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Barry College celebrates its 50th Birthday in style

Barry College welcomed students and staff, past and present, to a special party celebrating 50 years at the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan.

At the special 50th Birthday Party visitors got a chance to see how the College has changed and developed over the last five decades, as well as catch up with old friends and tutors. Guided tours of the College’s main Colcot Road site were held and there was a special exhibition featuring pictures of the College through the years, with recollections from staff and students.

Two friends reunited were Gillian Arthur and Ruth Wellstead. Best of friends since they were little, both studied at Barry College in the 1960s but have not seen each other “in such a long time”.

“It’s absolutely fantastic! We haven’t seen each other for so long,” Gillian said. “I’ve enjoyed coming back today but it’s even more fabulous now!”

“I don’t come down that often,” Ruth, who now lives in England, explained. “We used to see each other every month, now it’s more like every other year. So when I saw her photograph in the exhibition I was amazed!”

Guests also had the chance to see courses Barry College has offered through the years – such as Cookery for Newlyweds and Sheep Shearing - in an exhibition of past prospectuses. Birthday cake and party bags full of College goodies were on hand for all.

The Barry Amateur Radio Society set up at the College for a special anniversary broadcast, and got in contact with a number of European locations – including Bari in Italy!

The party ended with a special ‘Balloon Pop’. Former students and staff joined with College Chair of Governors Peter Cope and local dignitaries including Vale of Glamorgan Mayor and Mayoress Colin and Ruby Osborne, Barry Mayor Karl Kuhnell and consort Meryl Kuhnell, Vale AM Jane Hutt and MP Alun Cairns to burst glitter-filled balloons in a daytime pyrotechnic display.

Speaking just before the ‘Balloon Pop’, Barry College Principal and Chief Executive Paul Halstead said: “When the College opened 50 years ago it had ten members of staff and 484 students. The College now has about 500 staff and enrolled 10,047 students last year so it has grown a little bit! We have had 100s of thousands of students over that long period.

“I would like to thank you all for coming – it’s wonderful to see so many of you here, including so many of the original staff and students. We are delighted, and grateful to all our guests and everyone who has contributed towards the party.”

Notes for editors

· Pics: 5&6 Before and after the ‘Balloon Pop’. Pic 10: Ruth Wellstead and Gillian Arthur. Pic 25: Jane Hutt has some birthday cake

· For more information contact Chris Baker on 01446 725015 or c.baker@barry.ac.uk

· To find out more about Barry College visit barry.ac.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @barrycollege

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