This should’ve been the busiest summer at Barrybados we’ve had in years.
On the back of the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special and the bumper crowds during the holidays I think every trader on Barry Island was expecting a very busy summer.
Investments were made in shop alterations and stock and if Christmas was anything to go by, it was going to be big and busy.
After the storms things picked up in March, but so did something else, the virus known as Covid-19. It wasn’t until early March that things started to change in the UK and by the middle of March most places were forced to close and haven’t been open since.
It’s hard to imagine a summer without a busy Barry Island. But so far, the Island has been empty. The weather has been great during lockdown and with hot spells during half term and the May Day bank holidays the Island would have been rammed.
But this was different, scarily empty. I live for those busy days on Barry Island. 9am - 9pm days when it’s packed and we do most of our trade. I’ve been down to my shop a few times to sort things out and it’s weird seeing everything shut, car parking spaces empty, no noise, no people, a deafening silence for this time of year.
Nobody saw this coming, especially after the Christmas crowds. You can literally hear a pin drop.
All events in Barry in general have been cancelled this year including our first time with an outdoor cinema showing Gavin and Stacey on Barry Island. I was so looking forward to this, it would have attracted thousands to spend the weekend in Barry. Now it’s just one of a number of events which has been postponed until 2021.
If we get to see some of the summer, which I’m hoping we might be able to in July and August, it will be a blessing. Otherwise it’s going to be a long road until next spring when we can ‘start again’.
The good thing about Barry Island is that it will pick up again, especially when it’s sunny and hot. The winters may become harder with less people going out, but hopefully when allowed, people will visit the island again.
Right now, Barry Island is closed and when it’s open again I’m sure people will visit. But 2020 will be remembered as the busy summer that never was.