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JULY 2010

Exclusive Interview

Ricky Tomlinson

On Wales, Football, and Life

Festival Guide Summer of Music Awaits


A warm welcome to the July edition of the South Wales valleys’ favourite monthly magazine. As we look back on the month just gone, it is with great sadness that Wales lost a true valley boy who was a Welsh legend and exceptional character in the form of Stuart Cable. I had the pleasure of meeting Stuart in 2008, in a pub in London before the FA Cup Semi-Final and he really was a lovely person with heaps of character. MyValleys Magazine sends its sincere wishes to Stuart’s family and close friends. This edition features an interview with Ricky Tomlinson, one of TV’s biggest names from shows including The Royle Family. Meanwhile, the month of July continues with the consistently annoying Vuvuzela concerts in South Africa which feature football matches as half time entertainment, it sees the tail end of the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament, it brings even more festivals for those that have recovered from their jaunt to Glastonbury, and brings us another month of interesting articles to the ever-growing army of MyValleys Magazine readers. As always, I hope you enjoy reading this edition of our free magazine and please feel free to recycle it and pass it onto your friends once you’ve read it. Spread the word, put the kettle on and your feet up and enjoy. Be lucky,

JULY 2010

What’s Inside Festival Guide On Yer’ Bike Cool Motor

Exclusive Interview

Ricky Tomlinson

On Wales, Football, and Life

Festival Guide Summer of Music Awaits

Recipe Corner Film Review Current Affairs

Easy and effective advertising to over 20,000 consumers in the South Wales valleys

Cardiff City

Editor: Ross Porter Designers: Oli Salisbury, Alex Spencer


Contributors: Paul Corkery, Claire Louise, Granny Moi, Oli Salisbury, Charles Sinclair Tel: 0845 230 1937 While every care has been taken to ensure that the data contained in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any cause. MyValleys Magazine does not officially endorse any advertising materials included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system in any form without the prior permission of the publisher. MyValleys Magazine is a trading name of Draig Personnel Ltd. Registered in England and Wales: No. 4668506. VAT Registration: No. 801 3642 69. Registered office: The Octagon, Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly, CF83 3ED.

Surf’s Up Ladies Opinion

Ricky Tomlinson Horoscopes Property Football Focus Cool Bike Are You Getting Old? Out & About Dear Claire What’s On Readers Lives

Your Tent or Guide to Mine? AtheMVM Festival Season Last year saw a strange thing only rained for one morning in Glastonbury!

With that in mind, there will be tens of thousands of people hoping for a repeat performance this year. Each year, new festivals appear to be springing up quicker than Zebedee on performance enhancing substances, so you’re bound to be able to find some al fresco musical fun and games near to where you live. Gone are the days whereby you’d pay some dodgy scouser £10 to borrow his rope ladder to climb the outer fence before legging it, dodging security guards, to jump the final hurdle of the inner fence to the applause of watching bystanders on the hill inside. Ooooh...the good old days. If you crave to see the big names and best line-ups, then you have to look at the ‘big boys’ of the festival world. Pack your wellies, get ready for the cider in the sun, paying extortionate prices for junk food and prepare to meet some bizarre people whilst you get lost and listening to some banging music. Some festivals have already sold out but others will soon be releasing their tickets; so keep your eyes peeled on their websites. It’s too late for Glastonbury and the Isle Of Wight festival, but all is not lost, check these beauties out:

July 2nd-4th WIRELESS: Hyde Park’s summer fun comes in the form of a 3-day music bonanza featuring some big names such as Jay Z, Pink, Lily Allen, The Temper Trap, 2manydjs, the Ting Tings and Gossip 9th-11th T IN THE PARK: This Kinross based shindig takes some beating. Check out Eminem, Muse, The Prodigy, Black Eyed Peas, Faithless, Jay Z and the fantastic Kasabian along with almost every other band that’s made an impact this year

August 21st-22nd V FESTIVAL: Chelmsford and Stafford. With the clout of Virgin Music behind it, V never fails to get some big guns on the stage. The sites are full of Z-List celebrities and more WAGS than you can shake a diamond studded Versace stick at, but with The Kings Of Leon, Cheryl Cole, The Stereophonics, The Prodigy, Faithless, and Kasabian rocking the show, it’s still a stormer. 27th-29th READING & LEEDS: Like ‘V’, these take place simultaneously in two locations with the line-ups switching each night. Catch up with the legendary Guns N’ Roses, Queens Of The Stone Age, Pendulum, Blink 182, Arcade Fire, as well as Pete Doherty, Carl Barat, and co taking to the stage

once again as The Libertines 28th-29th CREAMFIELDS: One of the UK’s largest dance festivals is here again. On the wheels of steel this year include people such as David Guetta, Deadmau5, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Armen Van Buuren, and Calvin Harris 28th-29th SW4: Clapham Common will be bouncing again as London’s premier dance event returns this year for a two day boogie-fest. Headliners include Carl Cox, Erik Morillo, Paul Oakenfold and Fat Boy Slim

September 9th-12th BESTIVAL: The Isle of Wight sure knows how to party with this visual eye candy extravaganza. With its annual dressing up theme (this year’s theme is ‘fantasy’), Bestival is set to be a great way to end the festival season. Dizzee Rascal, Hot Chip, The Flaming Lips, Roxy Music, Jonsi, and The Prodigy will be gracing the stage

On Yer’ Bike! Mountain Biking Cwmcarn’s Twrch Trail Many of you readers may or may not be aware that some of the best mountain biking in the UK is literally on your doorstep.

