Swansea Celebrates the Annual Pride March

Swansea Celebrates the Annual Pride March

The atmosphere was electric, buzzing with joy, colours and PRIDE as Swansea witnessed its annual Pride March and Parade 2024.

Organised with the support of Swansea Council and individual charities, the march started from Wind Street at 11 am. Passing through the city centre, Oxford Street and St. Helen’s Street, the march finally culminated at the Guildhall.

 

All ready for the parade at Wind Street

 

The car park had various stalls for purchasing merchandise, and food, and also offered games. People from all walks of life came together to celebrate their being and support each other without any discrimination or prejudice. There was a stellar line-up of performances till the evening.

 

Drags performing on the stage

 

 

We talked to many participants from the march to understand what pride means to them.

Dianna D, a drag artist observed that pride is ‘still a protest’. She said, ” Rights in the UK are getting worse for the LGBTQ+ and pride is needed to celebrate our lives. We want equality. We want to be able to live our lives without prejudice and just be ourselves”

 

Dianna D with all her swag

Dianna D with all her swag

 

Pride parade can be a ‘lifesaver’ for people who have to live for condemnation, says Jain Haste who attended the parade with her wife. She adds, “It is so important to know that you are accepted and that’s what this [pride] is all about. It is a day for everyone and everyone is welcome.”

 

Jain Haste with her faithful companions

Jain Haste with her faithful companions

 

For Jamie Jenkins  ‘pride means community, and community means family. Peace out and pride!”

 

Jamie Jenkins says "Peace out and pride!"

Jamie Jenkins says “Peace out and pride!”

 

Here is a series of photos from the Pride March to highlight the joyous occasion.

 

Proud supporters

 

Virgin Atlantic extending their support

 

All the fun and colours

 

loud and string messages all across

 

SwanScene leading the parade

 

Ann, who attended the parade with her dogs, is an ally of the LGBTQ+ groups and has been attending pride parades regularly. She remarked that the atmosphere was ‘electric’ and that everybody should attend pride parades every time. Pride to her means ‘inclusion’  irrespective of one’s ‘religion, race, and sexuality’ because ‘love is love’.

 

Ann with her dogs

Ann with her dogs

 

The Pride March and subsequent events were free for all to attend. Everyone is always welcome to celebrate freedom in its true essence and to take pride in oneself, unapologetically.

 

Students Urged to Recycle Properly Before Leaving for Summer

Students Urged to Recycle Properly Before Leaving for Summer

Additional assistance is being provided to thousands of Swansea students leaving this summer in order to prevent abandoned black bags from causing problems for local communities when classes are complete.

The recycling staff at Swansea Council has been working very hard to inform children about their waste collection days in the last weeks of the school year.

In the upcoming weeks, information packets and letters with guidance on how to handle household garbage will be issued to over 1,400 registered student residences in Brynmill, Uplands, Mount Pleasant, and Sandfields as part of the Council’s ‘Get it Sorted’ campaign.

The letters provide information about the choices available for disposing of excess and bulky rubbish ethically before moving out of their premises, together with a complete schedule of waste collection dates for May and June.

In June, the recycling team of the council will also open a stall once a week in Singleton Park, aiming to reach the many students who walk from Brynmill, Uplands and Sandfields to the university.

Offering guidance, responding to inquiries, and supplying recycling bags and additional tools for curbside recycling, they will be operating out of this booth.

The Council’s recycling promotions team will also conduct surveys in students areas, making sure students have put out the correct waste. The team will also knock on the doors of those who might have put the wrong waste out and remind them what needs to go out.

Cyril Anderson, Cabinet Member for Community, said: “Students make up a large proportion of our city and help to create diverse communities.

“When they depart our city at the end of the academic year, it’s important that we support them in their departure and ensure they have everything they need to leave their communities clean and tidy.

Surveys in student areas will also be carried out by the Council’s recycling promotions team to ensure that students have properly disposed of their rubbish. In addition, the team will rap on doors to remind anyone who might have dumped the wrong kind of waste outside of what should be removed.

 

“Students make up a large portion of our city and help to create diverse communities,” stated Cyril Anderson, Cabinet Member for Community.

“It’s critical that we assist them in leaving our city at the conclusion of the school year and make sure they have all they need to leave their neighbourhoods orderly.

