Neil Oliver is in Cardiff's new marina, then travels to the beaches at Barry, talking about its popularity in days of old.
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When you think about it, every capital city in the British Isles
flirts with the sea, and it's no coincidence,
because in every case it's the sea that's been the great provider.
In fact, it's been the lifeblood.
Cardiff's no different. Its coalport transformed a little town into Wales' premier city.
Now, that community's reinventing itself at breakneck speed.
It's no surprise to find it's all happening around the old docks.
These days, the city's welders don't repair ships. They sculpt metal.
Nia Jones is part of the capital's renaissance,
a new community springing up around the marina.
How much of this cityscape is new?
I think over the past few years it's really developed.
The latest addition is this fantastic Senedd building,
-where the Welsh Assembly now is housed.
-Do you approve of what's happening here?
-I love it.
It seems that every few months there's something new,
a new restaurant, a new bar, a new art gallery opening. So it's a very exciting place to be at the moment.
What is the draw? Why is everyone coming from within the city down to former docks?
Because of this!
Look at the view!
What's on view is the new marina. Controversial, because it's remodelled the environment.
The trick's been to trap water in the bay.
It used to be tidal, so twice a day it was just mudflats. Good for birds, but bad for boats.
The big idea was to build this £220 million S-shaped barrage.
It holds water in the bay 24 hours a day.
Beyond the barrier, it's easy to see why so many of the Welsh love to be beside this sea.
Over half the population of Wales live along its southern shoreline.
A host of communities cling to this coast. Some are thriving.
Others are hanging on.
Barry's beaches are often empty these days, but once,
miners and their families poured down the valleys en masse, until they hit the sea.
Mining wasn't just a job, it was a way of life.
They would work, rest and play together.
The annual trips organised by the pits and by the Sunday schools of chapel and church
were the highlight of the year.
Over 50 years ago, Jane Ward didn't come to the beach alone. Her whole village came, too.
-Hi, Neil. How are you?
-What's with the giant numbers on the wall?
-When we used to come on trips,
we arranged to meet on the beach.
Then we would say, if we were arriving at different times, "We will meet you at a certain number."
Most tried to get together,
plus there'd be others on the beach before,
so we couldn't get all together. But all those that could, would.
Family, friends, and then, over the course of the afternoon, we'd start singing then
our choruses from Sunday school. One would start,
and then another group would join in. Before long, you'd have the whole beach singing!
After a day of sea, sand and community singing, they were ready for all the fun of the fair.
Without the crowds, it's a more, er, solitary pleasure.
It's no job for a grown man!
Barry's glory days of group holidays may be gone, but there's still
some fun to be had.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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