Don’t give up though as once you’ve made it to the top, then the swooping rollercoaster singletrack back down again is more than enough to put a smile back on your face as adrenaline pumps around your torso.

Cwmcarn is a great way to get your fix of singletrack and downhill action, with a choice of runs to suit all abilities.

The downhill trail is fast and flowing, but be careful if it’s your first time and don’t go too crazy as there are some sections of real exposure on the edge of very steep hillside towards the end.

The wild contouring singletrack of the Twrch Trail at Cwmcarn features nine and a half miles of heart-racing climbs and heart-stopping drops; of the cheekiest twists and turns, tree stumps, rocks, mud, and glory. This trail is a Red Trail Grade (difficult) and it climbs dramatically from dense woodland out onto open ridges with 15.5km of almost pure single track. This really is one of Wales’ hidden gems in the world of mountain biking and best of all, the trails are free and can be ridden all year round. The Twrch Trail is a purpose built 18km single track loop. The first few km’s are the worst (unless you’re some sicko who actually enjoys the uphill climb) as nearly all of the climbing is done here. Some of the uphill riding is pretty technical and taxing on the legs.

Any regular mountain bike will be ok for this trail, however, if you’ve got a bike with no suspension, then be prepared for some shake, rattle and roll on the descent! Make sure your gears are working and there’s plenty of life left in your brake blocks. The trails are largely cut into stable base geology and there are only a few mud patches even in deepest winter.

So get on yer’ bike and check it our for yourself!

TRAIL STATS TRAIL NAME: Twrch Trail CENTRE: Cwmcarn DISTANCE: 18km CLIMBING: 300m TIME: 1.5hr - 2.5hr

Tel: 0845 230 1937

Cool Motor

Jaguar E-Type SERIES 1 There are not many old cars that can still cut the mustard when it comes to sheek, sexy lines and a ten out of ten on the cool front...The Jaguar E-Type does. Built between 1961 and 1974, its combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. A great success for Jaguar, with over 70,000 E-Types sold during its lifespan. In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in Daily Telegraph list of the 100 most beautiful cars of all time. In 2004, SCI Magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a grand tourer, in two-seater coupé form and as convertible. The 2+2 version with a lengthened

wheelbase was produced several years later. On its release Enzo Ferrari called it “The most beautiful car ever made”. The cars at this time used the triple SU carburetted 3.8 litre 6-cylinder Jaguar XK6 engine from the XK150S. The first 500 cars built had flat floors and external hood (bonnet) latches. These cars are rare and more valuable. After that, the floors were dished to provide more leg room and the twin hood latches moved to inside the car. All E-Types featured independent coil spring rear suspension with torsion bar front ends, and four wheel disc brakes, in-board at the rear, all were power-assisted. Jaguar was one of the first auto manufacturers to equip cars with disc brakes as standard from the XK150 in 1958. The Series 1 can be recognised by glass covered headlights

(up to 1967), small “mouth” opening at the front, signal lights and taillights above bumpers and exhaust tips under the licence plate in the rear. An open 3.8 litre car was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1961 and had a top speed of 149.1 mph (240.0 km/h) with an acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 21.3 miles per imperial gallon (13.3 L/100 km; 17.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £2097 including taxes. In October 1964, the 3.8 litre engine was increased to 4.2 litres. Old but still sexy!


Granny Moi’s

Recipe Corner Move over Delia as there’s a new girl in town! After toiling away in her kitchen at a mystery location deep in the South Wales valleys for the last 40 years, we thought it was time to unleash Granny Moi from her shackles and let her share some of her simple to make and truly impressive recipes with our readers each month.

Ingredients 175 g self-raising wholemeal flour 175g soft light brown sugar 250g peeled and grated carrots 150ml sunflower oli 100g raisins 3 medium sized eggs 50g chopped walnuts 1 tsp ground mixed spice 1 tsp baking powder A pinch of salt Zest of a medium sized orange



Topping 200g full-fat soft cheese Icing sugar (sifted) Vanilla extract

Method Pre-heat oven to 180c (or gas mark 4) and butter and line a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins then turn out onto a cooling tray until cold.

Place flour in a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice and baking powder.

Mix icing sugar gradually into the soft cheese to taste and add vanilla extract.

Now simply add all the other ingredients and mix well. Pour into the cake tin and pop it into the oven for 1hr until it is just firm to the touch in the centre (a metal skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean).

Spread the topping over the cake and sprinkle with orange zest. Enjoy!

Heaven Sent Brides

Film Review

The A Team

“I ain’t getting on no plane fool” If you grew up in the 1980’s then it’s likely that you’re aware of the crack commando unit who were wrongly convicted of crimes that they did not commit.

Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, Templeton ‘Faceman‘ Peck, James ‘Howling Mad‘ Murdoch and Bosco ‘BA‘ Baracus.

Surviving as soldiers of fortune, they went around solving problems for people in need of help.

After being hung out to dry for the fabled crimes they did not commit, they break out of the maximum security unit in order to try and clear their names and to blow the whistle on the underhand dealings that have been going on.

The A-Team has now been given the much-needed big screen re-vamp so fans of the original TV show can get their fix once again. Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlito Copley, and Ultimate Fighting Champion Quinto ‘Rampage’ Jackson have been chosen to play

Bringing the story up to date, the boys are no longer disgraced Vietnam veterans turned soldiers of fortune, but are covert operatives who ran missions in Iraq.

