A LLANDYBIE man has completed a 40-year journey to produce a new history of the village.

Dylan Rees grew up in Llandybie before leaving to study history at Aberystwyth University.

Whilst researching for his studies, Mr Rees often came across information on his home village which he would make a copy of to keep.

He explained: “I grew up in the Mill in the heart of the village, and from there went off to university in Aberystwyth.

“When I came across anything about Llandybie I carefully noted it and put it away for possible future use.

“I was always interested in the history of the village and was delighted to be given an opportunity to write about it. Inspired by growing up in the village my aim was to produce a comprehensive and updated history.

“I wanted to chart everything about the village from its origins and emergence to its growth and transformation through industrialisation. Among the themes I hoped to explore were culture and entertainment, the role of the Welsh language and prominent families.”

Upon retiring from teaching and lecturing Mr Rees set about researching and writing the book.

After two and a half years working on ‘Llandybie: A History’, the first comprehensive study of the village since Gomer Roberts’ Hanes Plwyf Llandybie in 1939, it is now set to be released at the end of the month.

Describing the process, Mr Rees said: “It has been a labour of love and a voyage of discovery, the culmination of much more than the two and a half years it has taken to write the book.

“One of the things I was very determined to do was interview people to hear their experiences of living and working in Llandybie.

“I have about a dozen interviews in the book with people whose ages range from the mid 40s to the mid 90s.

“Their perspectives on a range of events and experiences from the second world war, national service, guarding Hitler’s deputy to more recent conflicts in the Falkland’s and the Gulf, along with insights into local culture and protest campaigns and how the village has evolved are among my most treasured memories of writing the book. ”

The book runs to over 400+ pages and is illustrated with photographs, works of art, maps, tables and diagrams.

A special book launch event will take place on September 27, at 7pm in Llandybie Rugby Club.