Dylan Thomas to be honoured with Welsh language blue plaque
A Welsh language plaque is to be unveiled on the front wall of Dylan Thomas’ birthplace in Swansea.
The inscription on the wall of 5, Cwmdonkin Drive will include the name chosen for the house by Dylan’s father.
David John ‘DJ’ Thomas chose a Welsh name, Glan-rhyd, a reference to the name of a farm that was the Carmarthenshire home of Dylan’s father’s uncle, the poet and preacher, Gwilym Marles.
The idea for a Welsh plaque came from former Archdruid T. James Jones, who has translated many of Dylan’s works into Welsh.
“Over a long period of time interpreting the work of Dylan Thomas the influence of Welsh and Welshness on the poet has become increasingly evident,” he said. “For the past fifteen years the house where Dylan was born has become an important centre, not only to Welsh people who are interested in his work, but also to his admirers worldwide.
“I believe that by placing a Welsh plaque side by side with the English one will be a way of emphasising the innate Welshness that penetrates through his creativity.”
The plaque project was able to go ahead thanks to the generous donations of people throughout Wales. The man who restored the house to what it would have looked like for the 23 years Dylan lived there, Geoff Haden, said he is extremely grateful for this support.
“It’s been really encouraging to see the support that we’ve had and that there has been enough interest in the idea of having a Welsh plaque,” he said. “His Welsh heritage is an important part of Dylan’s work, and he wrote two thirds of that work here at Glan-rhyd.”
Author and broadcaster Alun Gibbard, who works alongside Geoff Haden at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive – which is open to the public for visits and overnight stays – sees the Welsh plaque as a significant development.
“Dylan hasn’t always had a fair hearing from the Welsh speaking community over the decades,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see that balance is being restored in recent years, and this plaque is very much a part of that process, with a physical sign on the wall of the house where he was born clearly showing that.”
The unveiling on Friday, May 13 at 2pm will see T. James Jones share more on Dylan and his Welshness and pupils from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe will read short extracts from his works. There will also be tea and Welsh cakes.
Find out more about Dylan Thomas’ birthplace HERE
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