A BARRY-BASED artist has urged the potential owner of one of Barry’s most iconic buildings to consider enabling it to gain a community use.
Art4U founder Glyn Pooley, who has had a life-long love of the 19th century grade II-listed Watchtower, at Cold Knap, made his plea ahead of its auction in Cardiff next week. (March 27)
The Vale Council-owned Lias limestone building, Lot 42 with Paul Fosh Auctions, has already attracted significant interest and is scheduled to go before bidders - watched by BBC Homes Under The Hammer crew.
The two-storey tower, built around 1860 as a coastguard station, boasts buttressed elevations, a corbelled parapet and segmentally headed windows.
Grounds, beyond the tower’s walls in the Barry Marine Conservation Area, are not included in the sale.
Auctioneer Paul Fosh said the unique building could be an ideal base for an artistic use.
Glyn said: “It should be for the people of the town.
“I have been painting the Watchtower since 1998 and a print I produced that people bought went all over the world. It represents positivity. It’s an iconic part of Barry’s heritage. My mum used to take me and my sister there – I was about three and we used to play on the pebbles. There has always been an affinity and a number of people are also going to have that affinity with it because they associate it with good days and good experiences and that’s what it represents.
Glyn said he had previously attempted to negotiate with the Vale Council with regards to using the tower as an art and exhibition community space, but his efforts had not met with success and the building remained subject to the elements.
Glyn added: “It’s also a symbol of neglect, of how the people of Barry have been let down.
“I’d like to see it as publicly accessible as a place you can put on community exhibitions to celebrate the local community and represent the local community.
“I’d like the owner to save our Watchtower for the people of our town. They need to respect that they are buying Barry’s heritage with good, positive memories.
“I really hope it’s not going to be something that’s going to be used for a selfish purpose.”
The Watchtower goes under the hammer at The Park Inn Hotel, Circle Way East, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, from 5pm on Thursday, March 27.