War group campaigns for funding

A BARRY history group has gone into battle for funding to help with First World War commemorations in the Vale.

The Vale Council has £10,000 available for activities relating to the centenary event.

Ade Pitman, of Barry at War, said the group would be delighted to be working with the Vale Council on the Centenary of the Great War.

He said: “Last year we created a Western Front Trench exhibit in our tiny Barry Island Railway Station based museum, where local schools have been able to show children a small piece of trench life.

“We have been trying to find premises in which to create a larger exhibition on the Vale during the Great War, although it now looks unlikely that we will have sourced somewhere before the Centenary of the outbreak this August. We do however remain hopeful that somewhere can be found in time.

“It is a little known fact that Barry Island Fort fired one of the first shots of the Great War on August 4 1914; firing on a German coal ship heading for Cardiff docks. Barry Dock also played a large part in the export of Welsh coal to France during the Great War, as most of France’s coal fields had been captured by the Germans.

“We are also supporting the Great War Centenary work of other groups locally.

“We are promoting our Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre at Porthcawl Museum’s Great War Weekend on August 2 and 3, and working with Holton Road Church and the Royal British Legion to launch the Vale’s Centenary Programme with a ‘Lights going out’ service to mark the outbreak of the Great War. There will also be a Barry at War Great War display in Barry Library, and we are working with the Cardiff YMCA on an exhibition on the YMCA in the Great War that will travel across Wales.

“This year`s Barry Wartime Weekend event at the end of August will also include a Great War living history encampment, complete with a cavalry unit.”

He added: “All of this extra support to community groups is creating a resource issue with both volunteers and finances.

“We`d like to hear from people who would like to help, who may have model making, design or historical skills.

“We are awaiting news of our Great War grant application from the Vale Council.

“All of our team, whether Great War enthusiasts or not, are working hard to create the material and events to support this landmark commemoration.

Barry at War aims to place Barry and the Vale firmly at the fore of the UK’s Great War Centenary programme, with events and exhibitions planned until 2020. ’’

Vale Council cabinet member responsible for events, Cllr Gwyn John said 100 year was a significant moment for the whole nation.

He said: “A number of council managed events will take place to commemorate World War One during 2014, beginning in August.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has also set aside some funding to allow us to work with community groups and help support local residents in planning, promoting and holding their own events."

Any interested groups or individuals, should get in touch via the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ValeWorldWar1

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