is very hilly and the low loader lorries would strain every sinew, as they crawled up College Hill. Academically, all I remember are the Welsh lectures with John Bevan, who owned a Capri – he also gave me a lift to college quite often and an English lecturer called Cenwyn Thomas, who gave me two wonderful things – a great love of reading aloud and a love of the poems of William Wordsworth.


As the thoughts come flooding back, I also remember the college PE lecturer, a great guy called Stevie Banks, whose cry of ‘Come on lads up the Butts!’ was a call to treck across several roads to the Buttrills playing fields, where we would learn how to become PE teachers. Steve was also an avid sailor and his cries of ‘Sail before Steam!’ could be heard regularly on the weekend in the waters around Barry.

The drama department was based in the old Drill Hall and we would wander down the hill to lectures. It’s a funeral home now.

Barry Dec 1914 front 642w

The old college is gone now and the old buildings are a nursing home. The old Maths department is a pub but I think the swimming pool still remains!

  1. Barry Island

I spent many happy hours in Barry Island as a child. My mum and dad would take us on the train from Llanishen Station to Barry Island on a regular basis. Most of the journeys were on steam trains. Unforgettable bliss!


On the way, we would hold our breath after Grangetown Station, as the train would take one of two routes as it approached Penarth. The short way was via Cogan, Dinas Powys and Cadoxton and on to Barry, but the long way, which always brought groans from us kids, was through Penarth via Dingle Road, Alberta Place Halt, Swanbridge, Lavernock and Sully, before joining the main line near Cadoxton. I would give my right arm to be able to travel that line again on a steam train. Sadly houses have been build on the track bed in some places and so that dream will never become a reality and I will never have to learn to write with my left hand!! A few years ago I did walk the old line from Biglis Roundabout to Penarth Station. I had to sneak through a garden near Lavernock but an amazing amount of track bed is still left.


The journey home would be made smelling of calamine lotion as we always got sunburnt and spent two days in agony every time. No sun cream or after sun gel in those days!



Whitmore Bay Barry Island Barry Vale of Glamorgan South Towns and Villages

Barry Island had and still has a magnificent beach; on our many visits, we always sat by number 5 on the sea wall and therefore never got lost despite the massive crowds, which went to the beach in those days. We have so many happy memories of sandcastles, candyfloss, toffee apples and chips.

If only the water was clearer it would be perfect!

  1. Memorial Hall                                                                                                                                             

Barry Memorial Hall (The Memo) is such a great building.


The Memo Arts Centre is the largest multi-arts venue in the Vale of Glamorgan, and only cinema exhibitor in Barry. It is a vibrant and crucial hub for the local community and those living beyond, known as a friendly, accessible place, where users come to make, see and participate. Barry Memorial Hall was built at a cost of £23,000 with donations by Major Davies and his sisters totalling £10,000. It was originally opened in 1932/3 but was gutted by fire in 1943 and not rebuilt until 1957.

On the 11th November 2007, the Memorial Hall and Theatre marked its 75th anniversary with the rededication of the Hall of Memory and Cenotaph following extensive refurbishment. Over 2,000 visitors attended the celebration.

memorials 13.tif

The Memorial Hall and Theatre in Barry, has over its 75-year history, played a major part in the cultural lives of Barry residents and those further a field. It is situated near the Waterfront, it has a valued reputation for presenting a broad programme of professional theatre, music and dance events.

The entrance hall has an impressive reminder of all the men and women from the town who lost their lives in the two world wars.


Stunning – a fitting memorial to our heroes!

  1. Barry Docks

The development of Barry began with the construction of the docks in the 1880s. Eight miles from Cardiff, it was one of the largest dock areas in the world at that time. It transformed the village with a then population of some 85 people.

Barry docks office building

Millions of tons of coal were exported from the docks and hordes of day-trippers used the railways, built to carry coal, and enjoyed the sands of Barry Island.
David Davies the industrialist created The Barry Docks and Railway Company. He left an estate valued at nearly £405,000 when he died in 1890. A bronze statue of David Davies stands before the Dock Offices at Barry sculpted by Alfred Gilbert, who designed Eros’ statue in London.

