Under Milk Wood
In early 1971, Lower Fishguard and the surrounding area was the scene for a major film starring Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Peter O’Toole, based on the Dylan Thomas play ‘Under Milk Wood’.
The Fishguard Bay Hotel was selected as the base for the cast and crew of the film.
Should you take a trip to Lower Fishguard with the intention of observing the picturesque village seen throughout ‘Under Milk Wood’ first hand, you will not be disappointed.
As you can see in any old photograph of the town, it looked pretty much the same 100 years before the film was made, and there’s not much scope for development other than the addition of a few modern concessions.
Richard Burton was more than enthusiastic with regard to the charm and attraction of the town, and appeared in print saying, “This village is incomparably beautiful.
I imagine that in the summer it must be quite extraordinary. One summer we will return.” The companion he was alluding to was, of course, Elizabeth Taylor, whose contribution to the film was recorded in a studio in London and so had yet to see the area.
Richard Burton was asked how, or whether, Elizabeth Taylor would be able to master a Welsh accent for her part in the film. His response was tongue in cheek, and to the point. “Yes, Elizabeth has a perfect Welsh accent. After ten years of living with me, she has got to.”
Richard Burton was impressed with the beauty and tranquillity of the area. “If one could only transfer the Mediterranean sunshine here, it would probably become the biggest holiday resort in the history of the world.”
Quite something coming from a man who had seen the world, and Lower Fishguard is just as appealing today. “I already feel that I have been in the village for five years, even though this is my first visit.”
He made enquiries into the coastal conditions, as he was interested in returning to the harbour with Elizabeth Taylor at a later date. He learned, to his satisfaction, that there was indeed enough depth of water in Fishguard bay to accommodate Kalizma. And there would be no need for him to hire a car when he arrived aboard his boat as, in additional to lifeboats, Kalizma came equipped with a mini moke.
This would have been the ideal transportation for the area, but unfortunately the return visit never did take place.