Dylan Thomas Birthplace scoops major heritage award.

The Dylan Thomas Birthplace has beaten of the challenge of iconic castles and stately homes to win the Special Judges Award for Best Place to Stay in the prestigious Hudson’s Heritage Awards which were made at an award ceremony at Goldsmith’s Hall in the City of London this week (14th March).

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Geoff Haden who restored the Thomas family home and collected the award from Penelope, Viscountess Cobham, the chair of VisitEngland said “This is a huge honour and a testament to the hard work of our staff and volunteers in making this a unique place to visit and stay.

The house is as it might have been when Dylan lived and work there for 23 years and produced two thirds of his published work so no television or radio but a rare opportunity to escape the 21st century play games, read and relax.”

“In fourteen award categories we were the only Welsh based business shortlisted so it was a great honour to pull off this major award against quality opposition.”

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Lady Cobham & Birthplace restorer Geoff Haden with the award.

The annual awards were established in 2011 and are an independently judged national scheme open to historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites and celebrate the very best visitor experiences.

The awards lunch was hosted by an independent judging panel of heritage experts including Chairman Norman Hudson OBE, heritage consultant; Lucinda Lambton, writer and broadcaster; Jeremy Musson, architectural writer; Simon Foster, consultant to Channel 4’s Country House Rescue and Ken Robinson, CBE, tourism business consultant.

Sarah Greenwood, director at Hudson’s and publisher of Hudson’s Historic Houses & Gardens said “The finalists in 2017 showcase an amazing range of experiences just waiting for us all to enjoy at Britain’s heritage places. This year they include three World Heritage Sites but also iconic castles, public buildings, unusual gardens and stunning country houses several of which are not well known. We at Hudson’s would like to congratulate them all on setting the standards for others to follow”.

 

Take a look at our website www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for details on how you can create your own unique experiences including tours, overnight stays and dining experiences at the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ most renowned writer!

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Dylan Thomas Birthplace carries Welsh hopes at top heritage awards.

The Birthplace of Dylan Thomas in Uplands, Swansea is the only Welsh heritage attraction shortlisted for a prestigious Hudson’s Heritage Award with the outcome being announced at a presentation lunch on Tuesday 14th March in Goldsmith’s Hall in London.

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The house which has been restored to its condition as a new house when bought by the Thomas family in 1914 is not only up for an award for the Best Accommodation but also for the Best New Discovery Award.

Geoff Haden, the chair of the Dylan Thomas Society, restored the house and now runs it as a tourist attraction and a unique place to stay overnight and soak up the atmosphere of a place where Dylan lived for 23 years says “This recognition is a tribute to our volunteers and staff who have turned this iconic building into a ‘must visit’ destination for groups and individuals and put this important family home on the literary and cultural map.”

The independent Hudson’s Awards were started in 2011 by publisher Norman Hudson to celebrate the high quality experience enjoyed by visitors to a range of heritage attractions and this year there are ten categories.

In the Best Accommodation category the Birthplace is up against Shropshire duo Western Park and Combermere Abbey as well as Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland while vying for the Best New Discovery with the Birthplace are Blenheim Palace, Eltham Palace and the RHS Lindley Library.

Take a look at our website www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for details on how you can create your own unique experiences including tours, overnight stays and dining experiences at the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ most renowned writer!

A Visit from America…Taylor University students seek out the true Dylan Thomas.

In his last few years, Dylan entertained hundreds of American students on his great but gruelling reading tours of America. He famously wrote a humorous piece on his experiences of the USA tours called  A Visit to America.

Due to his popularity and legacy, we at his Birthplace are too, becoming very used to hosting travelling American college and university groups.

One such group was the one which consisted of students and faculty members from Taylor University, Indiana, USA whom we had the pleasure of hosting recently.

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The group from the English department, are currently on an off campus study tour which combines reading of major British authors (Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginia Woolf, and others) and extensive sightseeing. Most of the trip is spent in London, with the class also travelling to other locations of literary significance. In this case they have chosen to look at Dylan Thomas and his Ugly, lovely town of Swansea.

The collection of culture vultures (as Dylan would term them) naturally acknowledged the importance of 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, the house of his birth and where a near two-thirds of the writer’s incredible works were painstakingly crafted from the snug confines of his tiny bedroom.

