Studio: 01446 420593 / Office: 01446 420681
Listen: Bro Radio
Listen: Bro Hits
Listen Again

Local Contributor

Five female-led businesses have been making waves since reopening at the award-winning Goodsheds development in Barry.

Situated near Barry’s waterfront, an area fast becoming a jewel in the town’s crown, the Goodsheds is the first new sustainable urban high street in the UK, pulling together food and drink, retail and leisure activities in a modern and interesting space with a focus on independent business.

Siempre Aromas, Fussy Home, Crafted Arts, Zac and Bella and Dimensional Art, form the Makers Carriage, a repurposed Gatwick express train within the development.

The Makers Carriage originally opened at the start of December 2020, before being closed suddenly by the Welsh Government as the country was put into lockdown.

Almost four months later, the female-led businesses are open to customers again – offering a unique shopping experience, bringing together the growing demand of artisan crafts and gifts in the form of a new style urban high street.

Siempre Aromas is run by Rebecca, who has always been obsessed with the sense of smell from a young age. In 2019, Rebecca decided to turn her passion for fragrance into a business and Siempre Aromas was born.

Siempre Aromas products are designed, created and handmade with love and care by Rebecca, with the end goal of filling each home with a beautiful long-lasting fragrance.

Also on the carriage is Fussy Home, the creation of Yvette Clark, offering one-of-a-kind, sustainably-sourced vintage pieces that stand the test of time.

Fussy Home prides itself on inspiring individuality in a stylish, sustainable way, designed for all budgets. Fussy Home believes that a slower way of shopping, producing less and using what has already been made is the way forward.

Gemma Robertson owns Crafted Arts, a business that started on maternity leave after Gemma developed a love of crafting and expertise through jewellery making courses.

Offering a unique experience, shoppers can customise jewellery with finger prints, handwriting, hand print charms and more.

Zac and Bella is named after the children of Hayley McGhan a fashion designer, who, like Gemma from Crafted Arts, developed her business whilst on maternity leave with her youngest child in 2016.

Zac and Bella branded baby and children’s clothing and accessories are made from ethically-sourced fabric, from original designs, each made by hand on the Makers Carriage.

The final business of the bunch is Natalie Bolan’s Dimensional Art, which grew dramatically online whilst on furlough during lockdown. Each card is created from an original design of Natalie’s, finished by hand on the Makers Carriage.

Dimensional Art designs have grown from being solely available on cards, to now being available as prints, mirrors, keyrings, wrapping paper and more, making the shop a one-stop-shop for all occasions.

Natalie said “The Makers Carriage creates a great environment for a business like mine to grow, alongside the buzz of the Goodsheds development. The tracks make an ideal place to pick up gifts or treats for your loved one all year round – in doing so, you’ll be supporting independent businesses and helping them to grow.”

The Makers Carriage is joined on the tracks by Wild Meadow Floral, Mother Nature Juice Bar, Lekker Food Co and Matt Jones Ceramics.

The Makers Carriages and the tracks are open Wednesday to Sunday, at the award-winning Goodsheds development on Hood Road in Barry.

Find out more at

The Makers Carriage, located at the end

The impact of Covid-19 and the possibility of recession means that some are forecasting that HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupancy, also known as house shares) are going to become much less popular. 

Let’s bust some myths as there is good evidence that the opposite is true. I’ll then share tips for making the most of your HMO.

Myth One: No one wants to house share after Covid-19

In our experience, even during the current pandemic, people are choosing to move into HMOs.

Most of our young professional housemates that I rent to could easily afford a small flat, but they tell me they prefer to live in a house share for several reasons. These include being able to meet new people, make friends and have a ready-made social life, particularly in a new city. Affordability, convenience, and the flexibility of making a short-term commitment are also key.

This all means that we’re seeing the demand for HMOs increasing rather than decreasing. 

Myth Two: A recession will reduced demand for HMOs

If we are heading for the market dip many financial commentators are forecasting, then it’s likely demand for HMOs will grow, as past evidence has shown that residential rental demand increases in recessions. More people prefer to rent rather than buy in recessions.

