On this date…18th January 1934 – and the history of the Mumbles Press

The Mumbles Press reviewed the Swansea Little Theatre’s performance of The Way of the World. Dylan Thomas played the character of Witwould but his performance does not receive a special mention within the review. 

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The Mumbles Press was published every Thursday, and sold for one penny. It provided local news, natural history, religious notes and romantic serials. The boys who sold the paper were paid 1d per dozen sold.

The following is a piece by Sylvia Bagley about the newspaper, a fixture of Mumbles and Swansea life for many years until the mid 1930s. Her father was its founder C.E. Tucker.

“For over thirty years, the Mumbles Press was a key institution of Mumbles life. My father, Christopher ‘C.E.’ Tucker, was its founder and driving spirit. In 1956, when he retired, he was described as ‘the man who put Mumbles on the map’ and he worked tirelessly to promote the Mumbles that he loved.”

“He first set up a printing business in the Dunns, where Solo now stands. Then in 1903 he bought No 8 The Dunns. And for over thirty years, until 1936, he promoted Mumbles through the Mumbles Press. At the same time, with my mother, Florence, he ran a local shop for both residents and visitors, with all sorts of seaside materials, smokes – and his very own lending library.”

“He and my mother were married in 1912, and the Mumbles Press chronicles in detail the clothes and jewellery of the bride and the bridesmaids – and all the presents received, and from whom. It was a grand wedding, at Clyne Chapel, Blackpill. And the reception was at the the Ship & Castle Hotel, the site of the present-day Conservative Club. Among the family records is one of continuing interest to present-day Mumbles. In 1916, a young apprentice printer was indentured to my father, to receive 5 shillings for the first year, increasing by one shilling per year for seven years. It was one Richard Cottle, son of Charles Cottle – none other than the grandfather of Tony Cottle known in this generation as the ‘eyes and ears of Mumbles’, and still providing a printing service. Charles Cottle (Tony Cottle’s grandfather) was the last lighthouseman of Mumbles – a real character, who had a cat which could swim and catch fish… Richard did not complete his full seven-year training, and the Indenture was eventually cancelled.”

“The Mumbles Press was published every Thursday, and sold for one penny. It provided local news, natural history, religious notes and romantic serials. The boys who sold the paper were paid 1d per dozen sold.”

“My father was also a Councillor, a Member of Mumbles Urban District Council and was instrumental, following its closure, in getting a Branch Library established on the site. When the Urban District Council was abolished in 1923, and Mumbles came to be run by Swansea Corporation, he used to complain that there was much less local news to report.”

“The Corporation has not done a lot for the district’, he observed in 1956, ‘not as much as they should have. It was different in the old days when we had our own urban council. Things were a lot livelier…”

“He was also for many years a member of the Swansea Improvement Association, publicising the Mumbles area – though his view remained that ‘Mumbles does not properly cater for visitors…”

“The present City Council should think about that – while the Community Council does now try to address my father’s concerns about local interests, local colour and community identity.
My daughter Susan, who lives in Malvern, is carrying on the family tradition: she and her husband run a printing company there. My father would have been very proud to know that the family tradition is being maintained.”

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 and the whiskered beast of Pwlldu.

At about this time in early January 1934 it is believed that Dylan wrote the following piece detailing a close encounter with a furry ‘beast’ at the beautiful cove of Pwlldu, Gower.

he recounted to Pamela Hansford Johnson…

“I was sitting in the porch of the Pwlldu Inn on a cold, sunny afternoon, eating an unnaturally large sandwich and sipping at a quart mug-both sandwich and mug were almost as large as me. In the midst of my meal I heard a loud stamping (that is the only honest word to describe it), and, looking up, saw a rat immediately in front of me, his eyes fixed on mine. A rat? This was a rat with a capital R, a vast iron-grey animal as big as a cat, with long, drooping whiskers and a tail like an old frayed whip. Normally I am frightened to death by rats, even by mice, and certainly by moths, but this monstrosity of a creature did not alarm me at all. He couldn’t move quickly anyway, he was much too fat. He merely stood there in front of me until I threw him a piece of cheese. He sniffed it, swallowed it, and stamped away. Again ‘stamped’ is the only word: he went away like a fat old soldier from a canteen.Thinking of him when he had gone, I came to the conclusion that he must be the Father of all Rats, the First Rat, the Rat Progenitive, the Rat Divine.”

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*The Inn that he refers to is likely to have been the ‘Beaufort Arms’ which is the building just right of centre in the photograph.*

 

 

 

2017 to be a legendary year for visitors to Wales.

Dylan Thomas will feature as part of Welsh Government’s new marketing campaign as 2017 becomes Wales’ Year of Legends.


The campaign aims to promote Wales’ culture and heritage, and follows on from the 2016 Year of Adventure.

