Dylan Thomas centenary statue set to add to celebration year
DYLAN Thomas enjoyed a double now and then — especially when it came to whisky — so he would no doubt be thrilled to hear of proposals for a new statue of himself in his home town.
Plans are afoot to put up the memorial to the hard-drinking, yet extremely gifted, writer and poet somewhere in the Uplands area of Swansea, in time to mark the 100th anniversary of his 1914 birth.
There is already one statue of Thomas at the Marina, and the latest will mark the location and focus of his childhood, having being born and raised in the area's Cwmdonkin Drive.
The exact location of the new £80,000 statue is being kept under wraps. But the Post can reveal Geoff Haden, who with his wife Anne has restored the poet's birthplace, is behind the plans.
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He said: "The birthplace is the single most important building from Dylan's lifetime and we felt that a statue was a fitting tribute to the area that shaped his future work, particularly as we found a sculptor with a massive reputation and similar views and ideals.
"The statue will be a huge boost to the Uplands area of Swansea which will be the focus for the centenary of Dylan's birth in 2014."
Mr Haden is hoping that the soon-to-be launched Dylan Thomas Statue Appeal attracts enough sponsorship from the corporate sector and Dylan enthusiasts to fund the project.
And Mr Haden promised members of the public would be able to get souvenirs of their own, saying: "Later in the year there will be a limited edition of castings available for purchase as part of the fundraising for the full size statue which is anticipated to be unveiled at the beginning of the Dylan Centenary celebrations at the start of 2014."
Tredegar-born sculptor Peter Nicholas has been chosen to create the life-size figure of the larger-than-life man.
He said: "I've tried to capture the hopes and aspirations of a young man tentatively setting out on an extraordinary journey from provincial poet to becoming, in a few short years, a celebrity of rock star proportions."
Already one of the models made as part of the preparatory work for the full-scale statue has crossed the Atlantic, having been sent to Dylan fan and former president Jimmy Carter.
The idea has already received backing from some areas of the Uplands community.
Alison Mcgovern, manager of the Uplands Tavern, said: "I think it would be great."
Nigel Clatworthy, owner of The Chattery, agreed, saying: "It's a wonderful idea. It's about time Dylan Thomas was commemorated properly."
Lynne Almit of The Alexander Guest House added: "It's a very good idea. But I'm not sure how much difference it would make to tourism."