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Kitty John

A letter box in the wall at Laugharne Post Office, dating from the days of George VI who reigned from 1936-52.Dylan and Caitlin Thomas were a regular sight to 15-year-old Kitty Roberts. Just out of Laugharne School, opposite the New Three Mariners pub, her first workplace was the King Street premises run as a Post Office, general store, pharmacy and phone exchange. Part of it remains the Post Office. Looking back in her 70s and known by her married name, Mrs John recalled: "When I was working in the shop I served Dylan and Caitlin; they'd come in most days.

"He'd come in for his wine because the shop had big racks of it; he'd regularly be accompanied by somebody from away, London maybe. She'd appear with a big basket, in her gypsy top and long skirt. Her hair was long and all curls. They weren't sociable at all. Perhaps people like me were too young for them and they just didn't want to know us. They were different with Mr Jenkins who owned the shop, of course – they'd talk to him.

"The Thomases were always in Browns Hotel, across the street from the shop, and we heard a lot about them and their volatile life. He'd be in the pubs a lot of the time. My friend Marjorie ran the Cross House, which is still here, and she told me that he'd be in there listening to all the characters and writing on bits of Woodbine packets. He probably did the same in the Browns and other pubs and I think that's where lots of his ideas came from for Under Milk Wood because there's no doubt in my mind that the town in that play is Laugharne."

"I don't think the people of Laugharne took a lot of notice of them at the time – he wasn't famous in today's terms but Under Milk Wood and his early death certainly made him a bigger name."

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