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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Barry Island

The Making of a Seaside Playground, c. 1790–c. 1965

Distributed for University of Wales Press

Barry Island

The Making of a Seaside Playground, c. 1790–c. 1965

Barry Island was one of the most cherished leisure spaces in twentieth-century south Wales, a playground for generations of working-class day-trippers. This book considers its rise as a seaside resort and reveals a history that is much more complex, lengthy, and important than has previously been recognized. As conventionally told, the story of the island as tourist resort begins in the 1890s, when the railway arrived in Barry. Yet Barry had been functioning as a watering hole since the 1790s—yet decades of tourism produced no sweeping changes. Barry remained a district of “bathing villages” and hamlets, rather than developing into an urban resort, as might have been expected. As such, the history of Barry Island challenges us to rethink the category of “seaside resort” and forces us reevaluate Wales’s contribution to British coastal tourism in the long nineteenth century. It also underlines the importance of the agency of those who visited the island. Powerful landowners shaped much of the island’s development, but ultimately it was the working-class visitors who turned it into south Wales’s most beloved tripper resort.
 

288 pages | 8 color plates, 17 halftones | 5 1/4 x 8 1/4

History: British and Irish History


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
Author’s Note
Introduction
Chapter 1 ‘Much Frequented During the Bathing Season’: Barry Island and Welsh Coastal Tourism, c. 1780-c. 1860
Chapter 2 ‘That Favourite Place’: Cardiff’s Bathing Resort, c. 1860-1877
Chapter 3 Visitors ‘Mercilessly’ Turned Away: The Island Closed, 1878-1884
Chapter 4 Reclaimed, 1884-c.1890
Chapter 5 An ‘El Dorado Where Soft Winds Blow’: Resort Boosterism Flourishes in the 1890s
Chapter 6 ‘Awake ye Sluggards!’ Resort Development Flounders, c. 1900-1914
Chapter 7 ‘They Sweep Down on the Place and Take Possession of It’: Trippers Triumphant, c. 1890-c. 1910
Chapter 8 Barry-on-Sea? The Tripper Resort Consolidated, 1914-c.1965
Conclusion
Bibliography

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