We’re back on Barry Island one last time (for the time being) with the last batch of my collected vintage postcards. If you’ve wound up here and would like to see previous instalments, then part one is here, and our Butlins postcards post is here.
I say one last time as this is the last batch of cards I have to share. I’ll be looking out for new ones, but it will be a good while before I have enough new unseen ones to make it worth doing a new post. That said I’m sure I’ll be revisiting in other ways in the future, but in the meantime feel free to enjoy the vintage views.
As before I’ll start with the earliest cards. There’s a couple of black and white ones that could be from anywhere from the 1900s – 1940s, I’m unsure. I don’t usually buy the older ones as the look of the beach and resort aren’t as appealing to me as the times I remember. However, I’ve picked a few up recently as there was enough in these to interest me with the older views.
First up is another of the buildings I love at the Island, the old Skating Rink on the promenade. This was sold as a postcard, so I was surprised when it turned up as a large photographic print (6″ x 8″ ish)! It must have been a promotional photo for the company that built it, as on the back it’s stamped with the Gloucester Stone Company. Interesting to note the recessed shop fronts along the bottom where they now are flush to the front of the building.
The old Skating Rink building on the promenade (Photographer O. Long)
The next card is an old multi-view one which I think might be from the 1930s / 1940s. Nothing to note really, but I include it here because of the fact that one of the panels highlights the ‘Rough Sea’ and that amused me. Not really something I’ve seen before, come to Barry Island, the sea’s rough! These days most of the Island is rough, maybe they’re missing an advertising angle there.
An old multiview card highlighting the ‘Rough Sea’! (Photographer Unknown)
Here’s a couple more Black and White views of the Island’s beach and funfair, the later of which features the old scenic railway across the promenade and the former a busy day at the beach, proving its popularity for past generations as well as our own.
1930s (?) view of the beach and Western Shelter (Photographer Unknown)
Old view of the prom and scenic railway, possible 1940s or 1950s (Photographer Unknown)
So next up, several views of the beach, promenade and funfair which date from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Guesstimates are based on what’s built where, and open to further discussion should they be found lacking by more knowledgeable individuals than me!
A view of the promenade from the early 1960s, pre-Butlins (Photographer Unknown)
View from the headland back towards the beach and Western Shelter, circa mid 1960s (Photographer Unknown)
View of the beach late 1960s / early 1970s – scenic railway visible (Photographer Unknown)
1970s postcard of the beach, notice the old structures on Friars Point still in place. (Photographer Unknown)
1970s View of the beach from Nell’s Point end (Photographer Unknown)
Late 1970s view of the beach, with the old UFO shaped inflatable in the distance (Photographer Unknown)
A quiet day on the beach, mid 1970s (Photographer Unknown)
1970s view from up on the headland looking across to Butlins (Photographer Unknown)
1970s view of the Promenade with flower beds and old ladies eating packed lunch (Photographer Unknown)
The night time illuminations from the late 1960s (Photographer Unknown)
1980s view of the entrance to the funfair (Photographer Unknown)
Early 1970s multiview card showing a packed beach and Cold Knap open air pool (Photographer Unknown)
And like my first post, let’s end with a postcard from Cold Knap. You’ll see a cropped version in the above multiview card, but in this one you get the full shot. It’s worth noting the Butlins camp is plainly visible riding above the Lido, showing that it imposed itself not only on Barry Island but its neighbours as well.
The Knap Pool in all its glory, 1970s (Photographer Unknown)
And there we have it, Barry Island over the years through the medium of postcards, I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini-series of Barry Island Postcard posts. It’s certainly given me lots of pleasure collecting them, as well the bitter-sweet fun I’ve had comparing the views with my memories and nostalgia for the place.