Water trough is valuable part of Barry history
7:50am Thursday 6th September 2012 in Letters
MY friend and I cleaned out the horse trough beneath Bird Cage Walk near Barry town railway station recently.
We did this to promote the history of the town and to highlight the fact that a lot of our town's history is being lost to demolition. The only treasurable feature which has been saved by Barry people, for Barry, is the town hall and Central Park, for which we thank Dilys Colborne and Barry Citizens' Action Group.
The horse trough, fed by a natural spring from Harbour Road, was built into the embankment of Bird Cage Walk in the 1930s when Barry Railway Company sold the land to the Barry Vale District Council.
Prior to that it was a popular watering hole for horses and ponies which worked on Barry Island on their way back to Cardiff Road moors grazing land.
It is said that this is the best spring water in Barry, according to Wally Forse, Joey Yeoman and Donny Webber, who ran the beach ponies and horse and trap rides. Their ponies preferred this spring water to the water at Barry Island!
Other folk who worked horses at Barry Island were Bubbles Brownhill, who sold firewood in winter, and Betty Woodfield. Ken Reed was also a coal merchant on Cardiff Road and in summer he worked his horses on Barry Island.
This spring water was so good that the council put an iron cup on a chain so that everyone could share its qualities. This cup is long gone, but I hope that the history of it will be preserved one day in a Barry museum!