Throw into the mix lots of explosions, a mysterious CIA man (Agent Lynch played by Patrick Wilson), and a sexy chick in the form of Jessica Biel (a

Defence Department Agent whose pursuit of the A-Team is hampered by her complicated romantic past with ‘Face’) and you’ve got the ingredients for a movie that will surely be a big hit. This big screen version does tone down the madness of the former TV series but it doesn’t completely ignore its light-hearted comedy. You won’t find this A-Team trapped in a garden shed making a jet-propelled armoured vehicle out of a cornflakes box, an old lawn mower and a length of hosepipe! Go and see it. I love it when a plan comes together!

Get your business noticed in next month’s edition

Tel: 0845 230 1937

FIFA’s African Ra Well the World Cup has arrived and those English fans still legally permitted to hold passports are in Southern Africa after battling with the travelling orange army (not Dutch fans - I’m referring to the British Airways cabin crew!) Not even an entirely unpronounceable Icelandic volcano has been able to halt their travel. Those British fans who’ve flown south will by now be on their second set of ear-defenders and enjoying the vibrant hospitality of mother Africa. Even the most cynical among us wouldn’t begrudge the clear and obvious sense of pride, hope, and sheer happiness that’s piggybacked along with the franchise for the world’s largest sporting tournament. When FIFA announced that the 2010 World Cup was to be held in Southern Africa there were simultaneously shouts of tokenism and corruption. To my eyes this inherently stuttering continent and chaotic nation has collectively bloomed under the not-so-little weight of expectation. In a country with the highest rape and murder rate that is no small achievement. At time of writing, only Adidas

with Charles Sinclair

with their perfectly round yet wayward football have caused grief to anyone. I hope with all my heart that religious fundamentalists dare not to stain the world’s one unifying game with any displays of brutal selfishness. Football should be kept entirely separate from political end and I’m guessing that the sub-machine gun wielding African police will deter most half-witted religious fools. There is also a degree of consumer based comedy afoot. Judging from the national press adverts, I’m guessing that Comet and Tesco shifted one or two widescreen super-duper television sets on the run-up to the tournament. These possess unrivalled visual along with - and this is the good bit - surround sound abilities! “It’ll sound just like you’re in the crowd“ trumpeted one advert. It does; and frankly it’s awful. The dreaded “Vuvuzela“ horn is drowning out any chants of supporters or pearls of wisdom from esteemed commentators. Not even the referees’ whistle is escaping the saturation of sound created by this plastic bugle. Apparently, the Vuvuzela has always been part of the African football culture, and FIFA know they’ve no hope of banning it. It’d be like England trying to ban comedy goalkeepers or players wot talk funny clichés in post match interviews; it’ll simply never happen . FIFA has invested in the region of $1.3 billion for this World Cup’s infrastructure and it’s conservatively estimated they will reap $3.3 billion dollars in TV and endorsement revenue. As a result, this will be the largest ever profit from a World Cup. This income they can add to the billion dollars they hold already in reserve. Hopefully these massive sums will future-proof FIFA’s investment into the beautiful game for the economically uncertain next decade. Let us hope it’s not simply being spent on pension pots and BMW’s and jollies for the chief execs.

Current Affairs

acket After all, they have been accused of taking all the loot in an Empire like raid upon the Dark continent. Any entrepreneurial individuals that have tried to profit from the World Cup have been blasted with corporate litigation and lawsuits. Try to sell so much as a key ring or a t-shirt with 2010 World Cup upon it and you’ll be one of the many people being roundly sued for infringement of commercial rights. Spread the love or the loot, FIFA does not.

At time of writing, only Adidas with their perfectly round yet wayward football have caused grief to anyone In the tournament itself, the bookies seldom get it wrong and it’s likely that Spain may well have enough in the tank on this occasion to triumph. If they do, they’ll be vociferous in their pursuit of the 2018 World Cup bid (along with neighbours Portugal). The clout of the current holder often swings the vote-riggers. However, in these times of European financial collapse FIFA should be coy. To the people who can count, it seems increasingly likely that Spain and indeed Portugal are also next in the queue behind Greece for subsidence handouts. If they are indeed as strapped for Euros as it appears, then FIFA will need every single penny raised over this year’s show in South Africa to fund the next couple of tournaments. Perhaps that’s why they’re penny pinching quite so viciously now. Maybe the next 2 tournaments’ brown envelopes have been stuffed and delivered already. However, one thing concerns me more than whether Espagnol can afford to host the World Cup - if the 2018 tournament does end up in Spain, just imagine how noisy all those bloody castanets will be!

Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust was formed almost two years ago with the aim of giving supporters a bigger voice in the club they love. It has now grown to almost 1,000 members and more details of the Trust, and how to join, can be found on its website www. Trust board members meet club management on a regular basis to discuss issues of mutual interest, organise social events and the Trust is backing the Fred Keenor Statue Fund appeal to raise £85,000 for a statue in honour of the captain and members of Cardiff City’s 1927 FA Cup winning team.

Surf’s Up

Surf’s Up Poo’d Wales is a beautiful place. With it’s sweeping valleys, rugged coastline and, at times, world class waves.

big dilemma when the waves are cranking. Especially, when there has been heavy rainfall and the storm drains are churning raw sewage into the lineup.

Forgive me for getting sentimental on you. Perhaps the fact that I recently bit the bullet and proposed to my girlfriend has unwittingly softened me up a bit.

Still, even this thought is not enough to put off most surfers who will happily dice with Hep A in order not

However, despite my rose tinted glasses of late, nothing can prepare you for paddling out for a few waves after a hard days work, and your hand dragging up a fully grown human turd.

