"Dear Adolf. Don't start anything. It's the Coal Trip."
The dark clouds of war are gathering over Europe yet the inhabitants of the south Wales town of Penddawn have other things on their minds. There's rugby, of course, and religion, too, not to mention work, or the lack of it. Not to mention the annual trip to Tenby, and a chance to get sand in your shoes, and forget about both poverty and Hitler.
But for one small boy the worlds of warfare and welfare mean very little: his mind is crammed full of books and the wonders they contain: he can dream of little else...
The Last Coal Trip to Tenby is drenched in the warm sun of nostalgia, a heartwarming tale of abiding friendships, and a portrait of a community that's as close knit as an old cardigan. It's a novel written with vim and vigour and oodles of good humour, about a cast of endearing characters who will stay in the mind.
Rhondda-born Rod Humphries – a lifelong lover of books – has finally got round to writing one. Having taught in the south Wales valleys for many years Rod has now retired to St Ives in Cornwall, which, he avers, is very much like the Rhondda, only with a beach.