We wish them well on their travels and urge them, do not go gentle when exploring the works of Wales’ most renowned writer but to dive in head first!

Take a look at our website www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for details on how you can create your own unique experiences including tours, overnight stays and dining experiences at the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’ most renowned writer!

Dylan Thomas on the Wales Coastal Walk

The launch this year of the completed Wales Coastal Path has produced a new book by Jon Gower as well as numerous newspaper articles. One in Mr Murdoch’s flagship Sunday paper described Dylan as a “…drunkard and sometime poet…” which just displayed the ignorance  of the media who would not want the truth to get in the way of a good story.

The online Guardian has an audio slideshow which has a great piece about Number 5 and the Boathouse at Laugharne featuring the voices of Anne Haden and Jon Tregenna. However, there is nothing about the walks which are on a separate link or pictures of the stunning coastal scenery between the two! It’s still worth a look online

Climate Change in Verse

If you have a concern about Climate Change and a love of poetry then the Pontardawe Arts Centre was the place to be in early June 2012 for And This is Global Warming with readings from Elin ap Hywel, Sue Richardson, Dafydd Wyn, Emily Hinshelwood and the winners of Awel Aman Tawe’s Climate Change Poetry Competition.

Sue Richardson was at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace last October for the International Festival of Words. She draws on her experiences in some of the colder parts of the world and is passionate about climate change and how it is affecting the world.

There is no charge for entry but advisable to reserve tickets on 01792 863722

Published in: on 22 May, 2012 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tony hatches a new book

Dylan Thomas once, when describing A Visit to America,  referred to the list of visiting lecturers to include “…fat poets with slim volumes…”. Tony Webb is a well built man and his first book of poems, lyrics and short stories – Down a Sparrow Lane – is certainly fatter than Dylan’s 18 Poems.

Nonetheless it is a delightful read which draws on his past and particularly his years of growing up in the east of Swansea. The book launch at the Brunswick in Swansea was a memorable evening of music, readings and laughter. All the better for the introduction by poet Malcolm Parr being half way through the evening on account of him disappearing to the loo.

Tony is perhaps better known as the front man for the Swansea folk/rock band Sparrow Lane and the book contains a number of lyrics to songs that he has written. The short stories include He Only Swore in Welsh which tells of his early life living close to his grandfather.

Unlike Dylan’s obtuse early poems Tony’s are easy to understand and are drawn from a lifetime living in Swansea.

Even his adventures further afield as in London, New Year’s Eve convince him there is no place like home. And home is not all roses – The Boy in the Subway is a tale of our time – sad and haunting.

Tony will be appearing at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace in October – don’t miss it!

Down a Sparrow Lane is available at Uplands Bookshop and from the author tonywebb56@gmail.com of the publishers Pinewood Press jackielyndon@ntlworld.com priced just £6

Once upon a time there were two ferries….

The news this week that the much heralded Swansea Ilfracombe ferry link is unlikely to get under way until next year is a bitter blow to tourism operators on both sides of the channel.

Mystery surrounds the announcement with the ferry company first blaming Swansea City Council for not providing suitable landing facilities (more…)

Published in: on 13 June, 2010 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Two festivals, two languages, worlds apart

Last week was the start of the festival season in and around Wales and I could not have witnessed two more diverse events only 50 miles or so apart.

Remember that I’m writing this in the knowledge that, although Dylan spoke only English, (more…)

Bob Zimmerman, Dylan and John Lennon – what’s in a name?

Oh dear – I’ve just offended an American!

I stumbled across a blog called the Ten Minute Ramble with some videos of Bob Dylan and just pointed out that he took his name from our own Dylan.

If I did! (more…)

Volcanic ash – making a crisis out of a puff of smoke?

Yesterday we arrived home from an extended holiday in Spain – thanks to the fallout (or should it be “fallouts”?) from the Icelandic volcano eruption our stay was extended from seven to fourteen days.

Most people who I’ve spoken to today congratulated us on our good fortune – an extra week they exclaimed – none realised that we were away for a week longer from our businesses at a crucial time of the year. (more…)

Published in: on 27 April, 2010 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment