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Barry Island Butlins remembered with blue plaque

 

Published 23 September 2014

 

A blue plaque is to be unveiled by the Mayor of The Vale of Glamorgan Cllr Howard Hamilton on 27 September 2014 in the new seafront garden on Barry Island, part of the £3mil refurbishment of the coastline round Nells Point.

 

The plaque, paid for by private subscription, is to commemorate the Butlins Holiday Camp that occupied the whole site from 1966-86 and its operator, showman and philanthropist Sir William 'Billy' Butlin.

 

The idea of commemorating the camp with a plaque was the brainchild of a group of ex-Redcoats who, having raised the money and had the plaque manufactured, approached the Vale of Glamorgan Council with the idea.

 

Spokesman Tony Collier said: “We were delighted with the response. At every level we received support, advice and encouragement from the Council, particularly from the Vale’s Project Manager, John Dent and from the Mayor’s Office. We couldn’t want for a better position in this lovely garden for the plaque. Our plan is for the unveiling to take place this coming Saturday and then in July next year during our annual re-union week-end, we intend having a big celebratory event.”

 

Long before Gavin and Stacey brought the South Wales resort to the attention of the British public, its name was a byword for happy holidays among the hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers and staff who came from all over the country each summer and Christmas to enjoy the facilities offered on site and the beautiful Welsh countryside on its doorstep.

 

Sir Billy's links with Barry are strong. He first conceived his plans for the camps whilst taking a particularly wet week’s holiday on the island in the 1920s. He also had Hoopla Stalls on what was then Whites Amusement Park, run by his mother in the 30s. He swore to return and open a camp there, which he did in 1966. Some of his direct family still live in Barry.