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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 May, 2003, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
'Dylan's pub' up for sale
Brown's Hotel
The pub is much as it was in Dylan's day
The Brown's Hotel, the pub frequented by poet Dylan Thomas in his adopted home town in Carmarthenshire, is to be sold.

The 50th anniversary of Thomas's death is being celebrated later this year, but landlord Tommy Watts is hoping not to be behind the bar in Laugharne when it happens.

After 33 years at the pump, the 72-year-old is calling time on his career.

He is also looking forward to getting away from the hordes of visitors coming to seek out Thomas' history.

The landlord, who as a young man knew the writer, told BBC News Online he no longer felt able to deal with the tourists.

"I've been here 33 years. There are so many people coming here now, I can't handle it," he said.

"We get people ringing up saying there's 30 coming up and they want food ready.

"There are times I wished he [Dylan] had stayed in Swansea," he added, with a laugh.

Dylan Thomas
Thomas drank at Brown's Hotel regularly
Mr Watts said he thought it was a probably a good time to sell, with the anniversary coming up.

"It's the most publicised pub in Wales," he claimed.

Depending on the market, the landlord could be out of the pub within the next few months.

He is planning to stay in Laugharne and is contemplating writing a book on Thomas.

He warned people not to believe everything they may have read about the writer, who had a reputation for being a hard-drinking hellraiser.

Mr Watts' association with Dylan Thomas and his family began when he was working in the bakehouse, along the road from the Boat House where Thomas and his wife Caitlin lived.

"I found him alright. He was a good bloke, a nice neighbour," he said.

"I used to come to the pub here long before I worked here, when Dylan drank here.

It has never become a tourist trap and I kind of admire it for that
Jeff Towns

"I helped arrange Caitlin's funeral," he added.

So will the pub's history attract a Dylan Thomas fan to the town - or somebody looking to cash in on Dylan's rich legacy?

Jeff Towns, the owner of Dylan's Book Store in Swansea, said the pub had managed to stay the way Thomas would have remembered it 50 years ago.

"It is very much a local pub," he said. "The landlord and lady there at the time of Dylan and Caitlin become very good friends with the Thomases.

"It was an absolute daily ritual for him to go there.

"It has never become a tourist trap and I kind of admire it for that.

"I sort of worry that it cannot exist any more, that whoever goes in there will have to modernise it."

The pub itself is to feature in a forthcoming film of Thomas' life, Map of Love, which is to star Scottish actor Dougray Scott.

Other drinking establishments frequented by Thomas, such as the Uplands Tavern in Swansea, and seafront bars in Mumbles will also be shot for the film.

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