Last updated: 06 November 2008
Dylan Thomas had a bittersweet relationship with Swansea, the "ugly, lovely town" in which he was born and raised.
Although it was bombed beyond recognition during the World War Two, the young Dylan Thomas' Swansea was a prosperous town which benefited from its proximity to coalfields and its coastal location.
While growing up there, Dylan often found little to like about Swansea, and, indeed, Wales. It was important for him to put some distance between him and his home town, in order to understand just how much it meant to him. He made plans to move to London in 1934.
The family home was the newly-built 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in the middle class suburb known as Uplands. Dylan's parents had bought it early in 1914, and he would live there throughout his childhood.
He would return often, but would never again fully settle in Swansea. After the birth of his first son Llewelyn, Dylan wrote to a friend, Bert Trick, "never again will I fit into Swansea quite so happily and comfortably as I did for I'll be a hundred jokes and personal progressions behind all my friends".
In 1936, DJ Thomas retired from teaching at Swansea Grammar School, and early the following year he and Florence sold 5 Cwmdonkin Drive and moved to the Bishopston area of Swansea. For Dylan it meant the loss of his childhood home, which spurred him on to set up home with Caitlin, who he was at the time still courting.
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