The Dock Offices at Barry cost £59,000 to build. Constructed of red brick and Portland stone, a clock tower was added at an additional cost of £6,000. It has a ‘theme’ of the calendar. There are four floors – the seasons of the year; seven lights in the traceried fanlight window – days of the week. The porch has twelve panels – months of the year.
Within the building are 52 marble fireplaces – weeks of the year. The windows number 365 days, one for each day of the year. Each window has four panes of glass – weeks to a month. In the east and west walls of the entrance hall are two circular windows – Sun and Moon. The staircase, made of Portland stone, has 31 steps (days of the month) from ground to first and second floors and has an ornamental ironwork balustrade with circular foliage and fruit trails.

The trade through the docks fell steadily as the steam coal was replaced by oil as the major energy source in ships and factories.

WPW029397 hh-barry-docks-446 WCP_0008

Today, it is very quiet and very few ships use the docks, but I love the history. The Dock Offices are now the headquarters of the Associated British Ports.

Not so long ago, I was given a ride on a ship from Cardiff to Barry and entering the docks with its rich history was a thrill for me.

  1. Porthkerry Park and Viaduct.

Porthkerry Park is another place that figures highly in my childhood and teenage years. As far as I can see Porthkerry Park has a Barry address and so is included here!


Porthkerry Park is a large, public country park on the coast next to Barry. It has fields, extensive woodland and nature trails, cliff-top pathways, a pebble-stone beach and a small golf course. Architecturally, it is noted for its prominent viaduct that helped with the transportation for coal to the port of Barry in the 19th and 20th centuries. With the combination of green areas and the coastal location, the park is such a great place to visit and one I visited many times as a child and a teenager and indeed many times since. I remember many times having barbecues on the beach.

index2  Porthkerry Beach LR_edited-2 4-main-meadow-porthkerry-park

On the northern side of the park is the site of the old village at Cwmcidi (meaning Valley of the Black Dog), which came into existence before the middle of the 13th century.

In 1622, Cwmcidi contained 5 houses bordering “Comkedye Street”, interspersed with a number of tofts (dwelling sites) plus three scattered dwellings. By 1812, there remained only three cottages and a farmhouse. The cottages were finally swept away in the 1840s when the area was landscaped by the Romilly family to form Porthkerry Park. The name – although slightly anglicised lives on in the area, in the form of a nearby public house, The Cwm Ciddy. It’s the place I took Boo when we got engaged.

The park is maintained by two rangers, one of whom has a residence at a quaint, old cottage along the main park road.


  1. Cold Knap

Cold Knap is such a lovely place, but used to be a fantastic place when I was young. Nowadays, Cold Knap, sitting at the posh end of Barry is popular for its quiet, pebble beach with its fine views around to Porthkerry.

Cold_Knap_beach Cold_Knap_beach2

It has a small lake, which is in the shape of a harp. It’s a lovely place to walk around.


When I was young it was THE place to go but only for one reason – the open-air baths.

For many in and around South Wales, a day out at Barry’s Knap Lido, or, as it was known locally, ‘The Baths’, was the perfect place to while away the happy, lazy days of spring and summer – even when the sun didn’t shine.


The pool was 120 yards long and 20 yards wide; the mostly-icy waters of Barry’s Knap Lido went from a toddler-safe few inches, to the seemingly bottomless deep end

The Knapsnak shop provided refreshments of the age; Cresta pop, Chipmunk crisps, pies and pasties and more – but the best thing of all was cups of OXO drink, which always warmed us up after a swim. There were some changing rooms, which you could use to get changed but theses were always packed out!


Sadly, after being left to decay after it’s closure it was ultimately filled in . There is currently a petition to rebuild and reopen this iconic landmark. My signature was one of the first! 11 Knap Lido Filled In

  1. Romilly’s Tea Shop

Romilly’s is a fairly new teashop that has opened in Cold knap. It’s a great little place where you can get tea and other drinks served in   homely atmosphere. It has a very vintage feel about the place, which pleases my dear wife very much indeed.


