Literary tour celebrates Oxfordshire links with Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

First published in News
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THE Oxfordshire connections of legendary Welsh poet Dylan Thomas are to be celebrated with a special literary tour.

Dylan Thomas’ Oxford: The Deer, Jazz and The Beat Poets will be held next Saturday.

It has been organised by Literature Wales as part of a festival to celebrate the centenary of the poet’s birth.

As part of the tour, with Dylan Thomas biographer Andrew Lycett and the poet’s granddaughter Hannah Ellis, participants will punt up the River Cherwell, travel to South Leigh and visit Witney’s Fleece Inn, where Thomas once introduced a radio broadcast.

Hannah Ellis, the poet’s granddaughter, added: “I am looking forward to returning to Oxford, where I lived for many years, to retrace my grandfather’s footsteps in this beautiful city and share the story of his relationship with the city and his writing.”

The tour will visit a number of Oxfordshire locations with strong connections to the poet.

These include Holywell Ford at Magdalen College, where Thomas and wife Caitlin spent Christmas 1945 with don AJP Taylor and his wife Margaret, before moving into their summerhouse in 1946.

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  • Hollywell Ford House: Dylan spent Christmas 1945 here

In 1947 the poet and his wife moved to the Manor House in South Leigh, near Witney, where they lived until 1949.

The grounds of Magdalen College will be explored, including the summerhouse once owned by the Taylors.

There will be a talk by renowned Dylan Thomas scholar Professor Daniel Williams at Magdalen College, followed by Beat era jazz and poetry from the Daniel Williams Quartet in the college’s Old Kitchen Bar.

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  • Dylan's granddaughter Hannah Ellis

Mr Lycett said: “Dylan Thomas loved Oxford.

“By good fortune he found himself living in this beautiful city for a few years after the Second World War.

“Initially his home was within the university, inside the grounds of Magdalen College, where he was the protege of Margaret Taylor, wife of the famous history professor, AJP Taylor.”

The event will start at Cherwell Boathouse, in Bardwell Road, at 10.30am and finish at 10.30pm.

Tickets for the day tour and evening event cost £55. For further information visit literaturewales.org

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