Celebrating Community

Say what you like about Barry and I know there’s many a tasty tale to tell about our often turbid town, but one thing that remains staunchly standard is our cracking community spirit.

Written by Sue Vincent-Jones


Our superb sense of solidarity runs right through our residents like a stick of Barry Island rock.

Never has this been more tested as our town rides the Coronacoaster of lonely lockdown.

From almost the minute we moved into this Quarantine, my Facebook feed has been full of top tales of rallying residents pulling together to help our town’s most vulnerable, real random acts of community kindness, and solid support for those fighting on the Covid-19 frontline.

Facebook groups have an army of vigorous volunteers committed to looking after our own, our town’s traders have been constantly keeping our key workers fabulously fed, and unselfish sellers have been supplying services for free.

Socially distanced celebrations to mark milestones like VE Day, a plethora of rainbow posters in windows, and that standing together in solidarity every week as the deafening ‘Clap for Carers’ booms out all over the town.

Who knew that community cohesion could also be so crackingly captured online too. For this excitable extrovert who always liked in the flesh friendships and serious hard core socialising, Zoom has opened up a whole new way of keeping my gorgeous groups superbly sticking together.

For me, living it large on the laptop is most definitely the way forward as we start a summer of sitting at home staring at a screen that promises to still see us celebrating many of our town’s top events. Barry may have been battered by Corona cancellations that have ripped up our community calendar, but as always, our rallying residents are pulling together to try to keep the vibe alive.

Solo singers, local live bands plus other energetic entertainers are tuning up for time on our tablets. Cadstock, the best free outdoor music festival in Barry, could still see it’s big heart beating with provisional plans to put the wonderful weekender online.

And, the brilliant Barry Pride, which daringly debuted last year to stunning success, is part of an ambitious Wales-Wide Virtual Pride clearly circled in the calendar for the weekend of July 24th and 25th.

For me community is not just anyone living in the same place, it means a group of like-minded people who share the same interests, who stick together through a strong sense of unity, and often, the deep desire to make a difference.

Barry, I’ve just summed you up beautifully. Keep on keeping on, behind the scenes or on the streets, to get us through this paralysing pandemic together, and to fight for all that our terrific town needs, and deeply deserves.

That’s the Community Spirit.