The University of Wales, Bangor
Beach near the city centre
R.S.Thomas left his family in Holyhead and set out for Bangor in order to attend the University of Wales, Bangor in October, 1931. He majored in Classics. He lived in private lodgings during his first year of sturdy. In his second year, he moved to the recently enlarged Church Hostel.
His father was blessed with a good voice. While he was at sea as a sailor, he often held recitals in Ireland. Being of his father's blood, R.S. joined the choral society (Wales is famous for the male choirs), hoping to follow with his own wonderful voice. Yet his main concerns were in the nature. He would catch a bus for Abergwyngregyn and climb mountains. He used to climb towards Foel Fras and come down to Bethesda, where he would take a bus back to Bangor.
His father was deaf because of hard work on the noisy ships. At one day, a faith healer came to Bangor. R.S. and his father joined the session by the healer. A miracle happened. His father was healed and could hear -- only in a week or so. He became deaf again. His wife accused "him of having lost his faith."1
When he graduated at the University, he went to the theological college at Llandaff, one of the suburbs of Cardiff.
Years later, in March, 1999, R.S. Thomas Centre opened at the University of Wales by the poet himself. This wonderful study centre has all of R.S.Thomas's work, comprehensive writings on him, and his mementos.note: 1. 'Autobiographical Essay,' Miraculous Simplicity -Essays on R.S.Thomas, p.5
Although it had been a fine evening when I had arrived at Bangor in 2002, it rained in the next morning. My two traveling companies and I visited R.S. Thomas Centre at the University of Wales, Bangor. While we researched inside, it turned into heavy rain outside. I reminded a phrase in The Minister, "the ancestral fury of the rain/ Spitting and clawing at the pane."
When we finished, it was still raining. We headed for the City Centre to fill our car with petrol for the next day's travel. It stopped raining before 6 pm. We decided to visit Holyhead within the day.
Bangor grew at the end of the 18C and the beginning of the 19C and now is a busy metropolis surrounded a beautiful, natural environment. The University was established in 1884 under Bangor's role as the Learning City of North Wales. It is said that more than 5000 students resides there.
Click here to visit the Web site of the R.S.Thomas Centre.