Dylan Thomas

The Dylan Thomas Live Video Experience

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands, Swansea, Wales on 27 October 1914. He is widely regarded by many literary scholars as one of the Twentieth Century's most influential lyrical poets, and amongst the finest as such of all time.

We have a number of cameras positioned in the Uplands so you can see how it looks today!
Click any modern photo to view the cameras.

"A square, a handful of shops and a pub". This was how Dylan described Uplands in a letter to a friend in London. In the early part of the century the area was the hub of this busy suburb and it is still busy today. Walking to school, Dylan and his pals would pass a row of small shops which by some bizarre co-incidence were all named with different colours – Mr. Gray the newsagent, Mr. Green the sweet shop, Mr. Black the cobbler and a Whites shoe shop.

Uplands Crescent circa 1920

Uplands Crescent 2003

Dylan’s local, where he first grew to love the conviviality of the bar-room. He writes of how his visits to the pub are part of his ‘provisional rhythm’. It was here that Dylan first experienced and came to love beer which he later described with real passion……"I liked the taste of beer, its live white lather, its brass-bright depths, the sudden world through the wet brown walls of the glass, the tilted rush to the lips and the slow swallowing down to the lapping belly, the salt on the tongue, the foam at the corners."

The Uplands Hotel circa 1920

The Uplands Tavern 2003

Dylan writes of The Grove in ‘A Fine Beginning’ and in ‘Return Journey’ but he also returned to the area in 1949 to make one of his most famous broadcasts.
About fifty years along on the left is a single storey building now used as a church meeting house. In the thirties, this was used as a radio-recording studio and it was here that Dylan presented and chaired the radio programme ‘Swansea and the Arts’. Thomas wrote jocularly to a friend that he had been "broadcasting from Swansea with Dan Jones and the boys". The "boys" were his Kardomah pals, the immensely talented group of Dylan’s friends – Daniel Jones, musician, Vernon Watkins, poet, Alfred Janes, painter, and John Pritchard, writer. The broadcast featured them all explaining what it was about Swansea that fuelled their respective talents. Dylan begins his introduction, "We speak from the Grove of Swansea…" and goes on…

"Five of use then sit in this desecrated Grove, on chairs not hillocks; our little cloven feet are shoed; our shirt cuffs fray where flowery bangles once budded; some of us wear glasses; and the mead is off."

It was around this quiet cul-de-sac that Dylan would play with the children of W.Grant Murray, the artist who painted fine views.

The Grove circa 1920

The Grove 2003