  1. Barry Town United

I became a Barry Town United supporter in the 2013-2014 season, largely as a result of my son’s interest. He has always had an affinity with the hard done by in society and what happened to Barry Town Football Club in 2013 was a disgrace.


On 7 May 2013, Stuart Lovering, the owner of Barry Town inexplicably withdrew the team from the Welsh Football League against the will of the Barry Town Supporters Club, players and supporters, who were ready and willing to fulfil the remaining two fixtures of the season.

After the BTSC outlined their intentions to play again the following season, adopting the name of Barry Town United to emphasise their continuing unity and endeavour, a meeting of the FAW Council in Bettws y Coed June 2013 announced that they would not be allowed back into the league and instead would have to play “recreational football” henceforth. That meant this great club playing parks football.

This was a shocking decision by the inept FAW council, made up of life members, who appeared completely out of touch with the strength of local feeling. After significant public outcry, a second meeting was arranged for July 2013 in Caersws to hear new evidence as why the Barry Town Supporters Club should be able to continue at Welsh League level. At this second meeting, 15 of the FAW Councillors voted not even to discuss the club’s future, thus concluding the meeting within five minutes, a meeting that was held at considerable expense. It was an utter disgrace and brought shame on Welsh football. I wrote myself to every councillor and NOT ONE even had the decency to respond to me.

The outcomes of both meetings went against the recommendations of the FAW’s own Domestic Committee and legal team.

With their future unclear, the Barry team began their pre-season programme for 2013 with wins at Moreton and Elmore that same month, followed by a narrow 3-2 loss to Premiership newcomers Cardiff City, watched by a home crowd of 1,650 supporters on Saturday 27 July. Barry had remarkably led 2-1 at the break. This was my first taste of Barry Town United and I was hooked!


On 9 August 2013, a High Court judge in Cardiff ruled in favour of Barry Town United, saying that the FAW had acted unlawfully in denying Barry their licence. Barry were entered back into the Welsh League, along with a reformed Llanelli club that also benefited from the High Court decision.

Gaz and I followed them for the rest of the season attending matches at home and away. We have discovered a unique but close band of supporters who care passionately about the club. They are an absolutely hilarious bunch and every match they have me laughing my head off! This year I am acting as apprentice to Barry’s own one-man version of The Barry Horns, Terry, a great old guy who plays the bugle. He entertains crowds at home and away. Barry were the best-supported team in Division 3 last season by a country mile. We sponsored players, supported the fundraising and tried to devise as many ways as we could of avoiding Terry the bugler, when he came round selling lotto tickets.


Two things strike me about football at this level. The closeness of the fans, who look out for each other and send tweets of good luck to each other and the players and the fairness of the players. No drama queens, no fake dives, just honest, hard, genuine football, played by teams that just love playing football.

Barry Town United is a fan owed, fan run club and has brought back my love for the game big time! 2014 saw Barry Town United end up as Division 3 champions.


  1. Barry Scrapyard

Barry Scrapyard is no more but when I was younger it was one of the most amazing places ever. As a young man and indeed as a much older man I loved climbing over the rusting engines. They came to Barry to die and to be cut up but Dai Woodham had other ideas!


The story of the legendary scrapyard of Woodham Brothers at Barry is a truly remarkable one that involves so many sets of circumstances that would make a great novelist proud. The man who fostered the legend, Dai Woodham, became a name familiar with steam enthusiasts and preservationists alike. Dai entered into a contract with British Railways to buy their old redundant steam trains. On the 25th of March 1959, the first batch of engines was despatched to Barry.
Although the number of locomotives bought by Woodham’s was comparatively small at this stage, the size of the deliveries increased and between November 1960 and April 1961 alone, 40 locomotives were acquired from Swindon. Most but not all of these engines were scrapped soon after their arrival, but as the number of deliveries increased, additional storage was found at the low-level sidings adjacent to the oil terminal and also on sidings built on the site of the former West Pond which had been filled in as part of a land reclamation scheme. These additional sites were required for the number of Southern Region engines that Woodham’s began to purchase from mid-1964.

