IT’S fair to say the weather hasn’t been great this summer, but, as one business described the start of the season as the ‘worst they’d ever seen’, has the weather been so bad to shatter even the joy of Barry Island?

It's one of Wales’ most famous seaside destinations, not only famous for Gavin and Stacey, but more so the stunning views of Whitmore Bay and that rare breed which inhabit those views - the people of Barry.

However, we can’t get away from the fact the island relies on tourism, and, with the weather having been so disappointing in recent weeks, we went down to ask the businesses how they are holding up?

That’s where Safdar, of Romy’s Café laid it on the line, describing the season so far as ‘terrible’.

“I have been here 45 years, and the weather? I have never seen it like this,” said Safdar.

Romy's was scathing about the start of the seasonRomy's was scathing about the start of the season (Image: Newsquest)

Barrybados had a less emotional summary on how the season has gone.

Louis Ross might have posted on Facebook that video of the Island at 5.30pm on Saturday in what he described as ‘peak season in June’, however, when we spoke to him, he was a bit calmer about the situation, saying it had been the usual up and down start to the year – but he did feel it had been a little slower.

“The difference this season is we have not had that bit of heat yet,” said Mr Ross, “but there’s a chance for a boom at the end of the season (with a certain show being filmed in town...).”

Barrybados wanted more heatBarrybados wanted more heat (Image: Newsquest)

That show is Gavin and Stacey and James Corden revealed to Zoe Ball on the BBC 2 Breakfast Show he estimated filming would begin on the island September/October time.

This is as relevant a point as ever to turn to one of the famous destinations on Gavin and Stacey - Marco’s café.

Manager and sister of Marco, Franca (commonly known as Franky) told us how the show has Marco on speed dial to book the café for filming – but she wouldn’t let slip if anything is confirmed concerning filming just yet.

Franky, centre, was confident the season would pick upFranky, centre, was confident the season would pick up (Image: Newsquest)

However, she did let slip what has been happening on the island over the start of the season and she put it down to one very logical reason.

“The jet stream,” said Franka. “blame it on the jet stream.

“At Marcos, we are fortunate because we have cover, but we have seen a bit of a downturn in the first quarter.”

Franky blamed it on that darn jet stream!Franky blamed it on that darn jet stream! (Image: Newsquest)

Jo, who works at Sofia’s Souvenirs, was a bit more downcast about the situation.

“The weather has been awful," said Jo. “Usually we get coach loads of tourists coming from the midlands. I haven’t seen any this year. And normally we have three or four staff on by now, but we don’t need them at the moment.”

Coastal Coffees’ Elle Ryan described life on the island by saying: “It’s just so weather dependant.

Elle added: “Events help us massively, like Festival to the Sea and the car show – they bring a good atmosphere.”

Businesses did agree the start to the season has been slowBusinesses did agree the start to the season has been slow (Image: Newsquest)

But there will always be a draw to the stunning Whitmore BayBut there will always be a draw to the stunning Whitmore Bay (Image: Newsquest)

Staff at Violets fish and chips said: “The year after the pandemic it was booming, not great last year, and worse this year.”

But let’s not forget this is Barry Island and more importantly it’s the people of Barry, who shall not be defeated by the weather! Something Franca summed up perfectly.

“We are hard we are, even if we do not have the sun people come to the beach because people want to get out.”

How are you finding the start of the season on Barry Island? How have you been surviving this weather!? Let us know in the comments, on our Facebook page, or email

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