“The majority will get rid of stuff before they go by employing our weekly residential rubbish collection services.

In order to make sure that student homes are aware of what can be put out for collection, our recycling promotions team will be pounding on doors both before and after their scheduled collections throughout the month of June.

Additionally, we have written to every student’s home, offering guidance and details on trash management.

We will occasionally have bags distributed improperly, just like any other city community, and this is being handled normally. Overall though, we’ve seen students step up to the plate and assist us in maintaining a clean and orderly city.”

Learn more by visiting this link: Swansea’s student recycling and rubbish guide.

 

 

A Tour Around the House of Dylan Thomas in Swansea

A Tour Around the House of Dylan Thomas in Swansea

Dylan Thomas needs no introduction. For the uninitiated, he was a Welshman from Swansea who composed poems, stories, and plays. Some of his immortal works include poems such as ‘Do not go gentle into the good night’,  Death shall have no dominion’, the radio play ‘Under Milk Wood’.

 

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

 

In his rather short lifetime, he produced a huge body of works. More than two-thirds of his works were composed in his little house in Uplands, Swansea. This story is as much about him as it is about the house where he was born. The beautiful house No. 5 in Cwmdonkin Drive is preserved by industrious efforts of Geoff Haden and Alun Gibbard.

 

The Dylan Thomas House in Swansea

The Dylan Thomas House in Swansea

 

We met Geoff Haden, the house restorer and curator, who regaled us with interesting conversations and stories about Dylan Thomas and his house which is ‘a living museum’.

 

Geoff Haden, house restorer and curator

Geoff Haden, house restorer and curator

 

On seeing the unkempt condition of the house in 2003, Mr Haden decided to do something about it. After the city council gave up the house’s lease, Mr Haden took it over in 2005. He restored the house just as it was in 1914, taking cues from Dylan’s poems and stories, and his neighbours. The wall paint, furnishings, house layout and more were attempted to be kept closest to the original, sometimes furnishing various paraphernalia from charities, car boot sales and auctions.

After three intense years of ‘labour of love’, this house was reopened in 2008, on Dylan’s 94th Birthday, by Dylan’s daughter Aeronwy. What we see today are his tireless efforts to preserve the house of one of the most important Welshmen in history.

 

 

Dylan’s family moved to this posh part of Swansea to climb up the social ladder, although Dylan’s father was struggling with money on his meagre income as a school teacher. The house comprises:

 

The Front Bedroom

 

The Front Room

 

 

The tour begins with the front bedroom located upstairs, overlooking the road and Cwmdonkin Park, which appeared as a subject in many of Dylan’s stories and poems. The room is spacious and furnished. Dylan was born in this house. it was the best-kept room in the house, mostly reserved for visitors.

 

Nancy’s Room

 

The sewing machine in Nancy’s bedroom

 

Nancy was Dylan’s sister, eight years older than him. The room has two single beds and a typical built-in Edwardian wardrobe. The room also has a fireplace, Nancy’s homemade doll house and a sewing machine. She herself was an actress in the Swansea Little Theatre and initiated Dylan into acting as well.

 

Dylan’s Room

 

Dylan’s study table

 

Tiny, but the most fascinating room in the house, Dylan’s room is full of stories. Dylan said that the room was so small that one had to go out to turn around. The room has his table full of little things he loved– books, letters, sweets, Woodbine cigarettes and much more. The wall had pictures of his favourite writers. His coats and hats, as was customary for journalists back then, are hung on the wall as are some of his paintings.

 

The Parents’ Room

 

The view from the window of parents’ room

 

Situated at the back of the house, just above the kitchen, the parents’ room was a warm and cosy one. it was the warmest room in the house.  Dylan spent a lot of time in the house and mentioned it in many of his works. The room directly overlooks Swansea Bay from its window, the only room with this view. The window would also show the town and industries of Swansea, which Dylan described as an ‘ugly, lovely town’.

 

Father’s Study

 

The typewriter in Father’s study

 

This room is perhaps the second-most important room in the house. Dylan came to this room since the age of four and his father made sure that he understood words. Dylan read all the modern and traditional books in the room and he ‘devoured’ all of it. at the age of 12 or 13, Dylan started writing for magazines. The room has a piano, a desk, and a typewriter which particularly caught Dylan’s fancy.