Bulleid_Pacific_locomotives_at_Woodhams_Scrapyard_Barry 3762381937_9f32baf085

During 1965, 65 locomotives arrived at the Barry scrapyard, however, in the first six-month period 28 engines were dismantled but cutting virtually ceased from the autumn onwards as the scrap men concentrated instead on breaking up yet more freight wagons and brake vans. Dai found these easier to dismantle than the old steam engines. He continued to purchase further locomotives until the end of steam in 1968 with many of the later deliveries being of the BR Standard designs.

barryscrapyard 204400

Altogether from 1959 until 1968, Woodham’s bought 297 locomotives, however by August 1968 only 217 remained at the Barry scrapyard. It was at this time that steam locomotive enthusiasts realised the potential that Dai Woodham’s yard presented to them – many classes had already become extinct but the main other source of steam engines for the future was to be this new phenomenon at Barry. The railway preservation boom began.


There are many preserved lines now across the length and breadth of Britain and most of them owe Dai Woodham and Barry a great debt of gratitude.

10. Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre,

This great exhibition is situated at the Barry Island Station. Barry and the surrounding area has a rich and varied heritage that stems back to Roman times and beyond; certainly, the first evidence of Barry`s wartime history is the Roman ‘mansio’, a sort of latter day inn or hotel for Roman officials at the Knapp.

Barry`s war heritage spans to modern times, with the docks being used during the Middle East conflicts of the late 50s and early 60s.


It is believed that during WW1 the first American troops to land in Britain, embarked at Barry, and during WW2 Barry became an important staging post for US Forces in preparation for the D-Day landings in Normandy………….such is the history of Barry at War.


The Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre located at Barry Island Railway Station is usually open the second Sunday of the month, and Wednesday afternoons (2-4pm, Jan – Nov).

It’s well worth a visit.

Author: rogernewberry

Full time, husband, father and grandfather.

55 thoughts on “10 reasons I like Barry…”

  1. Enjoyed reading this Roger I am an old Barry Island girl 76 years of age living in Adelaide Australia since 1966 ,but my heart is still in Wales .

      1. What a fantastic read into the history of Barry.Enjoyed reading this article very much . Thank you Roger Newberry.

    1. I too attended Glamorgan College of Education (1967) and then married a local citizen.
      Marion Woodham ( formerly Toberts)

  2. Thankyou for writing this. I was brought up in Barry and my father was known to most , as he used to be ‘Phillips the milk!’ I love Barry for all the reasons you list, but most of all because of my mum. Her name is Margaret and she worked at Aneurin Evans the chemist for over 30 years.

  3. Lovely to read such a tribute to Barry. Having read it quicly I had to go back and read again. I shall be re-reading yet again. Well done and welcome to BARRY

  4. Brill information from someone who doesn’t live here. Interesting to read things that I didn’t know after 70 years.

  5. What a brilliant view of Barry History, I was brought up in Rhoose and remember visiting the Knap pool/Barry Island every summer. It’s so refreshing to have Barry celebrated. Really nice to share these memories.

  6. A wonderful read Roger and some amazing pictures. I spent most of my childhood and Teenage years swimming at that pool. Wonderful memories thank you.😄

  7. A fitting tribute to Barry, I enjoyed reading it and it brought back a lot of memories for me. playing on the old trains and the baths, the time I and my friends spent splashing around and drinking an oxo after. thank you.

  8. Enjoyed reading your story brought back a lot of memories. I was born in Barry 73 years ago and now live in Sarasota Florida.
    As a child I used to deliver papers up the Butts hill, I attended Gladstone school at times we used to have student teachers from the college spend a week getting their feet. wet.
    I. Lived on StPauls Ave right across from the Memorial hall, when the fire occuured my father assisted removing people from the hall as it was burning. Later on in life after my father died my mother took in lodgers who were contracted too rebuild the front 3 floors after school I would wander over and help them lay the oak parkay floors. Later on. the center and rear of the building was rebuilt . Wish I would have taken pictures at that time.
    The Drill Hall was an Army base back in my day , my mother also lodged 2 year Territorial army soldiers, I was also friends with the caretakers and their daughter. Barry has certainly changed from my days it would be nice to see it back in all its glory. I’m glad I lived during those days as the memory lingers on and will for the rest of my days…….Thank you for listening..

