Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A holiday at Barry Island

A holiday at Barry Island, Wales.


A view of Nell's Point in Barry Island, once home to a brilliant holiday camp
A view of Nell's Point from the beach in Barry Island. The area was once home to a brilliant holiday camp

My family used to go on holiday to Barry Island in the late 80's and 90's and loved it there. The holiday camp was absolutely marvellous, with everything from swimming to Crazy Golf, to snooker and darts, to the fun fair and more - all free of charge once you had checked in.

The slides on the outdoor pool at Barry Island. 1989. Photo from the Gottfried family archive
The slides on the outdoor pool at Barry Island

My brother's and I would spend hours going from one activity to another and then spend the evening in the arcades on the camp and on the seafront playing games such as Blasteroids, Xybots, Double Dragon and Wardner. Halcyon days.

A view towards the fun fair outside the camp looking across the outdoor pool. 1989. Photo from the Gottfried family archive
A view towards the fun fair outside the camp looking across the outdoor pool

A view of the outdoor pool area and indoor pool building. 1989. Photo from the Gottfried family archive
A view of the outdoor pool area and indoor pool building

We were lucky that on our first few holidays there we were able to ride the chair lifts too as they were removed in 1989.

The Chair Lifts at Barry Island holiday camp. 1989. Photo from the Gottfried family archive
The Chair Lifts at Barry Island holiday camp

I recently had my family's cinefilm footage digitised and it was wonderful to see there was film from our holiday to the camp in 1989.

Gottfried family on holiday at Barry Island in 1989
On holiday, from l-r my brother Jon, my mum, my brother Christopher and me on holiday at Barry Island in 1989. This photo was taken near the outdoor pool and and the entrance to the main arcade

Old postcards of the camp

Barry Island holiday camp opened as a Butlin's site in 1966. In 1986 the camp on Nell's Point closed as a Butlin's and re-opened the next year under the new ownership of Majestic Holidays.

I've only got a couple of postcards of the camp, but I always keep my eyes peeled for more.

Butlin's Outdoor Pool and Playhouse Theatre, Barry Island. PT28469. Photo Precision Limited. Posted. Date unknown
Butlin's Outdoor Pool and Playhouse Theatre, Barry Island. PT28469. Photo Precision Limited. Posted. Date unknown

The final season for the camp came in 1996 and it was eventually demolished to make way for housing.

Butlinland Barry Island. The Pig and Whistle Bar and Stage. John Hinde Limited. 12 August 1980
Butlinland Barry Island. The Pig and Whistle Bar and Stage. John Hinde Limited. 12 August 1980

A look at the site, May 2019

I returned to Barry Island for only the third time since the 1990's while heading home from a weekend in Aberavon last year.

Barry Island, 13 May 2019
Pointing out where the holiday camp once was

I first went back to the town in 2009 during our road-trip around the Welsh coast and then swung by the following year for a brief visit while visiting friends nearby.

Barry Island, 13 May 2019
The entrance to the holiday camp

It was nice that Barry Island was still recognisable from my time there 30 years ago, even though the holiday camp has been knocked down to make way for housing and a public car park.

Barry Island, 13 May 2019
The exit view

Walking up through the old gates at the entrance to the holiday camp brought back so many memories and I could still picture the swimming pool to the left, the main building and walkway/arcade ahead of me and the chalets to the left.

Barry Island, 13 May 2019
Walking up towards where the camp once stood. On the left is where the swimming pool was

Barry Island, 13 May 2019
This spot was once home to the outdoor swimming pool and slides
  
Barry Island, 13 May 2019
The approach to the main arcade. The photo of me, my mum and my brothers was taken in the area just to the left of the yellow barrier 

Barry Island, 13 May 2019
A view of the seaside resort from inside what was once a thriving holiday camp

A look at the seafront


Barry Island, 13 May 2019
On the prom

A view of the beach

Barry Island, 13 May 2019
The distinctive building and shelter housing a number of takeaways, shops and arcades on the promenade

Barry Island Resort Information & Entertainment Guide

As a big fan of the British seaside and traditional holiday entertainment I was pleased to find a Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide while sorting through some paperwork at home.

Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide

Seeing the Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide brought back so many happy memories.

Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide

Check out the six-page Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide. As a former holidaymaker at the camp, fan of the British seaside, postcard collector and marketer it makes for interesting reading - especially some of the adverts!

Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide

Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide

Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide

Barry Island Resort 1995 Information & Entertainment Guide


More old postcards of Barry Island

Looking at the postcards I've collected of Barry Island I noticed all of them were sent in August during the peak summer season.

Figure 8 Railway, Barry Island. Posted 24 August 1915
Figure 8 Railway, Barry Island. Posted 24 August 1915

The oldest card I have of Barry Island is also one of the oldest postcards I have. It shows the Figure 8 Railway and was posted on the 24th August 1915. I bought it at the North Wales Postcard Club Fair in Llandudno a couple of years ago and it only cost me ten pence!

Crazy Golf Course & Eastern Shelter, Barry Island. P47856. Plastichrome by Colourpicture Publishers Inc. Posted 27 August. Year unknown
Crazy Golf Course & Eastern Shelter, Barry Island. P47856. Plastichrome by Colourpicture Publishers Inc. Posted 27 August. Year unknown

Promenade and Gardens, Barry Island. PT28091. Posted 14 August 1968
Promenade and Gardens, Barry Island. PT28091. Posted 14 August 1968

Promenade and Gardens, Barry Island. WT.665R. By Valentine. Posted 2 August 1969
What a summer holiday scene!

Promenade and Gardens, Barry Island. WT.665R. By Valentine. Posted 2 August 1969

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