A crowdfunding appeal to save the Dylan Thomas Birthplace museum in Swansea has received a major boost with news that the literary estate of the one-time Poet Laureate Ted Hughes has offered to donate £3,500.
The restored family home of Dylan Thomas faces an uncertain future due to the illness of its owner and restorer, Geoff Haden, as well as the closure of the museum amidst the coronavirus outbreak. The estate's donation will be earmarked to help meet most of the cost of essential repainting work to the outside of the Edwardian house.
Pictures of the house as it is restored today. Left: The room where Dylan Thomas was born Right: Dylan Thomas' Bedroom
Hughes was the honorary president of the Dylan Thomas Society for many years and successfully lobbied Westminster Abbey for he poet's place in Poets' Corner. Carol Hughes, who approved the donation, confirmed that her husband was a great admirer of the work of Dylan Thomas, and revealed that they once visited the house themselves.
Carol Hughes commented: "I am delighted to be able to support the fund-raising appeal by contributing on behalf of the Ted Hughes Estate towards the vital upkeep of the fabric of this important building, now so lovingly restored to how it looked when the young Dylan Thomas lived and worked here. I hope others will feel able to support the appeal too."
The donation will be topped up by a simultaneous donation from the Welsh drama company, Moonlight Theatre, which is run by Carol Hughes' brother. The theatre company toured a production of Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood" last autumn and promoted the Birthplace in their theatre programme, it will donate £500.
The museum has also received a matched donation of £3,500 from the T S Eliot estate. Clare Reihill, T S Eliot Foundation commented: "Eliot admired Dylan Thomas and actually personally helped him out financially, so we’re delighted to match the Hughes estate by pledging £3,500 as well. It's the least we could do and I'm delighted to contribute on behalf of the Eliot estate."