  9. Born in Barry in 1935 left in 1953 for National. Service but my home town will always remain close to my heart. Delighted at your memories which I share but you don’t mention HOP! A Saturday dance held at St Francis Church hall (a little wooden hut) run by the sixth forms of the two grammar school.we danced to Rosie Clooney,Les Paul and Mary Ford, and the delightful Sid Phillips and whenever I hear them I am transported back to those happy days and those wondrous girls who broke my heart (who shall remain nameless) and the friends I made and still see Gabby,Humbo, Buck. Happily I was supported by over 200 Hoppers at Hopreunions I ran earlier this century. Barry is part of me it always will be .I return often and will continue .Happy days. Shez

  10. Thank you for reviving wonderful memories.
    I too was @Barry Training College !969 ~71.
    Managed to break my neck playing rugby there. Still going strong though.

    Wynne Rowe (Bolt)
    Sydney Australia.

  11. Wonderful memories of happy carefree days in my home town. I now live in Lincolnshire but Barry is still home . I consider myself so very lucky to have grown up in such a fabulous playground x

  12. Thank you for posting this. My mum was born in Cold Knap and lived there before moving to Romilly Road. My great aunts, Miss Eva Makepeace and Miss Ethel Makepeace and Mrs Gwladys Davies were teachers as was Auntie Gwladys’ husband, Tom. I have heard about these places throughout my life. My great grandmother owned the Knap Hotel until she died in 1942 and I think the army took it over for its position if memory serves me right. She was Rebecca Luen. Some Luens still live in Barry. My grandmother, Violet Makepeace married Jim Luen. When I was over on holiday from South Africa where my mum went to live after she got married, I went to stay with my grandmother. She used to send me up to Park Road fish and chip shop and I had to say I was her grand daughter as she thought she would get a better piece of fish! My mum brought my sister and I from South Africa to be christened in All Saints in 1957. I live in Ireland now and have visited Barry lots of times but never for long except at the end of 1972 when I stayed in Romilly Road for a month. Lovely memories. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Excellent log one I shall come back to again and again. Barry has been a town of many lost opportunities. Such a pity, hopefully Barry will enjoy a wonderful future and become something even more to, be proud of.

  14. Hello Roger
    I was in Barry college with you. I have many warm memories of my three years there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about a special seaside town. Enjoy the sea breezes.greetings from downtown Skewen. …huw pudner

    1. Hi Huw
      I’m sure I remember you. Did you have longish curly hair and wore glasses.?I think you were friends with Paul Tucker? I was Sue Day had long red hair and did Drama with Wendy who married Paul.
      I may be completely wrong of course as 1969 – 72 was a long time ago.

  15. great to revive some memories a great article,i had the best years of my life in barry john casalaspro

  16. attended college 65-68 and enjoyed my student life there-have many memories of barry!

  17. Hi Roger,
    Just found your article on Barry. I was at the college between 1969 to 1972 and you have revived some lovely memories from three very happy years there.

  18. Oh I loved reading this! My mum was born in Cold Knap Way and lived there until her widowed mum moved to Romilly Road. How she would have enjoyed reading this and going down Memory Lane!
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Marielorette
      Did your great aunts, Miss Eva Makepeace and Miss Ethel Makepeace, teach in Jenner Park Infants and Junior School? And did Tom Davies also teach in Jenner Park?

      1. Hi Don
        Yes that’s them.
        Tom Davies’ wife, Gwladys, was also a teacher in ?Romilly Road Infant School.
        Uncle Tom and Auntie Gwladys were my godparents as well as great aunt and uncle! Tom was from North Wales but the rest all from Barry. Did you know them?
        All the best,
        (the name Marielorrette is a mixture of mine and my 2 sisters names!)

