This long-standing Laugharne restaurant was originally the garage for Pioneer single-decker buses (Bus Garage).
It also doubled up as a morgue, and in the days leading up to Dylan Thomas' funeral his body was kept here before it was transported
to The Pelican where his mother lived.
When Caitlin arrived in the Chelsea Hospital New York in November 1953 after hearing Dylan had gone into a coma she announced the immortal words, 'Is the bloody man dead yet?!' Caitlin accompanied Dylan's body home on the Queen Mary, using the coffin as a card table. Billy Williams of the Engine House (see The Great House) met her at Southampton in his van and the trip back to Laugharne became a pub crawl.
Caitlin then moved to Italy where at 47 she had a son. She made a final decision to be buried with Dylan in Laugharne when she died in 1994, aged 81. Caitlin was a gifted writer herself and Dylan ran most of his writings by her. She introduced him to a bohemian world and pushed him to create, and one can only wonder what would have happened to him if he hadn't met her.
Before buses there were carriages, and 100 years ago you might have heard this command if the vehicle got stuck on the hill to St Clears - 'First class - keep your seat; Second class - get out and walk; Third class - get out and push.'
Incidentally, as we are in one of the lost transport hubs, a railway along the coast was mooted but it was economically unviable as it would only have gone as far as Pendine. If it had been built it would have meant demolishing the Boathouse, which would have been a great loss to the township as it brings in thousands of visitors every year.
Portreeve Restaurant today
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