Ending 8th July - Securing the future of the Birthplace and Family Home of Dylan Thomas
We are not looking for handouts but are making a unique offer for you to secure the future of the Birthplace and Family Home of Dylan Thomas by pledging to buy Unique Experiences or Pay it Forward Vouchers which give you 20% extra free.
We've had a great response so far and just need that little extra push in the next few days to reach our target
Let's begin at the beginning...
When the Haden family took over the Birthplace fifteen years ago it was in a semi derelict condition with serious structural damage. It took three long and expensive years to restore it to its condition as a new house might have been in 1914 when bought by the Thomas family, a few months before Dylan was born in the front bedroom. This work was carried out with no government grant or support. Since we opened the family home, where Dylan lived for 23 years and wrote two thirds of his published work, we have worked to create a vital part of the local community and tourism industry.Many of our visitors say that it feels as if the Thomas family have just stepped out to the shops "...down the Ups...". We are passionate about supporting local independent businesses and developing young and emerging talent.
House Restorer Geoff with Birthplace visitor Michael Portillo
- “…[The house is….]….Near the top of the hill a small, not very well painted, gateless house. Large room, smaller room, study, kitchen. Four bedrooms, w.c., lavatory. Space at back sufficiently large for wash-house, clothes line, deck-chair, and three sparrows. Private school in field opposite. Nice field, tennis court above. Very nice, very respectable. Not much traffic. Lots of sparrows..”
Many people including our hard-working volunteers have helped us win a number of awards. The Birthplace is one of The Times Best 25 Small Museums, the winner of the Hudson’s Heritage Awards Best Place to Stay, Tourism Swansea Bay Best Small Attraction 2019 and is Number 3 in the Trip Advisor list of 122 attractions in Swansea Bay behind two Gower beaches.
The Birthplace has always been family run. Today it is run by Geoff Haden and his daughter Sarah. It is the headquarters of the Dylan Thomas Society of which Geoff is the chairman. To pay its way we have evolved a number of unique activity strands. For example, it is one of the very few literary homes where you can stay overnight, and even sleep in Dylan’s tiny bedroom described as “The First World Literary Heritage Site in Wales” - the room is decorated just as it was in 1934 when Dylan's first book was published. You might like to add an Edwardian dinner party to your overnight stay or take our signature Afternoon Tea with your house tour. Our literary and music events are legendary and we regularly pack the front parlour to greet performers from all over the world.
Our current situation
Sadly at the end of February Geoff was rushed into hospital to undergo emergency heart surgery. With less than an hour's notice, Sarah relocated full-time to Wales to manage the Birthplace and our sister company, Clyne Farm Centre, whilst juggling a 2nd full-time job. In a second huge blow, the COVID19 pandemic lockdown hit the UK just 3 weeks after Geoff's operation. Like many hospitality businesses, we had to close with immediate effect. We hope to be ready to open again as soon as we are allowed by the Welsh Government although we don't see that as being any time soon.
To keep the Birthplace running amounts to over £400 a week even when we are not operational. All the income goes into maintaining the house and with no current income and little grant aid from the Government, our future looks unpredictable. As always, we remain cheerily optimistic and it will be case of "do not go gentle".
Geoff is recovering well, and we have a wonderful team of loyal staff and volunteers ready to get stuck in, to work harder than ever, and to welcome visitors back to the Birthplace when it is safe to do so. We just need a little bit of advance cash to help us through the next few months which is where our offer comes in.
Our offer to you
As we said before we are not asking for handouts. Rather than give faceless lenders high interest rates, we want to GIVE VALUE BACK TO YOU. We want the Birthplace to be alive again with visitors, being creative, and creating lifelong memories. Want to join us? As a bonus, you will save some money as well!
We are asking you to support us by buying special PAY IT FORWARD VOUCHERS to use in the future or purchase one of our Unique Experiences or Rewards.
For any voucher that you buy through this offer, you will receive an extra 20% FREE as a thank you from us. You can use the vouchers against any of our services, for example, you could; book our signature Afternoon Tea from Florrie’s Pantry, a house tour with tea and Welsh Cakes, an Edwardian dinner party for family and friends plus readings of Dylan’s work by an actor from the Lighthouse Theatre Company, a unique venue for a company ‘think tank’ meeting or an overnight stay for you and your partner or family. The choice is yours - limited only by your imagination.
Our Experiences and Rewards are unique to this project and could see you buying beautiful cards, receive a handwritten poem, listen to some of the great artists who have performed at the Birthplace or even spending a night in the Birthplace
- What's the deal?
Buy a Pay it Forward Voucher and get 20% added value. ie: Spend £100 and get £120 to spend with us
- What if I just want to donate and get nothing in return - apart from Dylan's endless gratitude? After you click the 'Support Us' button select a Donation amount at the top of the page, rather than one of the Reward Vouchers further down. Or you can do a combo of both!
- How much do I have to spend?
Our lowest priced voucher is just £10.
For those looking to spend a bit more; spend £5,000 and you will get a thousand pounds extra free!!
- What can I spend the voucher on?
Anything that we offer! As long as the service or item is not already discounted you can use your voucher. Take a look at what we do here: www dylanthomasbirthplace.com
For prices for our overnight stays, and to see availability for 2020 and 2021 click here: www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com/availabilitycalendar
- Can I use my voucher for more than one service?
Yes, no problem. For example, spend £250 and receive a voucher worth £300. You could use this voucher to book an overnight stay and use the rest towards one of our tours of Swansea, Mumbles and West Wales. You could even use the voucher at our sister company www.clynefarm.com if you wanted to try some horseriding or outdoor activities
- What if I buy something priced less than my voucher?
The vouchers have no cash value. So best to 'underuse' slightly ie: use a £600 voucher towards a stay priced at £619 and just pay the £19 difference when you book.
- How long do the vouchers last?
5 years, plenty of time to spend!
- Can I give a voucher as a present?
Yes, the vouchers are transferable, just let us know who you want to gift them to. They would make a perfect Christmas or birthday present.
- How will I receive my voucher?
You will be emailed a voucher with a special code just for you.
- How do I redeem my voucher?
Just get in touch with us! email@example.com or 01792 472555.
Thank you for reading, and for helping us create a bright and secure future at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace and Family Home.
Love Geoff & Sarah Haden,
our amazing staff and volunteers
Poet in Residence Iqbal Gwion Malik reads at Dylan's desk.
Oliver James Lomax in Dylan's tiny bedroom.
Natalie Ann Holborow in the Front Parlour.
Lost Hollow played to a packed Birthplace last year.
Dylan's bedroom greetings card by Nina Morgan
Rhys Owain Williams launches his book That Lone Ship at the Birthplace
- “ … That sea-town was my world; outside a strange Wales … beyond that unknown Wales …lay England which was London and the country called the Front, from which many of our neighbours never came back…”