1919 Race Riots “Walk & Historical Tour”

Sunday 23th October

Victorian Barry Experience in conjunction with Barry Town Council and social enterprise Grow Social Capital will hold two free tours of Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery looking at the Race Riots that took place around the country, including Barry.


The (free) events will be a “Walk & Talk” consisting of a talk by the Victorian Barry Experience and tea and coffee in Merthyr Dyfan Chapel after.

The story of Barry is essentially one of incomers from all parts of the world moving here to establish the Town we know and love today. It is a story of people coming together to create a community that strives to work, play and lives in harmony. Yet it is a story with a terrible scar.

Over a hundred years ago, in 1919, Barry, along with other dock towns in Liverpool, Cardiff, and Newport witnessed race riots. Driven by high unemployment, insecurity and a fear of foreigners, witnessed killings, mobs on the rampage, and a blind hatred for anyone of a different colour or creed.

‘Lest we forget’ is a special commemorative event to reflect, learn and grow from the experience. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, wrote the Spanish philosopher George Santayana.

The occasion reflected on the tragic events yet also serves as an inspiring rallying call for being open to understanding, inclusivity and standing shoulder-to-shoulder against racism and division – qualities that bind our community together with shared hopes for a better future.