Hello, my name is Tom Phelps, I am a retired carpenter from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales. Jean and I have been married since 1960 and we have three grown-up ‘children’ and nine grandchildren.
For many years, when I wasn’t working, I was busy conducting and singing in choirs or acting and singing on the amateur stage. Then, one day I was asked, “Can you write a poem for the ‘Welsh Night’ celebrating St David’s Day”? I wrote, ‘The Sunday School Outing’.
That started it all and I have been writing and performing poems ever since.since.er since.
The Rhondda is in fact two valleys, the Fawr (large) and Fach (small). I live in Rhondda Fawr but I have had the pleasure of working in both valleys and many other places within a thirty miles radius of home, and because I worked in their houses, I had the opportunity to meet some great people. Many were real characters who have stayed in my memory and found their way, or perhaps I should say, forced their way into my poems.
Very few of the poems are without humour and the same can be said of the people who inspired them.
My Books & CDs
I’ve written three books of poetry, ‘Our Surgery, The Rag & Bone Man, The Hook & Wheel and other poems’, ‘The Load of Coal and other poems’ and ‘The Humour of the Valleys’, all of which are available to purchase via this website. Please click on the ‘Shop’ link in the menu above.
I’ve also produced three CDs of the books on which I recite my poems. You can hear extracts of the poems on the CDs by clicking on the ‘CDs‘ page link in the menu above.
N.B. The prices for both my books and CDs include postage to all UK addresses only. If you’d like your order delivered to anywhere else other than the UK, please don’t hesitate to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – for details.
A Bit More About Me
My Age: I am a day older today than I was yesterday; I am a day younger than I will be tomorrow; and today I am too busy enjoying my life to be concerned about ‘age’.
My Education: I was 15 years old when I left Treherbert Secondary Modern School to start working. I had learned all manner of things . . . except ‘reading riting & rithmetic’, so my education had to be on-going.
Through the Open University I am now a B.A. “What? “ I hear you say, “Thomas Phelps is a Bachelor of Arts?” The answer is “Yes.” but I don’t know if that counts. Not if you get your degree fifty years after leaving school.
My Philosophy of Life: Only people matter.
Poetry: Performing my poetry and ‘speaking’ about ‘the humour of the valleys’ at various venues. I secretly call my odes, ‘Poems for people who don’t like poetry.’
Music: Playing the piano and studying Jazz.
Art: Painting in watercolours, acrylics or oils.
Sport: Sport in general and armchair rugby in particular.
Rhondda Fawr from Penpych