Book takes look at unseen snaps and old drinking dens of Dylan Thomas
THE Bush Hotel may be gone, but plenty others remain where Dylan Thomas used to raise a glass.
And a new book which details the watering holes frequented by the great poet seeks to reposition Dylan's relationship with alcohol.
Dylan Thomas: The Pubs travels from Swansea to London, and to America, and also includes some previously unpublished photographs of the writer.
Its author is Jeff Towns, Swansea-based authority on Dylan, and president of the Dylan Thomas Society of Great Britain.
He said: "Dylan liked beer, but he loved the pub.
"He came from a generation when the pub was an extension of the front room. And during war time many people thought if they were going to be blasted they may as well go with a drink in their hands.
"For Dylan it would have been the best air raid shelter.
"He loved the pubs for the warmth and the welcome, and for the conviviality and the camaraderie of the characters found inside and the tall tales they would tell — not just for the beer.
"It was in these very pubs where Dylan met the people who would inspire so much of his work."
The book, with illustrations by Wyn Thomas, takes a 'poetic pub crawl' through the pubs that boast special connections with Dylan, and some of the characters, starting with the Kardomah gang.
His first local was the Uplands Tavern, and he would regularly drink in the No Sign Bar in Wind Street, and The Antelope in Mumbles.
He also frequented The Queens in the marina, which was also visited, according to one source uncovered during the writing of the book, by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, who was said to have been photographed with a "dubious cigarette", with his arms draped around the pub's famous stuffed Russian bear, Boris.
Dylan also used visited the Bush Hotel on High Street, which was pulled down over the summer due to it delapidated state.
From Swansea, the book travels to West Wales via Laugharne and New Quay, and London's Fitzrovia with Augustus John, ending in America with the Beat poets, Stravinsky and Charlie Chaplin.
The book is due to be launched at Swansea Museum on October 24 — next door to The Queens. Jeff added: "Wyn and I did some extensive field research for this book — it was a terrible chore!"
Dylan Thomas reads "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"