Nothing can prepare you for paddling out for a few waves after a hard days work, and your hand dragging up a fully grown human turd

The panic that ensued on one such occasion last week was comparable to that of an 8 year old girl who had just had a tarantula placed on her neck - there were screams, there was thrashing of arms and cascades of water thrown about as I tried to escape the brown monster. The particular spot I was surfing was notorious for it’s pollution. The problem being that, on it’s day, it can be one of the best beachbreaks in Wales. This leaves you with a

to miss one of the few times the UK’s fickle conditions come together. On the plus side, the amount of unnatural additives in the water seem to bring the temperature up from the usual frigid British levels to something resembling a luke warm bath. It’s then up to your imagination to convince yourself that you are actually in tropical Indonesia instead

Oli Salisbury of a mile from Port Talbot’s industrial mecca. Somehow though, there’s always something in the back of your mind that tells you that there is something not right. It’s akin to coming across an unnervingly warm patch of water in the swimming baths just as you swim down to the kids end of the pool. As surfers, it’s really easy for us to take the morale high ground on pollution. We recycle, we bicycle. However, in reality our many trips around the world in search of waves are nothing to boast about. Instead, campaigners such as Surfers Against Sewage have suggested a simple way of surfers enjoying their environment, whilst giving back at the same time. The formula is simple - for every good wave you have in a session, you pickup and bin two pieces of rubbish on the way back up the beach to the car. At least that way, my missus can be guaranteed to have some wedding photos without an array of carrier bags in the background!

Object of Desire


Jimmy Choo Mendez

Add a touch of luxury to your wardrobe with these leather sandals with frill detail adorned with studs.


Stun your friends when you rock up with these bad boys (or girls) on your feet for your “Sex In The City” girlie night in. Beautiful shoes but they come at a price of a second hand car.

GIVE YOUR BUSINESS A BOOST WITH AN ADVERT IN NEXT MONTH’S MAGAZINE Advertise in My Valleys Magazine from as little as £60.00 +VAT for a 8cm x 6cm full colour advert. Bookings are now being taken for July’s edition, so hurry, hurry, hurry as time is ticking bye...

“When business is good it pays to advertise. When business is bad it’s essential to advertise.” t: 0845 230 1937 e:

Oh To Be PM... The Budget: Revised! As the chancellor, George Osborne, failed to contact us for advice prior to announcing the budget in June 2010, I thought that I’d lend him a hand for next year’s budget with some top tips on how I can help the UK recover and prosper once more.



Reduction in the rate of corporation tax for all new businesses in the first 3 years of their trading

If you’re reading this Georgey boy, David and Nick (and hopefully you will be as we’ll be posting a copy to them), then please take note chaps of the changes I would introduce if I were in your shoes:


All politicians to take a 30% wage cut


Introduction of national service, entailing a 2 year enlistment in the armed forces, for any 16-18 year old who is not in full time employment or further education after leaving school


Free electricity and gas for all pensioners and an extra pension top up of £50 per week if they have ever served in the armed forces for more than 3 years


National Insurance, both employers’ and employees’ to be cut to just 5% to assist both parties and stimulate employment


Ex-forces personnel should be given discounted insurance, energy and public transport and priority housing; with those injured in action receiving free public transport and larger payouts to help them with their future lives


VAT to be reduced to 10% on all purchases made by the general public, with the commercial rate for business to business transactions at 17.5%




Subsidised fuel for individuals who regularly travel more than 100 miles a week to and from their workplace

Ross Porter


Put a freeze on spending on catering for all official dinners and get down to your local shop to buy some sausage rolls, crisps, pork pies, pickled onions and make some cheese and pineapple on sticks instead


Ask the Royal family to sell the state owned residences i.e. Clarence House, Kensington Place, Wren House, St James Palace, Windsor Castle, Palace of Holyrood House, and Hillsborough Castle. They can keep the 13 other privately owned and state leased properties for holidays and use the cash raised by the sales towards the schooling of the uk


Anyone found to have been falsely claiming their benefits should be made to carry out weekly voluntary work in order to receive future benefits.

Scrappage of the road tax for private vehicles

Increasing the number of traditional skill courses available for teenagers and beyond such as plumbing, construction, engineering, plastering and mechanics as opposed to the increasing number of, let’s say, non-traditional and possibly pointless courses that are currently on offer Put a hold on bidding for any more major sporting events and building stadia which are costing the country billions and spend the money on improving our hospitals and schools



All patients treated in hospital due to accidents or incidents that are alcohol related should have to contribute financially towards their treatment (alcohol related treatment costs the nhs over £200m a year)



Gadget of the Month Pocket Shower The feeling of being squeaky clean and freshly showered is often a much desired but scarcely achieved goal when tramping about during festival season. Wet wipes do a barely tolerable job, take up way too much space, are unenvironmentally friendly, and let’s face it, trying to wash with a pint-sized wet tissue designed for a baby’s bum is far from ideal. The distant dream of being able to have a proper shower in the middle of a farmer’s field is now a reality thanks to the pocket shower. This tiny gizmo unfolds to reveal a high performance waterproof reservoir that holds a mighty ten litres of water.

The black fabric will (given a sunny day) warm the water up in no time. You just string it up to a tree and open up the attached shower head - hey presto, you can now luxuriate in a seven minute shower, get squeaky clean, and gloat at the wet wiped masses. Beat the pong with the Pocket Shower. We found one for sale at for only £14.99 of your great British pound!



Horse Rug Wash and Repair Service

Eqwash is a small business based in Ystrad Mynach near Caerphilly South Wales.

