Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 17:10 UK

Blue plaque marks Dahl sweet shop

Roald Dahl's widow Felicity next to the plaque
Roald Dahl's widow Felicity said the plaque was "fantastic"

A blue plaque has been unveiled at the site of a favourite sweet shop of the young Roald Dahl, later immortalised in the author's memoirs.

The old shop, now a Chinese takeaway, is in the Cardiff suburb of Llandaff, where the author was born and spent his early years in the 1920s.

Dahl's widow Felicity said she was delighted his son Theo, who had flown from the US, had unveiled the plaque.

"It's fantastic. It's an enormous accolade to Roald," she said.

The event is part of the fourth annual Roald Dahl Day celebrations.

The unveiling of a plaque at the site of one of Roald Dahl's favourite sweetshops was followed by a re-enactment of how the late author once gained revenge on the owner.

The shop was located at 11 High Street, Llandaff, a short distance from Llandaff Cathedral, whose school Dahl attended from 1923 to 1925.

The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author later wrote an account in his autobiography Boy of "The Great Mouse Plot", describing how he and four accomplices got their revenge on the reputedly terrifying sweetshop owner, named Mrs Pratchett in his book, by slipping a dead mouse into a jar of gobstoppers.

DAHL CLASSICS
Roald Dahl
The Gremlins (1943)
James and the Giant Peach (1961)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)
Fantastic Mr Fox (1970)
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972)
Danny, the Champion of the World ((1975)
The Twits (1980)
George's Marvellous Medicine (1981)
Revolting Rhymes (1982)
The BFG (1982)
The Witches (1983)
Matilda (1988)

The plaque is the first in public view to recognise Dahl's life in Llandaff, and needed a visit from Mrs Dahl to assist in pinpointing the exact location of the shop.

Children from local schools had been invited to the ceremony on Monday afternoon, which was followed by a re-enactment of "The Great Mouse Plot".

Mrs Dahl said: "What's so lovely is that he was born here, he went to school here and certainly sweets were a major part of his life and [were part of] possibly the most famous book of all, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"Theo, his son, was able to pull the curtain on the plaque and that, for me, was fantastic."

She added: "I think he [Dahl] would have been amazed. He would have a smile on his face, he really would."

It is believed the owner of the sweetshop was a woman named Catherine Morgan, who would have been in her 70s at the time Dahl was a local schoolboy.

The owner of the Chinese takeaway, Han Lau, said she had been aware of the connection with Dahl.

"I'm very proud the plaque is on and this shop is connected to Roald Dahl. It's an honour to be associated with such a great man," she said.

"I've got two boys - one is 20 and he read all the books and the other is seven and he's just finished his first Roald Dahl book."

Geoff Barton-Greenwood from the Llandaff Society said: "We think [the blue plaque] is very significant because it is the first public recognition of Dahl's birth in Llandaff."

Site of sweetshop
The former sweetshop has been a Chinese takeaway for many years

Dahl's family lived at two houses in the area, one of which does have a commemorative plaque, but it is not visible from public areas, he explained.

The society is looking to work with other organisations to create a Roald Dahl trail in Cardiff, starting at the Norwegian church in Cardiff Bay where Dahl's parents and their family worshipped and ending in Radyr in the north of the city, where the family lived at an art-nouveau mansion prior to his father's premature death.

Dahl had five children with his first wife, the American actress Patricia Neal. They divorced in 1983 and he married Felicity d'Abreu Crosland.



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SEE ALSO
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