A MAN from Penarth has used his own money to create a blue light display on the barrage control building in Cardiff Bay as a thanks to frontline workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cardiff Harbour Authority employee Tony Hughes wanted to make a local display near Penarth after hearing about the Light it Blue movement to light up landmarks which he said was “Cardiff centric”.

Tony used a blue LED strip from his apartment in Northcliff and added to the display with lighting equipment he bought on Amazon.

“I had a blue LED strip from my flat so I grabbed that and put it on there and its just grown from there. I’ve bought bits and bobs off Amazon. It’s all household stuff really.

“We’re going to do it every Thursday as a bit of a nod towards the NHS and all the work they’re doing.

“It has gotten better every week.”

Every Thursday, Tony goes to the barrage and lights up the display to coincide with the Clap for our Carers.

As a sluice operator at the barrage, Tony is an essential worker.

“I’m a barrage control operator in the control room. We’ve locked down the locking operations completely. We’re only locking out emergency vessels. Basically no boats are allowed off their mornings so that part of the job has taken a real down turn.

“We still do other bits and bobs such as flood prevention, operating the sluices but its very much scaled back. So its quiet.

“We’re only allowed two people in the control room at once to keep with social distancing, so we’re all on different 12-hour shift patterns.

“Its got be kept running because its been manned 24 hour, seven days a week ever since its been built. Its never been empty.”

He said he wanted to thank essential workers and urged the community in Penarth to stay home and observe social distancing.

“Its all for NHS workers but also the social carers, the binmen, the posties, the shopworkers - all the people who have now become very essential. They’re doing a fantastic job, keep up the good work, and we appreciate it.

Tony called the display a “team effort” and thanked his friends and colleagues for their support.

He also lights up the old summer house in Penarth which he powers from his flat and controls using his mobile phone.