Needing a view of the elements author Richard Hughes (see Castle House) began writing In Hazard - a novel about a ship caught
in a hurricane - in this converted turret in the summer of 1936. It was partly inspired by a great storm the previous January when the Ulysses ran
aground off the coast of Swansea and the Mumbles lifeboat failed to reach the stricken ship. Hughes, a proficient sailor, commandeered a crew and
went to the aid of the vessel. In difficult seas and atrocious conditions, he unloaded the three dead and four injured sailors.
When published in 1938 In Hazard was hailed as a masterpiece; alas it is largely forgotten today. Hughes kept his boat, The Tern, in Laugharne and enjoyed the company of local fishermen. Under his presidency the Laugharne Regatta was restored to the calendar in 1936 after several years absence. The event is more sporadic these days.
Dylan Thomas, a house guest of Hughes and a fellow sea-lover compiled his adolescent
memoirs Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (a title suggested by Hughes and a riff on James Joyce's 1916 novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
here in 1940.
A 1941 letter to Vernon Watkins describes the room a '...romantic dirty summerhouse overlooking the marsh.' He fuelled his writing with wine from Hughes' cellar in the castle and when the loss was discovered Dylan blamed it on some Territorial Army soldiers encamped nearby.
Hughes said of Dylan and Laugharne, '...he revelled like an intoxicated whirligig in the profoundly humane eccentricities of that unparalleled little township: they ran in at his five senses and out at his mouth day and night.'
In later years Hughes said Dylan, '...may have sponged on us economically, but spiritually it was more the other way round.'
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