For example, research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed that following the 2008 recession there was a continued rise in tenant demand.[1] 

So, although many people state, as though it’s a universally accepted fact, that getting into rental in a recession is bad, they are wrong. Recessions see growing demand for rental property and especially affordable rental property, such as HMOs.

Myth Three: It’s a saturated market

There is a shortfall in affordable housing. A National Housing Federation and Crisis report conducted by Heriot-Watt University reveals that the UK needs to build 340,000 new homes every year until 2031 to meet housing demand. And at least 145,000 of those homes need to be what’s termed ‘affordable’.[2]

With a strong demand for affordable housing, and house building is not keeping up, it means HMOs are becoming ever more popular.

In 2018 the UK Government estimated that around 4.5 million people in England are housed in approximately 497,000 HMOs in England and Wales.[3]  It’s therefore easy to see how HMOs can help alleviate the housing shortage. However, many councils have introduced Article 4. This means that a planning application has to be submitted to the relevant council to change a house to an HMO, even if it will only house for 3 or 4 people, which under the national legislation wouldn’t require planning permission.

It is therefore is becoming more difficult for landlords to create a new HMO. So, the number of available HMOs is not growing as fast as it used to, and yet demand is increasing.

So, if you have an HMO or are planning to buy one or convert an existing property, what do you need to do to be successful?

Here are four little ideas that can make a big difference.

  1. Setup an attractive workspace

With more people working from home, having a desk, a well-lit, attractive work area and fast broadband is important. If necessary, ask an electrician to add extra sockets so laptops, phones and other work paraphernalia can be plugged in and kept charged.

  • Provide plenty of kitchen storage

Ensure there are enough kitchen units to provide suitable storage and include a fridge and freezer. It’s surprising how many landlords don’t supply enough kitchen cupboard space. For small kitchens look at clever ways to maximise the storage space – there are loads of ideas from places like the NRLA and IKEA. Little things that make life easier can make a huge difference to your tenants.

3) Increase wardrobe space

By increasing the storage and make your HMO feel more spacious. Simple fixes like having two wardrobes, or adding shelving (for example, above doorways can be a great way to add a bit of extra storage space) can make a big difference. No one wants all their ‘stuff’ on display, so provide somewhere for them to tidy it away.

  • Provide excellent service

This is the one that will make your properties stand out. From the first viewing to moving in, be proactive and attentive. Show your tenants you care about giving them a great place to live. Once they have moved in, don’t think that’s your job done! Look after them, make the experience of living in your property one they will remember and cherish. This helps housemates stay longer and also leads to more referrals.

With a little time and effort you can create an excellent HMO where tenants will stay for longer periods. And fewer voids will make your HMO business more profitable.


Stephanie Taylor is Co-Founder of HMO Heaven and Rent 2 Rent Success. She started HMO Heaven along with her sister Nicky and has grown the property management business to contracts of over £2m in just three years. Her goal is to inspire others to believe bigger, be bolder and be gamechangers for good through the power of ethical property businesses. Her focus is on using property to do good in our community and in the world.




Socialising is a vital part of human nature but as of late, social distancing has become our norm and it’s a weird concept for us all. Thankfully, we have access to the world through the internet! Since lockdown became mandatory in March, we’ve been grasping at ways to virtually socialise. What better way than an online quiz with loved ones!

Read on for the best categories for your virtual quiz in lockdown.

