Be part of the Dylan Thomas Birthplace's future

by Geoff Haden in Uplands, Wales, United Kingdom

£12,790

raised of £15,000 target

104

supporters
85% 2 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 8th July 2020 at 2:30pm

We are asking you to 'Pay it Forward' to ensure that we can reopen, secure jobs and maintain Dylan's Birthplace for future generations

by Geoff Haden in Uplands, Wales, United Kingdom

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. 

Geoff Haden with Birthplace visitor Michael Portillo

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

Offer details

  • 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! info@dylanthomasbirthplace.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
xx

Iqbal Gwion Malik

Poet in Residence Iqbal Gwion Malik reads at Dylan's desk.

Oliver James Lomax

Oliver James Lomax in Dylan's tiny bedroom.

Natalie Ann Holborow

Natalie Ann Holborow in the Front Parlour.

Lost Hollow

Lost Hollow played to a packed Birthplace last year.

1591793633_nina_card_crowdfund.png

Dylan's bedroom greetings card by Nina Morgan

1591793703_rhys_crowdfund.png

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…”

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

£50 Unique Experience

Pledge £50 today and we'll reward you with the Unique Experience of a personal house tour with the house restorer and chairman of the Dylan Thomas Society Geoff Haden, plus an inscribed copy of Dylan's Collected Poems as a memento of your visit.

£10 or more

£10 Pay it Forward Voucher

Spare us a tenner and receive a £12 voucher. This could be spent on a book from our shop or a house tour with Tea and Welsh Cakes.

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Pledge £15 and receive four beautiful cards and envelopes in a presentation pack signed by the artist Nina Morgan. There is one of Dylan's tiny bedroom, the front of No 5, Cwmdonkin Park and a panoramic view of Dylan's "...ugly, lovely town...crawling and sprawling around a splendidly curving shore..."

£15 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£15 Rob Gittins Reward

He’s worked on numerous TV and radio programmes and is the BAFTA award winning senior scriptwriter on Eastenders but first and foremost Rob is a Dylan fan who has penned two books about Dylan’s last days. |He says about the house “…in the most ordinary of places you can create the most extraordinary work…” This pledge is for a rare signed copy of his novel The Poet and the Private Eye

£15 or more

£15 Nina Morgan Reward

Pledge £15 and receive four beautiful cards and envelopes in a presentation pack signed by the artist Nina Morgan. There is one of Dylan's tiny bedroom, the front of No 5, Cwmdonkin Park and a panoramic view of Dylan's "...ugly, lovely town...crawling and sprawling around a splendidly curving shore..."

£20 or more

4 of 5 claimed

£20 Hilly Janes - Dylan biography

Pledge £20 and you will receive a signed hardback copy of ‘The Three Lives of Dylan Thomas’ by Hilly Janes. Hilly is the daughter of Alfred Janes, the painter and lifelong friend of Dylan and one of the famous Kardomah Gang. The book is an intimate account of their lives woven around three portraits that Alfred made of Dylan over time. 'The best of the many books about Dylan Thomas which I have read.' Allan Massie, The Scotsman

£25 or more

£25 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £25 today and we'll reward you with a £30 Voucher which you could use for a house tour for up to four people

£30 or more

2 of 30 claimed

£30 The Best of the Birthplace DVD

This reward is for a unique limited edition DVD which features Lorraine King singing her composition 'Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive' as featured in the Crowdfunder video plus a host of poets, actors and musicians who have recorded in the house including Afternoon in Paris, Buttonsville, Lost Hollow and the late Deke Leonard playing the "worst guitar I've ever played" . The DVD will be numbered and signed by Lorraine and the house restorer.

£30 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£30 Holborow Reward

Pledge £30 and you will receive the poem "Apple Towns" - a nod to Fernhill but also the Birthplace. The poem is composed and handwritten on hand finished parchment paper by our former Poet in Residence Natalie Ann Holborow. Mounted ready for framing. To read more of Natalie's poems search for her collections "And Suddenly You Find Yourself" and "Small"published by Parthian, on Amazon

£30 or more

2 of 5 claimed

£30 Malik Reward

Pledge £30 and you will receive the poem "Bodhi - the NHS at 70" composed and handwritten on hand finished parchment paper by our Poet in Residence Gwion Iqbal Malik. Mounted ready for framing. Also, listen to Iqbal's regular arts podcast which is recorded live at the Birthplace - by searching ‘Sullen Art Podcast’ / Frequency House on either Youtube, Spotify or Soundcloud. It’s currently available as a free download.

