Be prepared for your pace of life to slow right down as you enter what locals affectionately refer to as ‘Laugharne time’. A truly mesmerising town, with a unique spirit and wonderful scenery, Laugharne is one of the last remaining towns to have a Corporation with elected ‘Portreeve’ responsible for the welfare of the township and its residents. Laugharne’s sense of community and pride is infectious. It is certainly somewhere to take your time over.
The poet Dylan Thomas was Laugharne’s most famous resident, living in a number of houses here before settling in The Boat House that nestles on stilts on the estuary. Before his death in 1953, Dylan made a final broadcast in New York, reading his prose entitled ‘Laugharne’. The following extract feels as relevant today as over fifty years ago:
“Now, some people live in Laugharne because they were born in Laugharne and saw no good reason to move; others migrated here, for a number of curious reasons, from places as distant and improbable as Tonypandy or even England, and have now been absorbed by the natives; some entered the town in the dark and immediately disappeared, and can sometimes be heard, on hushed black nights, making noises in ruined houses, or perhaps it is the white owls breathing close together, like ghosts in bed; others have almost certainly come here to escape the international police, or their wives; and there are those, too, who still do not know, and will never know, why they are here at all: you can see them, any day of the week, slowly, dopily, wandering up and down the streets like Welsh opium-eaters, half-asleep in a heavy bewildered daze. And some, like myself, just came, one day, for the day, and never left; got off the bus, and forgot to get on again. Whatever the reason, if any, for our being here, in this timeless, mild, beguiling island of a town with its seven public houses, one chapel in action, one church, one factory, two billiard tables, one St. Bernard (without brandy), one policeman, three rivers, a visiting sea, one Rolls-Royce selling fish and chips, one cannon (cast-iron), one chancellor (flesh and blood), one portreeve, one Danny Raye, and a multitude of mixed birds, here we just are, and there is nowhere like it anywhere at all.”