IF YOU are looking for an escape to the seaside, Barry Island Pleasure Park has opened for business – three days ahead of the Welsh Government first minister announcing funfairs could re-open on Monday, July 20.

Hundreds of people queued eagerly, on Friday, July 17, in the hope of some thrilling fun at the popular seaside resort.

The gates opened at 4.30pm following a 30-minute delay while staff double-checked that signage, sanitiser, and other Covid-secure measures were in place.


During the Welsh Government daily briefing, at 12.30pm on Friday, Mr Drakeford confirmed that playgrounds, funfairs, and community centres would once again be accessible to people in Wales.

The amusement arcade, in the Park, remains closed.

Pleasure Park owner, Henry Danter said the attraction would welcome NHS workers on Thursday, August 20 and they would be given a free wristband with which to enjoy unlimited rides.

Mr Danter, 76, said: “March 23 was probably the saddest day of my life because we were just revving up for a great season this year and when that happened a lot of it got cancelled, a lot of it got changed around.

“It was a great hardship for the whole industry. It wasn’t just me suffering.

“Sadly, not everyone’s going to be as lucky as me.

South Wales Argus:

Henry Danter at the Big Wheel, Barry Island Pleasure Park

“We had the weather. We had everything.

“We were buying a new ride this season to go in here, but we had to put a hold on that.

“There was going to be the Air – that’s a thrill ride, the Wild Mouse, the Star Flyer and other rides of a smaller nature.

“We found out yesterday or the day before that we could re-open.”

He said his partner Christine, his children, and Cathie Steele, had hounded the Welsh Government and Vale council about re-opening.

“We understand that safety comes first and I agree with it,” he said. “We have to make money to keep going and we’re running on an empty tank at the moment.

“We need the crowd to come in.

“We are doing it on a trial.

“There’s hand sanitisers on every ride and signs on every ride.

“On the ground there’s signs if they take notice of it.

“All the staff have been told what they’ve got to do.

“There’s a list of things that they have to abide by – gloves, how to remove your mask safely.

“I hope I’ve done everything that I have supposed to have done.

“I’m just thinking, ‘have I done everything now? is everything good? are the staff doing what they are supposed to do?’

South Wales Argus:

Barry Island Pleasure Park will be open until October

He said: “Everybody’s excited in Wales.

“We’ve had probably a thousand hits about ‘when is it going to open?’ ‘and what have we got?’

“Well, we’ve got the best rides Wales has ever seen.

“It’s the biggest show in Wales and the West - or seen in Barry.

“I don’t know if I could ever do it again – the stress.

“This has been a stressful time for us.

“We are trying to put on the best show that Wales has ever seen - and we’ve got no money coming in.

“We are going through until the end of October.

“We’ll keep going as long as we can, but we’re dependent on the weather.”

He said: “I want to thank publicly all the help the NHS staff have given to the people of Wales and the whole country.

“They’ve put on a great show.

“On August 20 we are going to give them a free wristband to spend a day in Barry Island.

“All the rides are free – we are going to do that to say ‘thank you’.

“We appreciate what they’ve been trying to do.

“We know we closed down, we’ve suffered problems through finance, but we’re still alive thanks to the NHS that’s doing a great job - and the Welsh Government.

“We’re working together.

“We’re all in the same boat.

“I’ve just got praise for everybody.

“My staff have been extremely loyal to me; my sons, my daughter, my partner, my friends – they’ve gone beyond the call of duty to make this day possible.

“I’d like to thank them all for all the effort they’ve put into Barry to make it great again.”

South Wales Argus:

Barry Island Pleasure Park will be open until October

The Park is set to open from 11am to 8pm – depending on how business goes.

“We’ve got to put a few beans in the cupboard,” Mr Danter added.

“I don’t know if people are going to support us.

“I’m sure they will – especially from London, the Midlands, or everywhere.

“I think a lot of people are watching this space and I will obviously do the best I can.”