Plans to protect Cwmdonkin Park after new bench is stolen
SWANSEA Council has condemned thieves who stole a bench from a much-loved city park.
Vandals broke into Cwmdonkin Park and stole one of the new benches which had been installed as part of the forthcoming Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations on Sunday evening.
Another two benches were unscrewed from their supports, with one being removed by council workers as a result.
The council is spending £1.39 million on doing up the park — a major source of inspiration for Thomas's work — to mark 100 years since the poet was born.
A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "It's very disappointing that thieves should target one of our city's most-loved parks in this way.
"Swansea Council has spent more than £1.3million upgrading Cwmdonkin Park ahead of the Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations next year.
"We are looking into what more we can do to protect the park from this kind of theft and we would urge any member of the public who may have seen anything to contact the police."
The celebrations for Thomas's centenary have already attracted attention from across the world.
Earlier this month, the Washington Post published a major travel feature by author Michael Shapiro, who visited some of Thomas's old haunts and sources of inspiration.
And a new website, www.dylanthomas100.org, has been launched so fans can share their love and admiration for him too.
The refurbishment work, which includes new park benches, improvements to footpaths and play areas, and the redevelopment of the bowls pavilion, is set to be completed by the end of the year.
Geoff Haden who runs 5 Cwmdonkin Drive — the birthplace of Thomas — said it was a hugely disappointing act of vandalism ahead of next year's celebrations.
"I suppose the fact they are doing so much building work at the park has attracted people in," he said.
"I usually hear if something like this happens from dog walkers and people like that.
"It is very very sad that there are all these things going on and someone can come along and mess it all up, particularly with all the celebrations next year as well."