THE owners of two trawler boats moored in the Old Harbour in Barry since Spring have launched an appeal to light them up for Christmas.

Co-owners B.J Dawe and Shane Statham, with two others, flew to Ardglass, in Northern Ireland, for what was an offer they couldn’t resist.

The distinctive red and blue fishing vessels, which have intrigued Barry Island visitors throughout the summer, set them back a princely sum of £3 each.

Now the families who own them have launched a fundraising appeal for lights, a large real Christmas tree, and generators to bring seasonal joy to those who view.


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Mr Dawe said: “Since they arrived they have become famous and nearly everyone has loved having them here.

“They are the talk of the town, people are coming and taking photos of them and selling them.

“The children are loving visiting them. 

“The elderly have come down and spoken about their younger years when Barry was full of boats.

“It’s given them lovely memories.

“Lockdown has been easier because of the boat.

“We never ever thought they would be this popular."

Their children Cody, 12, Elyze 10, Kaide, nine, Amelia, eight, Jadyn, five, Kohen, three, and Babs, two, spent all summer down by the boats swimming in the pools that the boats have made, along with many other families.

“The bad memories of lockdown have been replaced with the red and blue boat memories which I’m sure them and many other will remember for a very long time,” Mr Dawe said. “So, we wanted to keep giving the community a reason to smile and keep visiting the boats over Christmas time and lockdown,

“It’s been a hard year with covid-19, but we would love to make it a little better.

“We want to light up the harbour for Christmas and decorate the boats - give the community something happy to look at when they walk their dogs or take the kids out for fresh air.

“All our local events have been cancelled and the community would love to see this happen.”

Mr Dawe added: “We were only talking about lighting up the boat, but the community are talking about turning up to see them get switched on.

“There is so much space around the boats that people can easily social distance.

“Never ever did we think this many people would be interested.

“We were only expecting a few lights to be donated, but people were asking how they can donate so I set up a Gofundme page.

The crew need solar panel lights and a generator that can run for around five hours a night to cater for the inflatables and extra lights.

“Hopefully, it will all go well,” he said. “And we can make this a regular yearly thing.”

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