Some people think it's called 'The Grist' as in 'grist to the mill' due to the mill being where Select Convenience now is,
but Grist is pronounced as in 'Christ', due to a monastery that once stood here (see Cross House). Maybe we'll never know for sure.
The pic above is of the area in the 1920s, pretty much the same as today except on the left is the office for the weighbridge.
And a fascinating photo below from the 1940s. You can see a shed for use by the Home Guard and a Pill Box outside the Fountain Inn, which years later would have made a good smoking shelter!
Methodist minister John Welsey (1703-1791) is said to have preached in this area, and in the 1940s (see pic above) the home guard was here.
The Grist water pump was the nearest to Dylan Thomas' first home in Laugharne - Eros on Gosport St - and he would often be seen collecting water wearing a dressing gown, smoking a cigarette. Caitlin, his wife, could roll them single-handed on her thigh.
The river regularly comes up over the Grist at high tide, and on New Years Eve locals assemble in this area to sing Auld Lang Syne.
Laugharne had no coal, so no copper, tin or steel works. The industrial revolution passed it by and the township remained much as it was for centuries.
But as it didn't grow with industry it was prone to poverty which led to resentment felt by 'Down street' - basically a fishing village, to those living 'Upstreet' in the grander houses.
Above is a view from the 1960s with the Rose and Crown pub (now Arthur's) on the right, the Cockle Factory straight ahead,
and the roof of The Corporation pub just visible. You can see the Cockle Factory is in a bad state of repair.
The Grist would have been the hub of gossip just a few decades ago. Laugharne has it's own unique dialect. 'Buh' for boy is still heard. 'Thou' less occasionally. A cormorant is a billy-ducker, a chaffinch is a pink, a heron a Billy Beynon and a lizard is a 'cutty emmock'!
An old saying was 'never sell a pig by weight while gooseberries hang on the trees'.
Whether gooseberries were sold by weight when pigs were in the trees no-one knows.
Here's the Grist in the early 1900s. Note the river - that's the Mackerelle Lake which was later culverted. Also visible are the Fountain Inn and Fern Hill.
The Grist in 1953, which is how Dylan would have known it.
A more up to date photo of the Grist in the snow, from 2013.
Choice's Gifts was J.E. & M.O. Jones' grocer's shop in the 1960s. The long-standing Owl and the Pussycat restaurant is next door. Across the square is the Castle View Fish & Chip shop, and the two Grist pubs have their own features.
Below is one of the most famous pictures taken in Laugharne that's not of Dylan Thomas.
Philip Jones Griffiths took the photo in 1959 of Merisa Brace (who became Tommy Watts wife) in the centre, Yvonne Williams and Derek John.
Years later the photographer went back to Laugharne to try and track down his subjects. He went into Brown's, showed the photograph to some people and said 'I am trying to find out where these children are now'.
'You don't need to look any further because I'm here', said Merisa Watts from behind the bar.
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