Former NME journalist and biographer George Tremlett opened Laugharne's first proper bookshop in 1982, before that books had been sold in general stores. The long room (pic below) behind the shop has seen various uses - meeting room, school canteen, billiard hall (Dylan Thomas played there), pottery and now a warehouse to over 100,000 books. Sadly pubic access to the shop is no more, but George continues to sell books online.
George is an excellent author and has written books on a wide variety of subjects, from pulp autobiographies of 70s rock stars
like Marc Bolan and David Bowie (below), to important works such as 'The Death Of Dylan Thomas' which stated that Dylan Thomas' death was not due to
alcohol poisoning, but rather a mistake by Thomas' physician, Milton Feltenstein, who prescribed cortisone, morphine and Benzedrine whilst failing to
notice that Dylan had pneumonia. Dylan's lungs collapsed, and he went into a coma from which he failed to recover.
Dylan was mixing with a set who took amphetamines and morphine and who spoke of Dr Feltenstein's 'winking needle'. This resonates with the deaths of Michael Jackson and Prince at the hands of dodgy doctors. Dylan's New York circle covered it up by saying he drank himself to death. He didn't, and no-one in Laugharne ever saw him drunk, though yes, when he was away from his wife, like many men, he lived it up.
George also wrote an excellent biography of (and with) Caitlin called 'A Life With Dylan Thomas'.
Corran Books was the Ship & Castle pub in 1912 and the current shop sign uses the original brackets. It then became Mr Sylvanus Davies' gent's outfitters. Fast forward through time and Barclays Bank occupied the left room, and Laugharne Pottery the right until the book shop opened in 1982.
Most banks have glass partitions between the cashier and the customer for security reasons. Not this bank. In the 1970s Sea Captain Douglas Williams of Victoria House sauntered around with a monkey on his shoulder. On entering Barclay's the monkey would run amok, with the bank manager particularly afraid. Therefore glass screens were installed. Only in Laugharne...
Here's a wonderful image of Corran Books from a couple of decades ago.
An old custom in Laugharne is for people to hold a rope across the road when the newly married couple is heading away from the church. The rope is only lowered if the couple throw them a few shillings. This pic is from the 1950s and the vehicle is outside what now is Corran Books. Sadly this custom has disappeared.
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