Choose Your Quiz Platform

Before starting your quiz, make sure you have the right app/website for the job. Here are four options:
● Zoom. Zoom can be used on a phone app or on the laptop/computer site. On Zoom, you can have up to 100 participants for the free plan but be warned it sometimes cuts off after 40 minutes. If you’re lucky though, the host might be offered unlimited minutes for your virtual quiz to run smoothly. Zoom automatically enables the
active speaker so whoever speaks comes on camera but it’s much easier to go into gallery view and see the faces you’ve missed so much. You’ll be given a code/link to send for people to join the call.
● Houseparty. I never heard of this app until lockdown but it’s a fun way to mingle with your friends/family. If you want to use Houseparty on a computer/laptop you must download Google Chrome. The downside of this platform is that you have a limit of 8 people in one meeting. If your party is under 8, make sure you lock the door because anyone can join your meeting without an invitation.
● Google Hangouts. My favourite to use is Google Hangouts because it’s a straightforward process where the host sends a link/email for you to join the video call. You can have up to 10 participants, even if they haven’t got a Google email address.
● Facebook Messenger. If everyone has facebook and you make a group, go right ahead and start your online quiz through that platform. Again though, only 8 people are allowed in the call.

Tips for Your Virtual Quiz in Lockdown

  1. Keep it relatively short. When you’re on a video call with your friends/family, it’s inevitable that your quiz categories will lead off into other subjects and if you have 10 categories it can turn into a long and sluggish night. I recommend doing 4 or 5 categories with around 10 questions per round.
  2. Don’t make the questions painfully hard. No-one wants a quiz where they cannot answer one question and it soon becomes boring.
  3. Don’t make them too easy either. If everyone knows the answers to every question then what’s the point? Mix it up with a variety of categories suggested below and keep the balance between the level of easiness.
  4. Discuss how they can submit answers beforehand. If you’re trusting, you can get them to mark their own work but if you’re strict, get them to take a picture of their answers and send to you for marking.
  5. If it’s an ongoing virtual quiz night, alternate quiz masters so everyone gets a go. Maybe the winner can be next week’s question master.
  6. Make some answers impossible to Google. This makes it fun for participants to think harder and stops any cheaters in the group!

Best Categories for Your Virtual Quiz in Lockdown

Most quizzes will have a general knowledge round and these can contain any question possible in the world but the categories I’m going to suggest for your lockdown quiz are more in depth and easy to take inspiration from. These suggestions have an overarching category, i.e. Music but give you specific spins on a Music category. These are fun for participants as well as for the host to research!

1. Music

The trick with any music round is to make sure you have a clear speaker for the participants to hear what you’re trying to play. Alternatively, you could make a WhatsApp/Facebook group where you could send the clip of whatever you’re trying to play.
The best quiz categories for a music round in your quiz are:
What TV show / Film has this theme tune? – In this round, you can choose 10 TV show or Film theme tunes and play just 20 seconds (ensuring the answer isn’t in the clip) and they have to guess which show/film it’s from.
Name the Song/Artist from Intro – Play just the intro of the song and get them to name the song and artist for double points. What’s the next line? – Play the line of the song and get them to give you the following line. For fun, why don’t you sing the line for them instead!
Name the Song/Artist from Lyric – This one is hard! Say the lyric out loud in a monotone and slow voice without the music/melody and get them to name the song and the artist.

2. Sport

Logo: Which Football Club? – Get pictures of football club logos WITHOUT the football team name and get participants to guess the team.
What’s the real name of the sports person? – Give nicknames of sport stars and get them to tell you who the nickname belongs to.
Who’s the champion? – Give 10 famous sport moments for single sports such as Boxing, Golf, Tennis and get them to name the winner of that particular match/game.
Anagram of Sports – Give anagrams of sport names and get them to find the answer. For example: phji guhm = high

3. Geography
Legalities – Find random and unbelievable laws that still exist and get them to name the country.
Local Geography – Give questions all about your local area. For example, How long was Butlins open in Barry?

Name Meanings – Find out the players’ name meanings in different languages and get them to guess the name. For example, What name means beloved in Hebrew? = David. Mix it up by including surnames too!

4. TV and Film

Guess the Film from the Quote – Give them a famous quote from the film and see if they know which film the quote is from.
Which TV Show is it? – Name one character from the TV show and see if they can guess the show.
Movie Poster – Get pictures of famous movie posters with all writing removed and see if they know the film.
Gavin and Stacey – Who doesn’t love a Gavin and Stacey round? Give them 10 questions that will get them laughing!
Disney – There’s lots of questions you can ask about Disney and you can get two things done by watching Disney films: entertain the kids and revise for the quiz!

