*Swansea (SWAHN-see). Industrial seaport in southern Wales in which Thomas was born and raised. Wales’s second largest town, Swansea stands at the mouth of the River Tawe, from which it takes the Welsh name Abertawe, which Thomas’s stories use for it. Stories set within Swansea include “Patricia, Edith and Arnold,” which describes two servant girls taking a young boy (Thomas himself) to the park in winter, so that they can meet a young man who is two-timing them. “The Fight” features a school that is based on Swansea Grammar School, which Thomas attended and where his father taught English. This story also features the home of a cultured middle-class family, whose twelve-year-old son writes novels and classical music. His friend, the narrator, writes poems. Later stories include one about a young man taking shelter under a railway arch at night. Another concerns the young man having a literary discussion with friends, working in the offices of a newspaper, and visiting public houses. All the pub and street names in the stories are real places in Swansea.
*Rhossilli Sands (rah-see-lee; now spelled Rhossili). Bay at the western end of the Gower Peninsula that runs about fifteen miles southwest from Swansea and is a popular day-trip destination for the town’s inhabitants. In “Extraordinary Little Cough,” a group of teenage boys travel there by lorry to camp for a fortnight. In “Who Do You Wish Was with Us?” an older narrator and a friend set out to walk to Rhossilli Sands but end up traveling most of the way by bus.