Services we Offer Rug Wash Service using large Industrial machine designed for horse rugs. Rug Reproofing Service Rug repair Service. Other Horse items washed. Free yard pick up and drop off service can be arranged (small charge for less than 10 rugs in certain areas) Pet beds and blankets washed. Unit 15, Dyffro Business Park,Ystard Mynach, CF82 7RJ Tel: 07530742115 Email:

Alan Hill Windows

Ricky Tomlinson

A Royle-y Nice Bloke The phrase, “They don’t make them like they used to”, is often heard, however, it is certainly true when it comes to Ricky Tomlinson. Despite being one of the most famous faces on TV, Ricky remains a down to earth and genuinely nice person who simply lights up the room whenever and wherever he enters. His friendly nature and quick wit made my time spent with him an absolute pleasure. Famous as the lovable couch potato Jim Royle of the hilarious and cleverly written The Royle Family, Ricky Tomlinson has launched a thousand one-liners and entertained millions without ever leaving his TV armchair. Ricky has been a plasterer, banjo player, stand-up comic, union agitator, political activist, film extra, award-winning actor and an unwilling guest of Her Majesty’s Prison Service. His world came crashing down in 1971 as a result of the national building strike. Jailed on conspiracy charges, he became known as one of the ‘Shrewsbury Two’ and was regarded by many as a political prisoner. There were mass protests, hunger strikes and demonstrations around the country. On his release from jail he was blacklisted by the building industry and labelled a subversive by MI5. Unable to get work, he became a stand-up comic in pubs and clubs, until at the unlikely age of forty he was chosen by Roland Joffe to star in the contreversial TV drama United Kingdom. It was the beginning of a remarkable acting career, in which he has worked

with Ross Porter with acclaimed directors such as Joffe, Ken Loach, and Shane Meadows, as well as writers like Jimmy McGovern, Alan Bleasedale and Paul Abbott. He has starred in TV shows such as Brookside, Cracker, Clocking Off and Nice Guy Eddie as well as films including Riff Raff, Raining Stones, The 51st State, and Mike Bassett England Manager. My father was born in the same year as Ricky, and he also grew up in the tough Liverpool docks area during the same hard era. This made my the time that I spent with Ricky even more special as we chatted about the stories I had myself grew up on regarding the proud Liverpool people and the hardworking dockers of the city and how Liverpool had once been the portal hub of the UK, if not the world. Ricky is a born storyteller who is renowned and respected for his honesty, wit and integrity. He brings all of these qualities to his extraordinary life story in his best-selling autobiography, “RICKY’ which is available at all good book shops (ISBN 978-0316-86198-4). It was a real pleasure to interview such a great guy. Big thanks Ricky. They don’t make them like they used to that’s for sure.

Interview Q: Apart from me, who is the funniest person you have ever worked with? A: It’s probably Ken Dodd. I see Doddy at least four times a year for lunch and I have seen him a million times live on stage. There’s a host of brand new comics now, for example, John Bishop from Liverpool who is a very very funny man. I love comedy and I love comics. When I got married for the second time, a lot of the guests were comics including Ken Dodd, Frank Carson, Stan Boardman, Tony Barton and people like that.

whether they are Glaswegians, people from Birmingham, or Geordies for example; if it’s funny they will laugh. I don’t class myself as a comic; I just tell stories. But when I am on stage and we do a questions and answers session, people can genuinely ask anything they want and I will answer them as truthfully as I can - no holds barred!

Q: Which one word best describes your character? A: Contented. I have got a few quid, my kids are all boxed off, my

Q: What makes a good comic? A: I think if you can make someone laugh then it’s a rare gift and I am glad that I can do it now and again.

Q: Is this your first time to the South Wales valleys? A: It’s been a long time since I have been to the South Wales valleys. I did a documentary about the coal mines and I went to Tower Colliery and met with Tyrone O’Sullivan. It was wonderful to see what they had done. They had refused to lie down after Thatcher, having bought the pit and worked the pit and they had gone on to buy the pit next door to it. That’s great and I was made up with that. I love the Welsh people.

Q: Would you say that the Welsh sense of humour is similar to that of the Scouse sense of humour? A: I think people’s sense of humour is the same anywhere. Something is either funny or it isn’t. I find that

imagination and I fell in love with the character and thank God that the public fell in love with him too. It’s been great.

Q: What would you say is the best thing about the South Wales valleys? A: I am just stunned by the beauty of it. This is breathtaking. One of the questions I was asked last night is ‘where would you take your holidays, Spain or the UK?’ The UK every time. We have got the Highlands and the lowlands of Scotland, the Lake District and the green of Wales. Do you know that Johhny Cash song, ‘The Forty Shades of Green?’ Well I am looking out of the window now and I can see forty shades of green here. Wales is fabulous, it’s wonderful you know.

Q: When it comes to football are you a Red or Blue?

grandkids are sorted and I’ve been able to help a few people out along the way. I have been very very lucky, but I realise that I have been very very lucky and I have got no time for people who make a few quid, do well and then forget their roots and where they come from. I think people who do that are a**eholes.

Q: Are there any similarities between the Jim Royle character and your own? A: I think the only similarity between me and Jim is about 99%, but I’m a bit tighter than Jim actually! Jim Royle is a figment of Caroline O’Hearne’s

A: I’m a Liverpudlian. I’m a Liverpudlian but my two sons have got Everton footballers for their Godparents! I had a golf day last week where we raised a few quid for a local hospital and Ian St. John turned up, David Fairclough, Tony Hately and Gordon Lee (who used to manage Everton). We also had the likes of Ian Studgely who is a fabulous comic, Graham from the Grumbleweeds, Stan Boardman and The Batchelors. It was a great day.

Horoscopes Aries You find yourself curious about a larger variety of things than usual. Used well, this could be a period in which you come up with solutions to a number of problems in your life. You could be thrust into a position of leadership on the home front. Ego confrontations with family members are possible now, but the best way to handle this energy is to do your best to strengthen your relationship to your family and your home base.

