Saturday, 9 July 2011

PS Barry - Exhibition.

A DISPLAY remembering the forgotten Merchant Navy men of Barry, and also commemorating the 70th anniversary of the loss of the Paddle Steamer Barry, will be held at The County Library, King Square, Barry, Monday-Friday, July 4-22.

The town of Barry lost more Merchant Navy seaman as a percentage of the town's population then any other in Britain, and there will be many photographs and exhibits on display.
A near ten-foot working model of Barry's own paddle steamer (WW2 name: HMS Snaefell) will also feature in the display and tribute, along with other static models, and will then take to the water at the Knap boating lake to mark the 70th anniversary of the sinking of this veteran of both the Great War and later conflict including Dunkirk.

Built for Barry town in 1907, the paddler was originally named after the town and at one stage covered the duties of an earlier Waverley before being called up to serve in the First World War. Renamed ‘Barryfield’, she was mentioned in dispatches and saw action at Gallipoli during the ill-fated Dardanelles Campaign.

After the Armistice, the paddle steamer returned to its pleasure sailings along the Bristol Channel and the south coast of England, where she again bore the name Waverley.
Called up once more for military service at the beginning of the Second World War, Barry's paddle steamer was renamed once more, this time being called HMS Snaefell.

Like other small craft that took part in the ‘miracle of Dunkirk’, evacuating thousands of troops from France, HMS Snaefell was unsuited to this task but performed heroically all the same.
The following year, on July 5, 1941 Barry's paddle steamer was sunk while on mine sweeping duties in the North Sea, with the loss of three lives.

Keith Greenway, an associate of the Merchant Navy Association (Wales) Barry Branch, said: “With the help of Barry Library and Barry at War, we're putting on a commemorative display to remember Barry's own paddle steamer, built for and named after our town.
"Last October, the wreck of the Barry was found off of the coast of Sunderland, where she is now a war grave. Although recorded as HMS Snaefell, she should also be remembered here as the Paddle Steamer Barry."

Barry Model Boat Club chairman Philip Trueman has created two scale models of Barry's own paddle steamer – the larger working model will be sailing on the Knap boating lake following an official launch after being displayed in Barry Library.


Keith at Tregenna said...

The Paddle Steamer Barry

Our Paddler the Barry was a beauty in her day,
She cut the cloth and sails were off, she was out to pay her way.
Sailing from her birth place as a lady of the sea,
A Princess of our channel roads she was born to be.

Designed to give much pleasure, she sailed from Barry Port,
A fine young Lady of the waves, she never danger sought.
The roads of the Bristol Channel saw her Pleasure days,
When her Country called her, she voyaged in defensive ways.

To the early conflict she bravely sailed from Wales,
Returned in all her glory via the Dardenelles.
Mentioned in dispatches, she had a tale to tell,
This saddened grey old lady, had seen a bit of Hell.

Of the town’s own paddler and of her claims to fame,
She once cruised just the channel then safely home again.
She was our favourite butterfly boat, well known in her day.
Meant only to came out in summer, in a butterfly way.

There were many changes in those earlier days,
Her make up was updated, painted many ways.
Her adoptions also saw a change in her very name,
From: Barry to Barryfield, to Waverley and back again.

Her bravery long forgotten, heroic actions passed,
She was lost in 41, the conflict was to be her last.
She paddled to save our Nation, for Country and the King,
A beauty built for Barry Town proudly did not give in.

Her demise saw her as Snaefell, a heroine in her way,
A little ship at Dunkirk she helped to save the day.
Just a short year later the Luftwaffe made her pay.
She has become a war grave, destined to end this way?

It seems quite normal now to get on with modern life,
Forgetting, past achievement the old day’s troubles and strife.
Forgetting Miners Fortnight and the Barry’s excursion ride,
A day out on a steamer, if wet you sailed inside.

Words KG.

Keith at Tregenna said...

Just home from Barry, following up comments from the PS Barry display.

Thank you for your comments, all is and are appreciated.

Putting all together was quite a task and errors were made.

We can correct these and learn more only really via input.

Thank you so much K.

Keith at Tregenna said...

Thank you for your comments found in the open book at our town library, all will be followed up.

Hopefully will amend and correct all from info received.


Chris Jones said...

Pleased to be of help Keith. If I can help any further please let me know.