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The Kardomah Gang was the name given to the various artists, musicians, poets and other writers who frequented the Kardomah Café in Swansea'smarker Castle Street, Walesmarker, c. 1930. Regulars included Charles Fisher, poets Dylan Thomas and Vernon Watkins, composer Daniel Jones, Alfred Janes, Mabley Owen and Tom Warner. It was in this café that these friends would drink coffee and discuss, amongst many subjects, Einstein & Epstein, Greta Garbo, Stravinsky, death, religion and Picasso.

During February 1941, Swansea was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe, known as 'The Three Nights Blitz'. Castle Street was just one of the many streets in Swansea that suffered badly; the rows of shops, including the 'Kardomah Café', were destroyed.

After the bombing, Dylan Thomas came back to visit Swansea. He later he wrote about the devastation in his radio play entitled Return Journey to Swansea. In the play, he describes the café as being "Razed to the snow". The Kardomah Café reopened after the war in a new location, and can still be found today in the city's Portland Street, a short walk from where the original was.

The Castle Street site where the Kardomah Café was situated in the days of the Kardomah Gang had previously been the site of a Congregational Chapel. It was in this church that Dylan Thomas's parents were married in 1903.

Some recollections of the cafe and the people who met there were recorded by Fisher and are available at kardomahgroup.net [339109]
  • "My recollections of the place date from the year I started working for the Post (1934?) Dylan, briefly a reporter at the same time as myself, was in the process of leaving the paper and preparing his assault on literary London. (But he and I were in the habit of meeting there even before then, in Grammar School days when editing the school magazine was used as a pretext for cutting classes)" etc...


References



External links

  • Piece that appeared in the Independent about the Kardomah occasioned by the death of the last surviving member, Charles Fisher, in 2006: [339110]
  • BBC Wales documentary on "The Kardomah Boys", broadcast in 1997 [339111]



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