Taurus This is the most "financial" period of the year for you. You might have a more materialistic view of life for the time being, or you have an increased interest in your own possessions, during this cycle. You are more attracted to objects and possessions that give you a sense of comfort, status, or luxury now. You are exploring and searching now, making connections, and paying attention to your immediate environment. Social interaction is emphasized during this period, and is for the most part light-hearted.

Gemini This month brings issues surrounding your personal identity, appearance, outward behaviour, and self-expression to the forefront. Spontaneity of expression is what this transit is about. What you have and what you don't have come into focus - what makes you feel comfortable, your sense of security, and what you value. This is the time of year when personal finances and possessions receive maximum attention. Some may be experiencing exciting changes in

close relationships, meeting new people that further your career, or encountering new opportunities through travel or educational interests.

Cancer You experience a renewal of energy and vitality now, and it's a strong time for increased personal confidence. Personal projects that you begin now are likely to blossom six months down the road. A solar eclipse occurs on July 11th at 19 degrees Cancer. A general rule of thumb regarding eclipses is to avoid major decisionmaking in the week before and after an eclipse. This is because new information that could change our perspective often is revealed in the week after the eclipse. A focus on ways to improve or enhance your appearance and mannerisms may be part of the picture in the coming months.

Leo This is the time to listen to yourself, to take a break from the sometimes hectic pace of your life and to reflect on what you have learned in the last 12 months. The most enterprising side of your nature raises its head and it's time to seize opportunities. Existing problems in your life may be overcome now by boldness and adopting a straightforward approach to your life. You're feeling significantly more confident about your ability to make money this month.

Virgo Your desire for some form of recognition and financial success is stronger than any other time of

the year. Sssuming a leadership role may come naturally now but make sure you have clear and achievable goals in mind as they will help you to bring satisfaction to your life more easily. You are more stimulated by all that is unconventional during this cycle, and your ideas are original and progressive now. this is a time to follow your dreams and to make a wish for the future.

Libra July can be a restless time and it could also be a little selfindulgent. As long as you don't fall into the trap of blind optimism, it's a very pleasant time when you have the bravery to do something different and enjoy yourself. You are also in the position to gain more of an overall perspective on your life and on your goals. Recognition is likely to come your way whether you ask for it or not.

Scorpio You are more intense in your mood and disposition and perhaps even a little secretive at this time of year. You are more willing to recognize the darker and more challenging sides of your own personality and more apt to see these in others. Anything that broadens your experiences attracts now. A lack of superficiality finds you straight to the point and interested in the truth.

Sagittarius Your chances to improve or attract a close partnership abound, however, it is time to compromise, negotiate, and perhaps let a partner take the lead. All that is deeply personal comes into focus now.

Intimate matters are especially important to you during this cycle. You will focus upon just how well you are handling your life. Your psychological predisposition matter to you more than usual.

Capricorn You find yourself sorting through the experiences of the last six months, separating the worthwhile from the worthless. This is a good time to build your skills and to get your life organised. Focus on balancing your personal interests and objectives with your social life or with those of a partner. The emphasis must be on "us" rather than "me".

Aquarius This is the time of year when you are ready to perform and to unleash your creative side. This is a cycle in which you find joy in expressing who you are and when your “inner child� becomes more prominent. Your hobbies, leisure time and time spent with your children all come into focus at this time of year. You may receive good news or you may read something that inspires you to change your life and learn something new.

Pisces It's a time when worldly matters are not as important to you. use this positive energy to find ways to improve your family relations and your home environment. You want others to take notice and you are more sensitive to whether people appreciate you. More than any time of the year, this is the cycle in which you focus on having fun, enjoying romance and expressing yourself as a person.

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Light At End Of The Tunnel For First Time Buyers? We all know that the property market was hugely affected by the recent and well publicised financial downturn. House prices dropped as quickly as a sack of spuds off the bag of a lorry and many homeowners found themselves in the unfortunate position of being in negative equity. Lenders were not forthcoming in offering mortgages and first time buyers were effectivley priced out of the market by the massive deposit required if they could actually find a mortgage. The good news is that it looks like things are on the up. Mortgage lenders, estate agents and property developers are all reporting a steady increase in success rates with regards to first time buyers owning their own homes. House prices have risen slightly and these have pushed the

annual rate of inflation in the right direction to the highest point in the last couple of years. Although this stronger position is not guaranteed to last, it is a positive indication that movement is possible.

whereby buyers pay no deposit, no stamp duty, arrangement fees, legal or survey fees. It pays to shop about as some developers are even offering to pay your mortgage for an entire year or a fixed amount per month. Cashback schemes are also available where you get a lump sum once you’ve signed on the dotted line. It pays to shop around.

Mortgage lenders, estate agents and property developers are all reporting a steady increase in success rates The recent tough times have seen many existing homeowners are holding onto their properties until their values increase once again. This has had a knock on effect for buyers as demand may well start to outstrip supply. New developments are an attractive option with developers are offering incentives. Such incentives include schemes

The most important thing to do is to do your research. Talk to a reputable estate agent and gain some valuable guidance before taking the plunge. Definately shop around when it comes to your mortgage and try your bank and even call on your parents to help you with the deposit if possible. Buying your first home is not as easy as it used to be, but getting the keys to your first house is not an impossible dream. Don’t be put off by the doom and gloom stories in the press. Good luck!