£30 or more

1 of 5 claimed

£30 Lomax Reward

Pledge £30 and you will receive the poem "On Sleeping in Dylan Thomas's Bed" composed and handwritten on hand finished parchment paper by Bolton's own Oliver James Lomax - the Dylan Bookbus Poet in Residence. Mounted ready for framing. To read more of Oliver's poems see "18 Poems" published by the Bookbus and www.facebookcom/oliverjameslomaxpoet/

£30 or more

3 of 5 claimed

£30 Williams Reward

Pledge £30 and you will receive the poem "Third Boy (Dicky)" inspired by Dylan's Under Milk Wood composed and handwritten on hand finished parchment paper by Rhys Owain Williams. Mounted ready for framing. To read more of Rhys's poems search for his collection "That Lone Ship" published by Parthian and launched at the Birthplace, on Amazon

£30 or more

1 of 5 claimed

£30 Mab Jones Reward

Pledge £30 and you will receive the poem "Dylan's Bathtub", as performed on Youtube and inspired by Dylan's bath at the Birthplace, composed and handwritten on hand finished parchment paper by Mab Jones. Mounted ready for framing. Mab is a prolific published poet and author, who regularly contributes to BBC Radio 4 and is currently Resident Writer of Cardiff Wetlands. Her latest book is The Land That Grew Me. For more see mabjones.com

£40 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£40 Unique Experience

Do you have a favourite Dylan poem? Would you like your own personal recording of it? For this Unique Experience Adrian Metcalfe of Lighthouse Theatre Co whose acting career includes appearing with Sir Tom Jones in Under Milk Wood will record your favourite poem which we will send to you in a presentation DVD

£80 or more

£80 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £80 today and receive a £96 Voucher. You could spend it on a house tour and Afternoon Tea from Florrie's Pantry for four people - a perfect gift!

£100 or more

£100 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £100 and receive a voucher for £120, which could go towards an overnight stay or a guided tour for a group of Dylan's haunts in the Uplands including Dylan's "...world within a world..." of Cwmdonkin Park.

£100 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£100 Unique Experience

Pledge £100 and have a poem composed just for you on a subject of your choice. Your Unique Experience will be composed by the award winning poet and former Birthplace Poet in Residence Natalie Ann Holborow, handwritten on hand finished parchment paper and mounted ready for framing. A unique reward to maybe commemorate an event in your life or that of a loved one. To read more of Natalie's poems search for her collections on Amazon

£100 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£100 Natalie Unique Poem

Pledge £100 and have a poem composed just for you on a subject of your choice. Your Unique Experience will be composed by the award winning poet and former Birthplace Poet in Residence Natalie Ann Holborow, handwritten on hand finished parchment paper and mounted ready for framing. A unique reward to maybe commemorate an event in your life or that of a loved one. To read more of Natalie's poems search for her collections on Amazon

£140 or more

1 of 5 claimed

£140 Dan Llywelyn Hall Reward

He’s painted the Queen, Amy Winehouse, Dame Vera Lynn and all 133 crew members who flew the Dambusters mission. Now self confessed Dylan fan Dan Llywelyn Hall has donated Dream of Winter a stunning print from a limited edition of 50 giclee archive prints which illustrated the book of Dylan’s long overlooked poem A Dream of Winter. Print measures 20 x 20cm excluding mount. See image of print at www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com/news

£180 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£180 Unique Experience

A Christmas Evening in Dylan's front parlour to remember for up to 6 people. Adrian Metcalfe of Lighthouse Theatre Co and Geoff Haden entertain you with A Child's Christmas in Wales and a personal tour of Dylan's family home of 23 years. Savour the atmosphere, refreshments from Florrie Thomas's Pantry and, of course, mulled wine and mince pies! The Experience is available in December subject to any COVID19 restrictions but is valid for 5 years.

£200 or more

£200 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £200 and receive a voucher for £240, which could buy you a Swansea, Mumbles and Gower Dylan Tour for up to three people. Visit the places that Dylan brings to life in his short stories and radio broadcasts. A unique tour accompanied by a Dylan expert.

£250 or more

£250 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £250 today and receive a £300 voucher. You could put it towards an Edwardian Dinner Party for six people?

£500 or more

£500 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £500 and receive a £600 voucher. You could be enjoying an overnight stay for up to seven people.

£1,000 or more

£1,000 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £1,000 and receive a voucher worth £1,200. Enjoy a weekend break in the house that inspired Dylan.

£5,000 or more

£5,000 Pay it Forward Voucher

Pledge £5,000 and receive a voucher worth £6,000. Select this option and you will make a HUGE difference to the Birthplace.

Let's make 'Be part of the Dylan Thomas Birthplace's future' happen

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