Corran Bookshop, Laugharne
I was looking through my archives to find an image for today’s post. In that search, the image above, rather just presented itself. Maybe it was a coincidence but there was a reminder on the Radio that the 27th October was the Birthday of the Welsh Poet and Writer, the late Dylan Thomas. The coincidence is that Laugharne is where Thomas lived in the las years of his short life. The picture was taken a good few years ago but I suspect (but don’t know) that it will have changed little since, the down at heel look adds to its charm. The building itself is a Listed Building and was originally a Pub, “The Ship and Castle”
But back to the beginning. We stumbled upon this intriguing bookshop by chance on our first and only visit to Laugharne (pronounced Larne). We were on the Dylan Thomas trail and had started the tour in Swansea where Thomas was born on the 27th October 1914. Laugharne is where Thomas spent time in his later life.
Laugharne lies on the wooded hillside beside the wide estuary of the River Taf, a beautiful peaceful setting.
Note the white building just above high water level. That is known as the Boat House and is where Dylan Thomas lived from 1949. Thomas acquired a garage, a short stone throw away, and converted it into his “Writing Shed” and it is here he would retreat to write with what must have been inspiring views across the Taf. That Writing Shed is now in the care of the National Trust and is worth taking a peak within…
Dylan Thomas died in November 1953, a short life, one packed not just with very creative writing but also with a reputation for as a raconteur, a wild bohemian lifestyle of heavy drinking and smoking.
Despite his Welsh heritage of which he was so proud, he wrote his verse, poems and books in a flowing, musical style, in English. His plays for Radio were perhaps the best illustration of this skill…his most famous is one described as a ‘Play for Voices – Under Milk Wood.
Dylan Thomas was on tour in America when he died in New York. His body was returned to Laugharne were he is buried in St. Martins Church.
One of his best and often quoted lines is probably so very appropriate to his life and death
” Under Milk Wood “ is available as a Book. But as it is described very accurately as a Play for Voices, can I suggest you seek out a CD version. The best is with Richard Burton introduction and commentary, featuring the original BBC Radio Production. The various lilting Welsh voices bring the Book alive. My copy is by Regis Records, Forum Label No. FRC 6201
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2020