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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 September, 2003, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Fiery sign off for poet festival
New Quay
New Quay was a huge influence on Under Milk Wood
A recreation of the original broadcast of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood is one of the highlights of a week-long festival marking the poet's connection with Ceredigion.

The New Quay Dylan Thomas Festival started on Friday and will also feature Guy Masterson, great- nephew of actor Richard Burton, who will give readings of the poet's work.

And it will end in a blaze with a fire sculpture of Thomas' signature being set alight at a local mansion.

Thomas lived in New Quay for nearly a year in 1944 and the town inspired him to write "Quite Early One Morning" as well as providing several characters for "Under Milk Wood".

We hope that this year is just the start of the county benefiting from its links with Dylan Thomas
Bronwen Raine, Cei Dev

It also featured an incident when a soldier attacked the Thomas household armed with a machine gun and a grenade.

New Quay's economic regeneration group,Cei Dev is at the centre of organising events which starts with a jazz performance by Thomas' former drinking partner, Wyn Lodwick.


Cei Dev's project worker, Bronwen Raine, is co-ordinating the project.

"Although Dylan's connections with Ceredigion are well established they are not recognised in tourist terms," she said.

Consequently, the 50th anniversary of his death has given Cei Dev the chance to launch schemes which aim to encourage tourists to visit Ceredigion as well as Laugharne and Swansea.

"Combining trips to those places with a trip to Ceredigion makes for a longer stay in Wales for visitors," said Mrs Raine.

"We hope that this year is just the start of the county benefiting from its links with Dylan Thomas."

Dylan Thomas
The poet dodged bullets at his New Quay home

In July, Thomas's daughter, Aeronwy opened a trail marking the poet's connections with Ceredigion.

"That kick-started a huge local interest in Dylan and I now hear people talking in the street about him," said Mrs Raine, who wants the whole area to take part in celebrations.

"We didn't want to have all the events at New Quay because Dylan Thomas is part of the entire area's history and heritage," she said.

The performances of Under Milk Wood will take place at Aberaeron on 9 and 10 September with actors using 1950s radio microphones to try to capture the atmosphere and sound of the original studio.

Local writer DM Thomas will hold a talk at Dylan Thomas' New Quay home on 8 September.

Majoda House was the venue of a shooting incident which resulted in soldier, William Killick being charged with trying to murder Thomas.

Killick attacked the Thomas household with his service weapons, including a machine gun and grenade, after the two had rowed in a local pub.

Killick was later acquitted of the offence after a trial at Lampeter.

The festival comes to a close on 11 September with Guy Masterson holding a reading of Thomas' work at Llanarchaeron House, four miles from Aberaeron.

"The reading will be followed by the lighting of a fire sculpture of Dylan's signature in the meadows next to the river Aeron which we think will be a suitable way to end the festival," said Mrs Raine.

Angry men make Guy happy
21 Aug 03  |  Wales
Dylan's daughter opens trail
08 Jul 03  |  Mid
County creams Milk Wood link
22 Apr 03  |  Mid
Cartoon views of poet Dylan
14 Apr 03  |  South West Wales

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