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Photograph of Barry Island Pleasure Park, recorded prior to demolition. Taken by Toby Driver on 22/05/2012.

Barry island, a peninsula, was linked to the mainland town of Barry in the 1880s with the opening of Barry Dock, a development which attracted sightseers on paddle steamers from Bristol, Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare. A new railway station opened in 1896 giving the impetus for the development of visitor attractions on the island, including a small fairground with carousels, a set of swing-boats and a playground slide set up on the main beach for each summer season. Barry Island fairground was a growing attraction throughout the early 20th century. Butlins Barry Island opened as a holiday camp in 1966. It closed in 1996, by which time had become known as The Barry Island Resort. In 2010, the Studt family, who are thought to have originally run the small fairground in the 1880s, took over the running of the fairground and pleasure park.

Barry Island Pleasure Park started life as a seasonal fair on the sands of Whitmore Bay. With the building of the promenade in 1923, the Pleasure Park was moved inland, and made a permanent feature of Barry Island. Famous rides included the Scenic Railway, a wooden roller coaster with ‘mountainous’ scenery, which opened in 1940 and remained popular until its demolition in 1973 owing to gale damage. The site was photographed in May 2011 and May 2012 to make a detailed aerial record prior to any change or redevelopment.

Ref: AP_2012_2052

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