    2. Hi Marielorette

      Yes, I knew all three.

      In Jenner Park Infants I dropped a pen on the floor and when I bent over to pick it up, Robert Williams, who shared the two-seater desk with me, sat on my head. I pushed him off and he cut his head open on the iron frame of the desk across the aisle – and still had the scar years later. For my efforts, Miss Makepeace, the headmistress, caned me with a ruler in front of the class.

      Your other great aunt was a teacher in Jenner Park Junior Mixed, but she never taught me.

      Tom Davies, however, was my class teacher for my final two years in Jenner Park. I know he was from north Wales -was it Machylleth?

      I learnt more Welsh from him than I did in grammar school. He was also a musician and gave us singing lessons. For the 1951 Festival of Britain, a concert was given in a marquee in the grounds of the Memorial Hall and the visiting conductor, after coming to the school to hear us sing, requested that theJenner Park contingent be front, centre stage. A great compliment to Tom Davies and his enthusiastic work with the choir.

      1. Thank you so much for telling me all this. I have no idea of stories like these and as I’m doing a family history for my family, all these will make for far more interesting reading.
        Tom was from Llyngwryll in North Wales. I remember when he died Auntie Gwladys sat with me one day and said “all that knowledge that he had had, was now gone. What a waste of it”. It was so sad to think of it. When I came to stay with them from South Africa, after I left school, Uncle Tom used to sit me in their little kitchen early each morning and make me porridge. It was lovely sitting listening to his beautiful voice chatting away! You have stirred up so many wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing them with me.

  19. Thank You Roger
    For reminding us of all the good and fun things that we did in the sixties like walking home from the Baths on a hot summers day sucking a jubilee bought in the pool Shop or Pretending to be a train driver like my grandfather .I Think even in the 1960 we all had a member of their family who worked on railway or the docks It was a very close community and we all cared for one another with the streets being safe to walk fantastic time thanks for reminding me

  20. Hi Roger,
    I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog! I was born and bred in Barry but left quite awhile ago. My family still live there and I spend quite a lot of time there these days…
    I am doing a bit of personal research about places in Barry that mean something to me/memories from my childhood etc and at the moment I am trying to gather information about the old Glamorgan College building (circa 1975/6 approx). My nan and grandad (Doug and Gwen Werner) used to take me there swimming (or so my memory tells me?!). Was there a swimming pool there because I’m sure I remember it? I have a vivid image of the lady that worked on the little reception booth as you entered the swimming section of the building. I also keep having a flashback of a courtyard type area where we sat outside and I think we had a cup of tea/cafe type place, a bit like a patio garden space? I’d love to know if my memory serves me well or if I’ve totally imagined this!! Does anyone have any photo’s of the buildings inside or out?
    I’d love to hear from anyone that could help clarify my questions – thank you!
    And thank you Roger for your fascinating blog. Barry is so underestimated and actually a lovely place. I feel it’s never really been given a fair chance for some reason……

    1. I was on the staff from 1973 until the college closed in 1979. The place has almost disappeared from the web – there are few references. I with younger colleagues went on to The Poly in Treforest and then the University of Glamorgan where I became a professor. Thanks to all who share memories. My son learned to swim in the college pool. Steve Banks is still alive and lives close to the college site.

      Tony Curtis

    1. Hello Dave – I really enjoyed Rogers blog too and was delighted to find your name among the respondents. Hope life has treated you well out there in Australia. I have a niece who lives in Sydney – have never visited but hope to one day. I managed to be a teacher for nearly 40 years after training in GCE 1969-1972 and 28 of them as headteacher of three different primary schools. Barry was certainly different – mixed experiences for me but some VERY happy memories nevertheless. Roger’s wonderful descriptions brought back many of them! (I only found the blog by chance when googling something else!)
      Best wishes,
      Bobby Sutton (nee Clark)

      1. Hi Bobby

        I read with interest that you were head teacher in 3 different schools in Barry. A long shot but I wonder if you came across my great aunts there. Eva Makepeace and Ethel Makepeace and another sister who married, called Gwladys Davies? Auntie Gwladys was also married to a teacher, Thomas Davies. They lived in Romilly Road, Park Crescent and Auntie Ethel was in Harbour Road?
        Lorraine Howard nee Shum
        My grandmother was Violet Luen nee Makepeace. She lived in WoyWoy on Cold Knap Way then moved to Romilly Road too. My
        Mum was Mary Luen.

