What’s Occurring? The real life Gavin & Stacey of Barry!

The wonderful Barry island Beach

The wonderful Barry island Beach

Comedy actress and writer Ruth Jones took ten years to become an overnight success with Gavin and Stacey. Ruth has duly put Barry the south Wales town on the map, stealing the show as world-weary Nessa with her “what’s occurring?” catchphrase.

http://www.gavinandstacey.com/ The official Gavin and Stacey website

Gavin & Stacey is a BBC comedy-drama starring Mathew Horne and Joanna Page as the title characters. The series is written by James Corden and Ruth Jones, who also co-star in the show as Gavin and Stacey’s friends Smithy and Nessa.

The first series chronicled the developing romance of the two lead characters and ended with their marriage.

The programme is set in Billericay, Essex, and Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

The Barry Island Headland

The Barry Island Headland

I moved to Barry from Manchester in August 2001, and had 6 years of life changing experience living in this South Wales seaside town. From popidol, to child birth to owning my own business and more…..

The view across to nell's point

The view across to nell's point

When I first moved to Barry with my now ex boyfriend, I seriously thought to myself what the hell have I done! I had lived in the city of Manchester for 7yrs prior to moving to Barry, Manchester being a place of hussle and bustle, it really was quite a come down. A slap in the face to getting back to reality. But I soon settled in and started to enjoy my new life.

Mum and dad walking with Olivia my daughter and my two Dogs Molly (stafford bull terrier) and Harry (English bullterrier) who are no longer here with me

My parents, daughter, & two Dogs Molly (stafford bull terrier) and Harry (English bullterrier)

My ex wanted to move back to his home town of South Wales in early 2001, I agreed to move to Wales with him. We found our new home a three storey new build town house, on the fairly new development on Barry’s Waterfront. The house wasn’t ready to move into until the August of 2001.

A winter wonderland on Barrys waterfront

A winter wonderland on Barrys waterfront

Come mid August 2001 we packed up and said goodbye to Manchester, and off we went with our collection of pets.

My daughter clearly not enjoying the beach at Barry today!

My daughter clearly not enjoying the beach at Barry today!

Within a week of moving I had to go to London to continue with my auditions on the first series of ITV popidol, I had past the first two heats in Manchester. I got down to the final 70 before I was booted out! It then was back to Barry for reality. My ex was busy setting up a new business ‘Bronze Age’ the first tanning salon to open in Barry on Barry’s High Street. Bronze age was a fantastic place on a social aspect, within a month I had made good friends with the local people.

I love this picture, my dad and molly on the head land of Barry island

I love this picture, my dad and molly on the head land of Barry island

Within a few months after the pop idol experience and moving to Barry, we were soon celebrating with the news that I had fallen pregnant with our first child. In this time I became creative and formed my current business which I still to this very day own and run, nearly 7yrs on. (I have to thank Barry Dock for the bricks) LOL šŸ˜‰

Out walking the dogs around Barry Island

Out walking the dogs around Barry Island

I gave birth to a beautiful little girl and she became the apple of my eyes! she changed everything. She gave a reason to why I existed, to give unconditional love and not to be so self centred. To hold my daughter in my arms put everything into perspective. It certainly made me reflect on how I had been living my life. It made me want to change to be a better person, I knew I could be and never to let her down.

Barry island waterfront in snow

Barry island waterfront in snow

By 2004, unfortunately Bronze Age had to close, within a two year period six new tanning salons had opened up in Barry. But at least Bronze age was the first tanning salon to ever open in Barry. There was too much competition there was no other option. I was busy with my own business and my ex went back to college to re train in a new profession.

The views of Barry

The views of Barry

In 2004, I got really into running and would run the streets of Barry daily, Barry Island became my daily route and I soon had fallen in love with the place. I completed my first half marathon in Cardiff bang on 2hrs

After completing the Cardiff half marathon in 2004

After completing the Cardiff half marathon in 2004

As you can see from the pictures we had two dogs Harry and Molly and they both appreciated the daily runs across Jackson Bay beach on Barry Island

The view of Jackson Bay

The view of Jackson Bay

Early 2006 unfortunately my ex and I separated. Olivia and I moved into a near by flat still on Barry’s waterfront at the same time as the separation I was in the middle of opening a showroom on Broad Street in Barry. I poured my heart and soul into renovating the shop myself with a team of builders. I tried to make my life work in Barry for 18 months after our separation, but I just wasn’t moving on with my life. Not to dwell on the past, as it is water under the bridge, but I had options to make, It was decided I would be better off living back with my family in northern England. So I left Barry on the 1st Sept 2007 to move back to my home town of Grimsby. Luckily my ex and I worked out our differences and always between us put our daughter first.

Barry island

Barry island

But Barry will always have a special place in my heart, in this town I found who I am and it opened up a world to where I could make my dreams come true. I made some life long friends in this friendly seaside town, and my daughter and I visit as often as we possibly can. My daughter is half welsh so its important she has an understanding to her welsh heritage, and can even speak welsh.

Its great that Gavin and Stacey series have put Barry on the map! Its a great comedy, and its even better to watch as my real life was ‘Gavin and Stacey’

The view from Barry across to Barry island

The view from Barry across to Barry island

The cast of Gavin and Stacey on Barry Island

The cast of Gavin and Stacey on Barry Island

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One response to “What’s Occurring? The real life Gavin & Stacey of Barry!

  1. Thankyou for sharing your life in barry. I’m currently thinking of making a move to wales from Ireland & barry is one of the places a friend recommended. Next weekend I’m actually over in barry with my young son to view property and get a ‘feel’ for the area so thankyou for an insight.

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