5. Personalised
Facebook – Warning: Be careful with this one and make sure no-one gets upset or offended. If you have the time, scroll through Facebook and find an old status, a page like or a photo caption and get the players to guess who said what.
Baby pictures – Get everyone to send you a baby picture of themselves (the funnier, the better) and guess the baby.
Birthdays/Anniversaries – Name everyone’s birthday/wedding anniversary/graduation date/significant moment and see how well you know each other.
Something you’ve all done together – A great chance to reminisce. Ask questions that relate to the whole group. For example, Where did we all go for my 21st Birthday?, etc.

6. The Random Round
Pick a set of 10 completely random questions. These can range from spelling, Welsh translations and planets to gardening, recipe ingredients and animals.

Themed Quiz

A themed quiz always adds a bit of sparkle to the call. You can take these quiz category ideas and slot them into a themed night. Whatever theme you decide, you can give people bonus points for dressing up, bringing a prop, the best quiz team name, creative answer sheets or contributing a story related to the quiz theme! Some themes that are easy to makeshift from home are:
● Decade themed (70s, 80s, 90s, etc)
● Under the Sea
● Safari
● Everything beginning with the same letter
● Town/City themed (for example, Barry Island themed)

You can choose absolutely anything to make it memorable and spruce up your Friday night in! Have fun and stay safe!

By Shireen Ahmed

The Vale of Glamorgan has announced that it will no longer collect recycling placed in carrier bags, white, clear or colour plastic bags from the 19th August.

It says that despite it being one of the best Councils for recycling in Wales, a small but growing number of residents are using a range of single-use plastic bags for their recycling, with more and more items such as soiled nappies, cat litter and food are being hidden in recycling.

When recycling is contaminated, it is not able to be recycled and has to be treated as black bag rubbish, which is why it says urgent changes needed to be taken in a bid to tackle the growing problem.

A letter received by residents this week says the change will help “to remove the use of single-use plastic bags for placing recycling out for collection” whilst cutting back the amount of recycling which is sent to landfill following contamination.

Friends of Barry Beaches have called the changes ‘good news’ but some residents feel the changes have come about to quickly, contacting their local Councillors including Dyfan Ward Councillors Vince Bailey and Leighton Rowlands who have said that “the changes has been implemented at such short notice and without proper planning.”

Cllr Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “Vale residents have made a tremendous effort to achieve such a high rate of recycling but unfortunately a minority are ignoring the guidelines and it’s causing a major problem. Urgent action is needed and we are delighted at the immediate uptake of the changes by many residents.

“Single-use plastic is also a significant threat to our planet, particularly our oceans, and as residents of a coastal county we understand the seriousness of that damage. These changes will also help reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste produced.”

Residents this week are receiving letters informing them that as of the 19th August, the Council staff will only collect recycling from official Council bags and boxes.

Blue bags can be collected from the Alps Depot in Wenvoe, along with all Vale Libaries, with Green Boxes available to collect from the Alps Depot in Wenvoe and Barry Library.

Boxes and Bags have also been made available to collect from the Civic Offices on Holton Road, Barry.

Food Waste Kits which include a food recycling caddy, lockable roadside caddy and bags can also be collected from the Alps office in Wenvoe or Barry Library, as well as from the Civic Offices on Holton Road.

Recycling boxes and bags available to collect from the Council’s Civic Offices. Credit: Councillor Lis Burnett

Any dreams of an early night for Penarth’s volunteer lifeboat crews were loudly shattered when pagers were activated at approximately 9.15pm

Penarth RNLI launched on 28 July at the request of Milford Haven Coastguards to assist a lone yachtsman who’s vessel had steering/power problems.
Using the station’s larger Atlantic 85 lifeboat the volunteers quickly established a tow. The yachtsman, who was not familiar with the area, was taken safely through the lock of Cardiff Bay barrage and onward to a safe mooring.
For many of the crew it was a case of ‘late to bed and early to rise’, as the volunteers left the station at 11:45pm ready for another working week.
Once inside the barrage the vessel was met by Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team who collected information and gave appropriate safety advice.

