It is poignant to read that the first big dipper at Barry’s amusements in Portrush was imported from Germany in 1939.
That country was a pioneer of all sorts of things in the 1930s, including cars and roads — the Sydenham bypass was started in 1936 based on designs of Hitler’s autobahns. But the war caused by that dictator led to disruption of the dual carriageway on the eastern approach to Belfast, which was not completed until 1959.
Barry’s, which had been founded in 1926, survived the war. Many children were evacuated to Portrush during the conflict. It also continued to operate during the worst of the Northern Ireland Troubles in the 1970s.
It has been a beacon of fun in the good times too, well known by almost everyone who grew up in the Province, and by many visitors as well. Now after 93 years the Trufelli family who established Barry’s, and have owned it ever since, are putting the business up for sale.
Older readers will remember that there was once a Barry’s in Bangor too, in a grand old building on the seafront, well-suited in its gothic design to the popular ghost trains within.
Barry’s is a brand that has given immeasurable pleasure to many generations of families.
We hope the business continues to thrive far into the future, after any sale, and remains as a fixture for children who are holidaying on our beloved north coast.