TWO Barry history groups will be able to roll out the barrels for visitors after January’s storms made the artefacts visible publicly.
The Barry Island railway station-based Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre and Barry Island Historical group will share ownership of four concrete barrels which emerged on Whitmore Bay when bad weather removed sand from the shore earlier this year.
Theories were put forward that the concrete filled barrels once played a vital part in Barry’s beach defences and will now be used as part of a display to illustrate the measures that were taken to protect Barry during the Second World War.
Another idea put forward that that the barrels helped moor boats on the jetties that once existed at the bay.
Barry at War will act as caretakers of three of the barrels.
The Vale Council said it had disposed of the remaining barrels that appeared on shore.
Barry at War chairman, Ade Pitman said: ‘’These may not be the most exciting looking exhibits in our museum, but they are part of Barry’s heritage, and as such it`s great that they have been saved. We plan now to work closely with Barry Island Historical Group and other heritage groups to develop a fitting display for the barrels that will seek to highlight their significance.
“We welcome and applaud the initiative of the Council staff, who suggested our tiny museum as a suitable home for these until somewhere larger can be established.’’
Barry Historical Group chairman, Mike Heffernan said: "The Barry Island Historical Group welcomes the fact that the concrete filled barrels exposed in the recent winter storms are going to be preserved and ultimately displayed as a tourist attraction on the Island. We are working with the Barry at War Group to determine a suitable location for their display."
Vale Council director of visible services, Miles Punter, said: “We are always looking at ways of recycling or reusing any waste that we collect and the barrels are a perfect example of this. When we became aware of their likely historical value we contacted the museum to see if they were interested and are delighted to be able to help them in their work.”