Jason Dunlop, Lifeboat Operations Manager for Penarth said: ‘We were happy to assist the lone sailor who had problems with his yacht. In darkness and with shallow water entering an unfamiliar dock would have been tricky, and we were glad to be able to ensure his safety.’

A driver became stuck on pebbles on the Knap beach on Sunday, leading to a rescue by Coastguards.

Barry Coastguard said the man had driven on to the pebbles at Cold Knap beach at about lunchtime on Sunday.

A recovery vehicle was used to get the car back to the road. South Wales Police attended and checked the driver and vehicle.

A spokesperson for Barry Coastguard said the man was not seeking help or suffering from medical conditions.

“We don’t want people to second-guess themselves,” they said.

“Even a few minutes’ hesitation by those in distress, perhaps holding off on a call because they’re worried about getting a bill for hundreds of pounds, could mean the difference between life and death.

“The Coastguard doesn’t charge.”

Plans by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to open a new car park in Cowbridge have put the future of the town’s livestock market at “serious risk”, South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies has said.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has said A new car park and temporary events space could be built in the centre of Cowbridge if plans are agreed next week.

£65,000 will be made available to fund site surveys and feasibility work over the course of the next year, if a report being presented to the Council’s cabinet on 29 July is agreed.

The changes to the space mean the licence given to operate the market will now not be extended beyond its current end date of March 2020. The Council has already begun work with interested parties to help in the possible establishment of a new market in a more suitable and accessible location to serve farmers from across the region.

The proposed site for the car park has been occupied by the market since 2017, but the proposals mean its licence to operate there will now not be extended beyond 2020.

Mr Davies has long demanded action to improve parking capacity in the town, but expressed concern that provision for a new market had not yet been made.

He called for a simultaneous transfer to a new site, to ensure the town did not lose the facility.

Mr Davies said, “While I welcome action to increase parking capacity in Cowbridge, the news regarding the livestock market is very disappointing indeed.

“I am the first to accept the agricultural industry is changing, but the market has always been part and parcel of the fabric of the town.

“We must therefore ensure there is a simultaneous transfer to a new site. I fear that otherwise, once it shuts, it is highly doubtful the market will ever reopen in the town.”

Cllr Lis Burnett, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “The Charter Trust’s work to restore the town wall is really changing the feel of this part of the town and gives us a real opportunity to establish a focal point for visitors. This is what the car park and event space would provide.

“The lack of town centre parking has long been an issue in Cowbridge. Plans are already in place to lay a temporary stone surface to provide parking alongside the town wall. There is, however, an opportunity to go further and give Cowbridge the infrastructure it needs to be a first-class destination for shoppers and tourists.

“Our new proposal is to do this by also making use of the land currently used by the livestock market for parking. This will be done in a way that respects the site’s historic location with the conservation area and complements the Trust’s Old Hall Gardens project.”

A new car park would be subject to a feasibility study to determine the viability and number of spaces needed, this will be done alongside the current review of the Council’s parking strategy for the Vale. Local residents and town centre trades will all have the opportunity to share their views as part of this process.

As well as spaces for cars and a drop-off area for buses and coaches, cycling racks and other active travel facilities would feature prominently in any design.

These plans do not affect the work by the Cowbridge Charter Trust that is already successfully underway to reveal the historic town wall adjacent to the market by demolishing unused cattle pens. This work has been partly funded by the Council’s Strong Communities Grant Fund.

The Council has been working to find a new use for the land on which the livestock market currently operates since 2017. It had previously been proposed that the land be sold for development, with some provision for car parking being made.

Copyright © 2009 - 2020
Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting CIC
Listen Live
Listen Again
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram