TWO friends tired of seeing Barry run down have set about doing the town “proud” with a social media and merchandise campaign.

Bid co-ordinator Louis Ross and painter and decorator Rhys Howell, 30, who attended All Saints Church in Wales primary school, in Barry, and then Barry Comprehensive, have begun marketing their home town and Island in a bid to spread a feel-good factor.

The duo, who have been taking their Barrybados flag to Cardiff FC games for years, have recently been “blown away by a surge in demand for a limited range of merchandise which has seen mugs and car stickers fly out.

And they are now creating additional items to add to the collection.

Louis, 29, said: “Barrybados is all about being Barry proud “Since we’ve grown up in Barry a lot of good attractions have closed - the bars swimming pool, the cinema, and Butlins.

“You're not even allowed to park at The Knap and enjoy the view at night any more and we are fed up of hearing people say “Barry isn’t what it used to be.”

“Some people need to take a look around and realise how good this town is. We are blessed with beautiful scenery.

“We have blue flag beaches, the Knap lake, Porthkerry, Romilly Park, the music scene is really taking off with some incredible artists originating from the town

“There have been some great events including evenings with Wales and Lions star Jamie Roberts and ex-Liverpool footballer Jan Molby, not to mention the huge event in September called GlastonBARRY.

Since the end of Gavin & Stacey, there has been a lull in Barry. The town isn’t just about a TV show.

“It still has a number of great tourist attractions, and we aim to generate more awareness by turning Barry into Barrybados.”

“A few months back I had the idea of creating Barrybados merchandise.

“I approached Rhys as he’s a very creative person and we juggled around ideas before coming up with our final designs which we then sent to our graphic designer Cari Dolben, who has produced some quality work for us.”

Sample stock was produced and Facebook and Twitter pages established and the pair said they had been “blown away and overwhelmed” with the request for deliveries.

Louis said: We've actually run out of stock twice and since have had a bigger quantity produced. We started off with just mugs, and now we have car window stickers and we are continuously working on new products and other designs, we hope this is just the beginning and we're aiming to release our latest product within the next few weeks.

“We are just hand delivering them around Barry but we have been approached by the organisers of GlastonBARRY who really want us to sell at the event on September 28 at the Memo Arts centre.

“In the coming months we aim to have a website set up which we have big plans for.”

To order merchandise, or express interest in stocking it at your business, visit or Twitter @barrybados