You’ve seen it on Gavin & Stacey; you know Derek the Weatherman comes from there – but did you know these 10 incredible things about Barry?
1. In prehistoric times, Barry was part of the Caribbean
Barry has always known for its exotic climate and brown palm trees but what’s less known is that Barry used to form part of the Caribbean. Back in prehistoric times, Barry was situated on a tectonic plate that was situated just off the island of Antigua. An apocalyptic volcano sent the tectonic plate flying through the air and it came to land just on the south Wales coast, where it remains to this day.
2. The first people of Barry were only 3ft tall
No one is really quite sure why but the first settlers in Barry were no higher than a very tall miniature horse. As a result, the doorways to many of the town’s first houses were no higher than a 3ft person. They also had trouble going on some of the rides at Barry Island fairground as you had to be over 4ft to go on them.
3. Barry Island was founded by a man called Barry Ireland
The town of Barry was officially created by a man called Barry Ireland back in the year 200BC (that’s Before Coronation Street). He’d been travelling from Cork in Ireland to France but got caught in a terrible storm. He was washed up on what’s now known as Whitmore Bay. After recovering from his injuries, he made his way to King’s Square on Holton Road, where he announced that he was creating the town and naming it after himself. He was pelted with gone off Greggs sausage rolls for his arrogance.
4. Barry Docks was the biggest exporter of Marmite in 1902
The population of Barry exploded in the late 1800s after seams of Marmite were found in the Welsh valleys. Marmite mines popped up all over the place and industrialists were quick to eye up a windfall. Local dock builder David Davies built Barry Docks on his own in just a week and soon, ships were exporting the mined Marmite all over the world. The docks set a world record for the largest recorded export of Marmite in 1902.
5. Barry is the birthplace of many famous people
Barry can boast many famous names to come out of its metaphorical vagina. World-renowned names such as Derek the Weatherman and erm…I think there was someone who was a quarter-finalst in the 2006 series of Masterchef. I’ll need to check that though. Derek’s definitely from Barry though. It says so in his autobiography.
6. The TV series Tenko was based on Barry Butlins
The hit 1980s TV show Tenko was inspired by a BBC writer’s visit to Barry Butlins. Actress Stephanie Cole made her name in the TV series and went on to play the part of sex bomb Sable on the hit US TV show, Dynasty. Stephanie Beacham, who also starred in Tenko, went on to play the part of the Black Widow in the BBC comedy, Open All Hours, starring Ronnie Kray.
7. Barry has a second-hand Greggs shop
Often disregarded as an urban myth, Barry does indeed have a second-hand Greggs shop. They serve up all the gone-off shit that no one wanted to buy the day before and is situated down towards the second-hand Ann Summers outlet.
8. Gavin & Stacey
Another hit TV show that made its name in Barry is Gavin & Stacey. Writer Ruth Jones played the part of Stella, whose Barry accent resembles a cross between Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and someone else that I can’t think of right now. Co-writer James Corden went on to make Hollywood blockbusters such as Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan. A coffee shop called Marco’s was created to pay tribute to the show, which was recently rated 72nd funniest show of 2006.
9. Barry Island is rumoured to be Donald Trump’s place of retirement
Disgraced US president is rumoured to be looking to purchase Barry Island so that he can see out his days there. Locals claim that he is looking to evade prison by living there, and by using Barry Island’s lax tax laws to keep some of the money that he stole from the people of the US during his 4 year presidency.
10. I can’t think of any more
I didn’t think it through when I wrote the heading sorry. It’s been a long day, I’m tired, and the dog needs a walk. Just make up any old shit. I did.