Just three years after the worldwide celebrations witnessed during Dylan Thomas’ Centenary and a year after the highly successful events surrounding writer Roald Dahl comes another chance to highlight the importance that Wales, its people, landscape and folklore has played in influencing some of its finest exports and how it can still inspire today.

Read more on the Year of Legends here

Throughout the year Dylan Thomas Birthplace will be supporting the Year of Legends initiative. Owner and restorer of Dylan’s Birthplace, Geoff Haden, said…

‘Dylan is certainly THE standout literary figure in Wales, and surely is the country’s most renowned. The best way to discover more about him is by visiting the house that birthed him and a near two-thirds of his work!’

Matt Hughes, the curator of 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, where Dylan and his family lived for twenty-three years added…

‘We’ll not only be open for daily house visits, we’ll also be offering expert guided tours of areas connected with the poet, writer and broadcaster around his native Swansea & Gower and to his home from home of Laugharne.’

Visitors to the home of Swansea’s most famous son also have the opportunity to dine and stay overnight, creating their own unique memories and perhaps to find their own inspiration in the footsteps of the legendary Welsh figure.

Take a look at  www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com for more details. 

This Christmas – Give the gift to create unique memories…

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This Christmas why not treat the ones that you love to a voucher entitling them to an overnight stay, dinner party, lunch or afternoon tea at the home of one of the 20th century’s most famous literary figures, Wales’ most renowned writer – Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas Birthplace & Family Home is available for visiting, self-catering and dining experiences throughout the year. A truly unique literary house where you and your friends and family can create your own wonderful personal memories.

Whether No.5 is the voucher recipient’s homely Edwardian hub to relax, dine on the best food that the local area has to offer and unwind in, immerse themselves in the World of their favourite writer, or used as a base to explore the rugged and beautiful Gower coastline. It is one magical experience that they will never forget!

Don’t worry about postal strikes affecting delivery times – we’ll also send an electronic version so there is no risk of disappointment on Christmas day!

For more information please call us on
(01792) 472 555 or email 
info@dylanthomasbirthplace.com

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!

Dinner at Dylan’s – A unique experience!

*Christmas gift idea – Vouchers are available*

Just one of the unique things that visitors can do at Dylan Thomas’ Birthplace is sample the very best food that the local area has to offer. Our dinner parties are designed to deliver that exquisite flavour found in our little corner of Wales.

With a piano, phonogram and games table our dinner party guests can relive a typical Edwardian evening before the advent of television. Our sociable evening dinner parties can consist from just 4 people to up to 10 people with the evening starting at 6:30pm with pre-dinner drinks and a tour of the house. Food is usually being served around 7:30pm amidst the splendour of the front parlour. For those who truly want to get into the spirit of the era why not dress up in your best vintage wears?

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What’s on the menu?
Our menu changes with the season, we’ll reflect what is available from our local sellers at the time. We love to ‘buy local’ and support the traders at Swansea Market (where Dylan’s mother would do her shopping.) We are proud members of the Swansea Bay Food Circle. Don’t worry if you consider yourself a ‘fussy’ eater or have particular dietary requirements, our cooks are vastly experienced and will work closely with the information sbgfc-smallprovided by you to deliver a meal that everyone will enjoy.

Perhaps you’d like a starter of some of Swansea’s ‘fruits of the sea?’ – Laverbread (a type of seaweed – don’t worry it is delicious!) and cockles (a sumptuous little shellfish) both residents found in the waters along Dylan’s ‘splendid curving shore.’ or a creamy goat’s cheese from Carmarthenshire (where Dylan had many relatives and spent much time in the summer on the farm of Fern Hill.) Followed by a main course of Gower’s award winning, celebrated salt marsh lamb or beautiful pork with luscious greens followed by a dessert of local recipe cakes, tarts and a delicious platter of Welsh cheeses? – Makes the mouth water doesn’t it!

Here’s what some of our previous guests have said about their evenings…

We stayed overnight after a wonderfully prepared birthday dinner for my wife, Georgina the children, Magi (11) & Maisy (6) thoroughly enjoyed the magical experience of 5 Cwmdonkin Drive. The staff were out of this world and could not do enough for us.

T. Missen

We had such a great time……we are still all talking about it and saying that it was one of our best evenings out in a very long time. We will be back!

PD Swansea

Four of us went to the dinner experience in 5 Cwmdonkin Drive and it was certainly a night to remember. Our host was extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of Dylan. We were given sherry on arrival and then had a comprehensive tour of the house. That was followed by a four course meal using all local Welsh ingredients. The meal was first class. The whole experience was memorable!

M. McGregor

For prices and more information on creating your memorable meal at Dylan Thomas Birthplace & Family Home please call (01792) 472 555 or email info@dylanthomasbirthplace.comWe are also able to provide vouchers – Ideal for a Christmas present!

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!