I had the pleasure on Saturday of visiting Dr Jonathan Hicks’ Barry and World War II exhibition in the Arts Central space at the Town Hall.
It was a detailed, poignant and, 60 years after the beginning of the war, timely exhibition about the effects of war upon ordinary people – and the suffering that comes as a result of decisions made by others far away.
By telling the stories of individuals and families, of those who died in war, and those who survived, the exhibition brought the events of 1939 to 1945 to a human level for those too young to remember it, especially as the familiar streets and surnames jump out at you.
The exhibition was also interesting on a local history level, with hand-drawn maps of where the bombs fell near Merthyr Dyfan, across what is now Lundy Park towards Caradoc Avenue, and eye-witness accounts of the effects of bombing raids on Barry residents, and a Luftwaffe aerial photograph of Barry Docks.
The free booklets from the Friends of Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery, published by Cllr Nic Hodges, showing the graves and providing more background stories of those from Barry who passed away while on duty also made for interesting reading.
Hopefully, we’ll soon be able to convince the powers that be to create a permanent exhibition space for the history of Barry as part of the Waterfront development.