Upton House

Uptown House (as it was formerly known) was a grand 18th century building with a gothic doorway and fine gardens. The building collapsed in the late 1980s when workmen excavated too closely to the shallow footings, and a faux-Georgian multi-occupancy dwelling was constructed in its place.

For 10 years from the mid-1950s it was the home of Stanley (1905-2009) and Min Lewis (1920-2003). Caerleon-born Stanley trained at the Royal Academy, became Principal at the Carmarthen School of Art, and illustrated wife Min's celebrated tome, Laugharne & Dylan Thomas, which gave us some great information for this site.

Stanley was finally 'discovered' at the age of 101 when an exhibition, Stanley Lewis - The Unknown Artist opened at The Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Museum in Bedford. And a long artistic life it was, he started drawing at the age of 4 and worked up to his death at 103.

In the early 50s a Mr and Mrs Jenkins (above) ran a cafe on the ground floor. This pic is from 1954. Their son is Chips Jenkins, of Orchard Park, who has supplied some wonderful material to this site. Below is Chips' dad posing with a Jag in 1967 outside Brown's Hotel.

One day Mrs Jenkins was convinced she'd served Katherine Hepburn and kept the lipstick smeared cup for many years afterwards. Arthur Jenkins was famously the owner of the Rolls Royce fish and chip van as mentioned in a Dylan Thomas broadcast on Laugharne which was transmitted on the 6th November 1953, the night Dylan slipped into a coma in New York. Hence 'Chips' Jenkins.

The Roller was formerly a military ambulance used in the First World War. This drawing of the legendary vehicle parked up outside the Town Hall (by local artist Steve Treacy) was copied from the only known photograph, which is now sadly lost.

By the 1970s Upton had evolved into the Coracle Guest House, known for the rather curious sign that read 'Bed & Licensed Breakfast'.

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