The question over whether New Quay gave Dylan Thomas his inspiration for Under Milk Wood has sparked an online squabble between four academics.

The dispute arose in the run-up to last Saturday’s exhibition at New Quay Memorial Hall by acclaimed artist Dan Llywelyn Hall.

Mr Hall staged the event to raise funds for the cash-strapped hall which some believe The Welfare Hall of the Thomas classic is based upon.

And in the days leading up to it, David N Thomas, author of the Dylan Thomas biography, A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow, restated his belief that New Quay was the model for the fictional town of Llareggub.

Under Milk Wood is about a small Welsh seaside town: the Welshness of the majority of its characters and situations stands out,” he said.

“Why then would Dylan model Llareggub on Laugharne? Laugharne is in Wales, but it is not Welsh. It has always been an English-speaking and English-cultured enclave within Welsh Carmarthenshire.

“One factor that tells us that Llareggub is New Quay and is Dylan’s own sketch of Llareggub. It’s a sketch of New Quay seen from Majoda (the clifftop house once rented by the poet). The sea is on the right side of the town whereas the sea is on your left.”

However, Mr Thomas’ views were dismissed by Geoff Haden, owner of Thomas’ birthplace in Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea.

“I think David is very blinkered when it comes to New Quay,” he said.

“Dylan was only there 18 months and it was a fairly tumultuous time."

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