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Sequel to bestselling nostalgic novel based in South Wales Valleys

This week sees the publication of More Tales from my Welsh Village (Y Lolfa). The novel is Ken Smith’s second book and sequel to the hugely popular Tales from my Welsh Village, published in 2018.

Author Ken Smith says:
“I’ve been over the moon since my first book to hear how much people enjoyed it, and as I still had a wealth of other anecdotes about the ridiculous things the characters got up to, I decided to write this second volume of stories of the old days.”

More Tales from my Welsh Village returns to the Plough Inn – the local pub in a village in the South Wales Valleys – and follows the antics of some of the regulars.

As with the first novel, in Tales from my Welsh Village many of the same characters are still getting into as much trouble and playing as many pranks as ever. Two years after his death, those around the pub’s cribbage table are still regaling each other with tales of gravedigger Fred’s ridiculous exploits, such as deliberately getting the vicar drunk, or fishing for chickens over the fence of a local poultry farm – depicted on the cover by much-loved cartoonist Mumph. Working class village life in the South Wales Valleys of the late 1960s and 1970s is depicted with great warmth and humour again.

Jeff Davies, Senior Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University says of the first novel:
“Tales from my Welsh Village captures a time gone by. Everyone in Wales and other parts of the UK who lives in a semi-rural community will have their own version of the characters portrayed”

The novel was inspired by Ken Smith’s time living and working in the village of Rhigos, near Aberdare, where he grew up. Ken was a Parish Councillor and then District Councillor for Neath Rural District Council and was the instigator and prime mover of the fight which won the right for sitting tenants in council houses to purchase their homes freehold. 

Speaking of the camaraderie and the characters to be found at the local pub in his village of Rhigos back when he was living there, Ken said:
“I found some of the local characters so amusing that I felt some of their more outrageous antics should be recorded for posterity. Some of the tales are purely fictitious, while many are very loosely based on actual events. Some of the more calamitous stories you just couldn’t make up!”

The book has been dedicated to Trefor Plough as well as gravedigger Fred Howells and Colin his son, and to all the other local people who helped inspire the story. 

Ken Smith emigrated to Alberta in Canada in 1975 but has kept close links with the village and community of Rhigos.

“As I live so far away from where I was brought up – over 4,500 miles – it has always been most important to me to keep in touch with as many family members and friends as possible by phone or e-mails, as I love the Valleys and the Rhigos area.”