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Football Focus

End Of An Era For The Martyrs? There has always been a proud tradition of high level football in the former Iron town of Merthyr Tydfil, albeit mainly in the non leagues. Sadly financial woes, mean that Penydarren Park, the home of the Martyrs for over 100 years has been cleared of club memorabilia and the gates are closed, maybe for the last time; the football club being forced to move twenty miles south to share a ground with Taffs Well. The football club known as Merthyr Tydfil FC was liquidated in June 2010 and a new club was formed which will be called Merthyr Town football club. The new football club will also be demoted a few divisions and Merthyr will swap trips to Bashley and Stourbridge next season for the likes of Chard Town or Shepton Mallet in the First Division. This was decided following a recent ground inspection at the “Rhiwdda” ground in Taff Wells by Western league officials. At their peak back in the 1920’s Merthyr Town graced the football league, together with local rivals Aberdare Athletic. In their first season in the third division they finished in an excellent eighth

place but that proved to be their best effort and a gradual decline in form eventually seen them relegated out of the football league in 1930, The club dropped back into the Southern League, but lasted only four seasons, before ceasing to play in 1934. Football was resurrected in Merthyr when a new club was formed in 1945, and joined the Welsh League .In their first season they finished as runners-up, and joined the Southern League. The club were immensely successful in their first few seasons, winning the championship in 1947-48, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1951-52 and 1953-54. It is a sad sign of the times to see such a proud club decline but

Paul Corkrey there is still hope and the new football club will now be run by their hard working committee in the “Martyrs to the cause” trust, if you can help the trust, either by attending games or by sponsorship please contact Mike Donovan on 07788 185149 or by email The hope is that one day the club can move back to Merthyr Tydfil but in the meanwhile they are extremely grateful to everyone at Taffs Well for all their enthusiasm and help in this difficult time for the proud club and loyal supporters

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Triumph T-Bird 201 When a modest looking Triumph motorcycle appeared at the 1990 Cologne Motorcycle Show in Germany, few people would have guessed that this great British motorbike company, some 20 years later, would be one of the biggest success stories of the motorcycle industry.

Triumph has transformed over the two decades from a small company with a handful of employees making a handful of motorcycles, to a company consisteing of just under 1,600 employees selling 50,000 motorcycles around the world every year. The iconic-looking Thunderbird Big Bore is of muscular proportions, features classic no-nonsense styling and it packs style that will make men (and

women) all over the world drool with excitement when they see and hear this beast. The Thunderbird Big Bore simply oozes cruise... It pays the rider the ultimate compliment with impeccable handling, dynamic performance and assured braking.


Photos courtesy of Mike Carey

Being the chosen motorcycle of the famous shoot from the hip chef, Gordon Ramsay (and if you’re reading Gordon then get in touch as we’d just love to interview you), it has all of the ingredients to bring on the F-Word when heads are turned when you cruise on past Joe Public. In a recent interview with Triumph’s very own magazine, Gordon had this to say about his Thunderbird Big Bore - “it’s a stunning bike -great suspension, an easy to use gearbox. It feels

just right for a cruiser and has an amazing finish. It can take pretty much anything you throw at it.”

T-Bird Specification More Power & Torque: Liquidcooled, DOHC, parallel twin, 270 degree firing interval, 1,700cc Triumph engine delivers 98PS (97bhp) and 156Nm at just 2,750rpm. Enhanced components: New pistons, liners, camshafts, uprated clutch springs and ‘1700’ clutch cover embellisher.

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Transmission & Gears: With the same smooth gearbox as the 1600cc model, changes are precise and smooth. Paint Options: When you order a factory-build, big bore, choose from Jet Black, Pacific Blue / Fusion White two tone or either or the Phantom Haze colours. Prices from £11,799 for a standard bike.

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Are You Getting Old? Like it or not, we cannot stop the ageing process, although we refuse to grow up here at the My Valleys Magazine HQ.

We thought that it would be a bit of fun this month to allow our ever-growing army of My Valleys Magazine readers the chance to take our official “Am I on the way to being a wrinkly” test. It’s simple, answer YES or NO to the following and if you tick YES to five or more of the questions below, then you are officially on the way to becoming a wrinkly, so reach for the blue rinse and embrace it!

Take The Test! and Shep Do you remember John Noakes ? dog the (“ooooo get down Shep”) nd Notes to 2. Do you remember using Pou buy things? Test Card with 3. Do you remember when TV rd? boa lk the woman and cha


t, Evil Have you heard of James Hun Sharples? Kinevil, Percy Thrower and Ena es? Did you ever use half pence piec Wheels Do you remember when Wagon els? were actually the size of whe

4. 5. 6.

s cost you


Remember when a bag of chip 20p?


dy v Giant Remember watching Big Dad d? tan Haystacks on Grands


Do you know who shot JR?

leg warmers or a 10. Did you ever own a pair of er? play Walkman casette have to wear 12. Remember when we didn’t seatbelts? ge, The Fall Guy, 13. Did you watch Spitting Ima las? Dukes of Hazard, Chips and Dal The Eagle” is? 14. Do you know who “Eddie Hollywood, 15. Remember Frankie Goes To Depeche Mode and Yazz? Roadshows? 16. Remember the Radio One , Bigfoot or Atari 17. Did you play with SIMON PacMan? bottles back 18. Remember taking your pop ? them for h eac and getting 10p 40 (not 19. Did you ever tape the Top een songs)? forgetting trying to pause betw look at you daft if 20. Do your work colleagues you mention any of the above?