  21. Just trawled up your article.I was at Barry 1969 to 1973.Swam for the college ,cave leader with Chris Pryce ,Paul Donovan ,Graham Evans etc. Amazed to see Dai Gammie still alive in Australia. Still view him with probably misplaced respect for being probably the only student to be “sent down ” and allowed back for being found in the same bed with two girls by the Yugoslavian cleaner.Then had the cheek to loose his dissertation on the train on the way back from Cornwall and still passed!!!!Great days.Coming up for 70 Years old and still look back to those years with great affection .

    1. Hi Chris. a few inaccuracies there. I didn’t know the cleaner was Yugoslavian, I remember she didn’t like my red fist and tore it off the door. When are you coming to Aus?

  22. Message for Marie Lorrette
    Sorry for the confusion, Marie, I was headteacher in three schools in Devon after training in Barry. I do have fond memories of my final teaching practice in Barry Island Primary – especially walking to and fro up and down that steep hill lugging all the teaching resources made for hours each night. No wonderful digital aids back then!!
    Best wishes,

  23. I was born in Neath and also went to Barry Training College from 1969 to 1972. My name then was Patricia Anthony studying primary education and History and Geography and I stopped in Gwent for my first and third years. I am married to a steam train fanatic in the Midlands so thank you for all the steam train information. I only picked up this link when he was exploring steam trains. My father was a bus conductor and the annual outings were at Cold Knap where I also remember balls being held during our college years. Happy New Year to the class of 1969- 72. We are getting old.

  24. I really enjoyed reading this – particularly the piece about the College. I was a student there from 1966 to 1968 and then from 1975 to 1977. It was a wonderful time. I was a resident in Neuadd Went – with a curfew time of 10pm and 11pm on a Saturday!

  25. I was a student at Barry from 1969 to 1972 – Drama and History. I remember walking up and down the hill to the Drill Hall for Drama – dreadful when it was icy. Also remember drinking lots of beer in The Park Hotel I think it was and tankard nights. I was Sue Day in those days and was supposed to be in charge of the behaviour of the girls in Hafren. Still go back to Barry on occasions as my son is now a GP in Bridgend.

  26. Thank you for your excellent article. I too attended the College of Education (1967 -1970). I remember travelling to the College from Swansea on the old N and C coaches.
    I married a ‘Barry boy’ and spent many happy years in the town.
    Marion Woodham (formerly Roberts)

  27. Reading this brought back happy memories of my time at the college (1963- 6)
    Met my husband just a week after leaving . Taught in Bristol , then the Midlands before retiring to Devon and France .Ruth Chester (formerly Cook )

  28. Your article transported me straight back to my teacher training days(1976-80); so well put together and carries so many memories as I didn’t have a camera in those days to have pictures of the place. Often go back down to Porthkerry and Cold Knapp when work takes me to Cardiff. Happy memories. Thank you so much

  29. Thank you for such wonderful memories, Roger. I was born in Barry 81 years ago; my father was a partner at J A Hughes & Co, Solicitors, in Holton Road, and we lived in Pontypridd Road. I went to Romilly Junior School and then to a boarding school in Hereford. My memories of the training college are two-fold, firstly the girls there (my friend called them “merched y coleg”), and secondly the summer of 1963 when I worked there as the temporary assistant caretaker for about eight weeks. I was a student in Cardiff at the time. Did the students of your era know about the one-way glass at the rear of the hall where you took your exams, and the microphones in some of the light fittings! I now live in Somerset, but visit Barry frequently. When I leave to return home, the hiraeth kicks in before the train reaches Dinas Powys. I may not live in Barry now, but my heart is there.

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