 

The Front Parlour

 

The grandfather clock

 

This was the room best kept for visitors and events like Christmas and birthdays. Dylan was, however, not much allowed in this house, but the room features in Dylan’s Christmas story — ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’. The walls are dark green as they were back the. it still has the original curtains, doors and the grandfather’s clock.

 

The Living Room

 

The ‘hub of the house’

 

This room was the ‘hub of the house’ where the family met every day and had their meals. It is adjacent to the kitchen. There is a dining table, a china cupboard, a comfortable armchair and a sewing machine for Mrs Thomas, who was earlier a seamstress. She would repair the clothes of her children and also the clothes of relatives.

 

The Kitchen

 

The fine crockery

 

Dylan’s mother cooked twice a day with the help of maids here. we can still find the deep sink, pots, pans and the finest crockery from back then. There was a coal fire for 24 hours a day and all the cooking was done on it. There is a little pantry in which a cold stone slab serves as a refrigerator to store the dairy products and the perishables.

 

The house has dozens of anecdotes to share.  The well-furnished Edwardian house maintains its charm to date, thanks to Mr Haden. In further conversation, an excited Mr Haden urges everyone coming to Wales to visit Dylan Thomas’ House.

 

More information about the house can be found on their website. The house can be pre-booked for events and stays.

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections on 2nd May

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections on 2nd May

On May 2, 2024, elections will be held in England and Wales for the positions of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC).

PCCs ensure that the community’s requirements are being met by the local police under their jurisdiction.

In Wales and England, there are 39 police districts that have a PCC. There is one commissioner for each area.

There are a bunch of duties for Police and Crime Commissioners. They:

Make sure the police force budget is spent effectively

Appoint the chief constables of the local police force

Engage with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans

Work closely with the local council and other community organisations on these plans and projects

KNOW THE CANDIDATES

The following information about the candidates for this election will be accessible on the Choose My PCC website:

www.choosemypcc.org.uk

0300 1311323 is the phone number you can contact for any queries.

HOW TO CAST YOUR VOTE

One ballot paper will be given to you. A list of PCC candidates will appear on the ballot paper. Voting for a single candidate will only be possible if you place a cross [X] in the box next to your selection. Whoever receives the most percentage of the vote wins.

Entering your postcode into our search will reveal the location of your neighbourhood voting place as well as the names of the people running for office there. Additionally, voting by proxy or by mail is an option.

Remember to carry your voting ID while going for voting.

Important Venues in Swansea bounce back after the Pandemic

Important Venues in Swansea bounce back after the Pandemic

Swansea Council continues to fund major leisure and tourism sites to help them recover from the pandemic hit. Many visitors have flocked to these sites, thus helping the businesses grow.

Freedom Leisure, Wales National Pool Swansea (WNPS), Plantasia and the National Waterfront Museum are some of the sites that have benefited from the Council’s help.

https://www.plantasiaswansea.co.uk/exhibitions/

Exhibition at Plantasia. Photo:https://www.plantasiaswansea.co.uk/exhibitions/

Let the numbers do the talking.

In the fiscal year 2022–2023 of Freedom, the number of visitors to the city centre LC and its other community leisure facilities increased by about 30% to over 1.8 million over the prior year. Revenue reached almost £8 million, up about 36%.

WNPS saw a rise in revenue of over £300,000, reaching over £1.3m.

Photo: https://www.swanseabaysportspark.wales/facilities-and-events/wales-national-pool-swansea/

Parkwood Leisure’s Plantasia experienced an increase in attendance from over 98,000 in 2022 to over 117,000, and income increased from over £200,000 to nearly £950,000.

The number of in-person and online visitors to the free-to-enter waterfront museum increased by around 10% to nearly 277,000.

Many venues and sites continue to face challenges in meeting energy bills and drawing visitors; however, the council is ready to extend its support to them.

Councillor Francis-Davies remarked: “We continue to be there for our leisure services partners during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis because they play a critical part in the life of our city and our local communities.”

The cabinet reviewed the Leisure Partnerships Annual Report, which examined the financial performance and visitor numbers for the city’s institutions that the council supports financially in a variety of ways for the year 2022–2023.

Cover Photo: https://museum.wales/swansea/