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Dear Claire... Your Questions Answered with Claire Louise Dear Claire, my husband is getting on my nerves to the point of I feel like throttling him. The World Cup has taken over his life and he insists on watching every game that he can. We only have the one television and I really do not like football and his obsession with it is driving me mad. What can I do? Beryl. Beryl, first things, first...take your credit card, or even better - his, and get yourself along to the shop to buy yourself a TV of your own if he insists on hogging the TV during the tournament. Failing that, I feel that a total nooky-ban during the tournament may be the most effective form of protest. Tell him that two yellow cards make a red and that he’s on a two-match ban as a result of his childishness behaviour. Another option may be to tell him that it’s OK to inflict such TV torture in exchange for a luxury holiday or spa break. Claire x Dear Claire, I am a 19 year old man who is not having much luck with the ladies. My mates are constantly making fun of me and I have not got the confidence to go to the pub on my own to try and meet anyone. I have had three dates with girls I met online, however, none of these wanted to see me again after the first date. Have you any advice for me? It all goes OK for me with online chat, but when I see people face to face I just can’t seem to say the right things. Please help. Billy. Billy, you’re obviosuly doing or saying something wrong when you’ve been on your dates with these girls. You may want to forget about going out with the intention of meeting someone and just concentrate on just

getting out! It sounds like to me that you spend a lot of time on the internet and not enough time in the real world. You might find that if you spend more time interacting in person, then your confidence and popularity will grow accordingly. Take a step out and look at yourself and your self-image. Get yourself one of these trendy men’s grooming magazines and revise your image maybe. Good luck. Claire x Dear Claire, I graduated from Uni last year and my life has gone downhill ever since. I have had to move back home and I knew it wouldn’t be easy getting a decent job, but I really didn’t expect to be feeling this bad about it all. Although I get on OK with my parents, I really hate living at home and since my boyfriend split up with me a month before I finished Uni, I have not had any money to go out and try and meet someone else. There doesn’t appear to be any job opportunities where I live, unless I want to wash dishes in the local cafe. I do not have any friends at home and my Uni friends all live so far away and I do not have the money for train fare. What can I do? Rebecca. You’re not the first or only person to be feeling like this. I sympathise with your situation, however, you need to do something about it. Personally I would register online and in person with several recruitment agencies, get suited and booted and take time out to visit local businesses to drop off my CV. Don’t be afraid to ask your parents to help you by means of running you around a little in order to help you find a job as that’s what parents are for. I

am sure that they would love to help you and would not want you to be feeling the way you do. Talk to them and explain the situation. It may also be useful for you to lower your minimum job requirements with regards to hours you are willing to work, salary you expect and the actual job that you are prepared to accept. It’s better to start somewhere as more opportunities may come about once you’re employed in a business. Think positive, get out and about and positive things will happen. Good luck. Claire x Dear Claire, I have been married to my husband for 26 years and his consistent and very noisy snoring is driving me mad. I work in a care home and often my job involves very early starts and my sleep is precious to me. My colleagues are always telling me that I look tired and I feel tired also. Can you suggest a solution to this problem? Mair. Mair, snoring is caused by the obstruction of the free flow of air as it passes through the nasal passages located at the back of the throat. This may be due to poor muscle tone at the back of the mouth or simply, sleeping on his back for too long. There are several so-called “stop snoring solutions” available on the market that you could try until you find a fix. I would try an “anti-snoring pillow” for starters as these tend to be reasonably priced. If these fail, then you can always resort to sleeping in the other room! If you have internet access, then pay a visit to www. for more advice and information on this matter. I hope this helps. Claire x

Oh...What’s Occuring Caerleon Summer Arts Festival. The ancient Roman legionnary fortress town will be host to a range of events: sculptors, childrens art, Shakespeare in the Roman amphitheatre, music, singing, exotic dancing and art and craft exhibitions. JUL


2 -10

Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival. Including live music, street theatre, open-air theatre, children’s entertainers and funfairs in and around Cardiff Bay. Event telephone number is 02920 872087



9 - 11

FIM British Speedway. Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Check out this stage of the World Championship FIM Speedway.Event telephone number 0871 230 7155 www.


Everyman Open-Air Theatre Festival, St Fagans. Cardiff’s renowned Everyman Theatre Group presents its Summer Theatre Festival.This year’s bold programme offers something for everyone. Now in its 28th year, a fourth show has been added to to the programme and will be performed in Welsh especially for children of junior school age and above. Event telephone number is 0844 8700 887 JUL


6 -31


Llanover Village Fete. Starts at 1pm and there will be a range of stalls, entertainment, a bar, wellywanging competition, tug-o-war, Mystic May and a fun dog show.



What’s On

Parklife, Tredegar House, Newport. This is a free family day. Take part in a fantastic selection of fun activities for all the family, including 5’s for life Summer festival, music on stage, sporting opportunities, play activities, taster sessions, arts activities, dance sessions and lots more. JUL


The Big Cheese, Caerphilly. Set in the shadows of one of Europe’s largest castles, the town of Caerphilly comes to life as people of all ages come to The Big Cheese. It’s an extravaganza of street entertainers, living history encampments, music, dance, traditional funfair, folk dancing, falconary, fire eating, minstrels, troubadours and much more. Event telephone number is 02920 880011 JUL



Get your business noticed in next month’s edition

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,s LIvEs rEadEr

we challenge our ever-growing other publication...each month Not to be confused with a certain mag, email them to us at selves holding our snazzy little them of ure pict a take to ers army of read mates and don’t be shy as your k. Get out and about, grab your co.u ine. gaz sma alley myv ers@ read and best of the bunch and there’ll year we’ll be selecting the daftest mother wasn’t! At the end of the word! So get snapping and spread the be some great prizes to be won.

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My Valleys Magazine - July 2010  

As we look back on the month just gone, it is with great sadness that Wales lost a true valley boy who was a Welsh legend and exceptional ch...

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