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“Trellech, ah I know it well for all the wrong reasons ”
Trellech is a small dystopian Welsh Village community based atop a very big hill on the border between Wales and England. Due to its less than unique location of being atop a very big hill, it is know to locals as 'Top of the Hill'. Trellech has often been referred to the real life 'Royson Vasey' of the UK due to its unique weirdness and was the inspiration for the dysfunctional fictional village of Royson Vasey that featured in the BBC comedy series the League of Gentlemen.
Trellech sits just 2 miles within the Welsh border in the ancient county of Monmouthshire in South East Wales. Historically, there have been lengthy campaigns between the English and the Welsh over who should lay claim to Monmouthshire, with the English insisting it should be in Wales and the Welsh insisting it should be in England. Eventually in 1974, after an unlucky throw of the dice in the county council chambers, Monmouthshire was determined to be in Wales, much to the disgust and annoyance of the council. Monmouthshire is to be considered a foster child of a county, currently in the care of the Welsh due to it having a troubled upbringing and absent geographical parents.
To the North of Trellech lies the town of Monmouth, known locally as 'Mon' and to the South, the town of Chepstow, known locally as Chepstow in order not to abbreviate the name to 'Cheps' and mistake the town for the staple diet of the area that is Chips. Trellech sits at an oxygen depriving altitude of 820 feet above sea level and the distinct lack of oxygen accounts for many of the locals suffering brain damage in varying degrees from slightly odd to downright bloody weird behaviour. One mile west of Trellech, is the aptly named 'Far Hill' which for those locals who struggle with simple concepts (most of them) is a hill that is far away. To the east of Trellech sits 'Beacon hill', a hill that once had a beacon on it. Pragmatic naming of local points of interest is a trait of the inhabitants of Trellech. "Where's be that to then?" is the locals way of saying "where is that?". "Dunno" and "fektyfyno" is the standard response in Welsh to any question relating to geographical references.
The name 'Trellech' (Pronounced 'Tray-Lick') is rumoured to mean 'three stones', not a reference to the rampant drug abuse in the village but more likely a reference to the fact there are three standing stones within the village. Historically, there has been 26 different spellings of the name 'Trellech', indicating a high level of historic illiteracy. Even to this day, the three roads into the village each have a different spelling of the village name, due to the still continuing high levels of local illiteracy. At a parish council meeting in 2007, it was proposed to rationalize the name to one single spelling but the equally high levels of illiteracy amongst parish councillors resulted in a proposed village name change to 'Dave'. The motion was not upheld because the parish council wanted to leave early and grab a pint and a cheeky puff of weed at the local pub and therefore the different spellings for Trellech remain to this day.
In 3,000BC, a small group of wondering tribal types came across Trellech but never bothered to stop, instead lured back down the hill again by the need for Oxygen. In 2,800BC they had another go and climbed back up the hill. Once atop the hill, archaeologists deduced that there must have been some calamitous event lower down for the group decided to settle in what was a god forsaken place. Once settled, boredom set in (drugs and alcohol had not been invented yet!!) and the tribe decided to dig three big holes. After a period of 68 years, the tribe pondered what to do with their three holes and at this point, in a further episode of boredom whilst they waited for someone to invent drugs and alcohol, they stuck three big stones in the holes. They must have been pleased with their handy work because the three stones still stand today, a stark monument to the boredom at the top of the hill.
The Roman period
Later on the Romans came to Trellech and with their desire to impart civilisation, culture, morality and sanitation on communities, they passed right through without stopping and headed back down to Monmouth (then called Mons Gruffo). Archaeologists have recently unearthed an official communication inscribed on a stone slab by Bigus Dickus, the commander of the local Roman garrison who describes Trellech as a 'lost cause' and a 'waste of time and resources' and a request to be transferred to Judea . One of the legionaries is recorded as having his rug and two pots and pans stolen off his back as he passed through Trellech, something that still happens to this day and is a visible link between the Trellech of today and the Trellech of yesteryear.
The Saxon Period
In 800 A.D. the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain, swept across England and arrived at the border of Wales. After venturing across the border and up the hill to Trellech they immediately descended rapidly back down the hill, retreated to the English border and built a bloody big ditch and earth bank to ensure that no Saxon would ever go back up the hill to Trellech again. They named the ditch and bank in memory of the local Saxon King's wife who was rumoured to be a rug munching lesbian. To this day it is still referred to as Offa's Dyke.
The Norman Period
In 1087 the Normans invaded Monmouthshire and a group of them must have got lost because they ended up at the top of the hill and found Trellech. By this time, the population consisted of just 28 people, all related to one another with 'unusual' physical characteristics and sat around the three big stones set in holes and looking rather bored (alcohol and drugs were still not invented). The Normans soon realised that the strategic position of being atop a hill meant that Trellech offered them a unique opportunity to suffer oxygen starvation and the resultant dizziness, loss of coherent thought and minor brain damage. Enjoying the effects of minor brain damage, the Normans soon got bored and decided to make a big sand castle out of mud.
Things got a bit carried away over time (as they do) and the boredom and brain damage led to them building a mound some 60 feet across and 20 feet high. Once completed, a big fight broke out over who got to sit at the top of the mound and one 'Edward the inbred' staked his claim to the mound and built a small wooden castle on the top so he could sit there all day long, shouting "I can see your house from here" to his fellow ostracised Normans below. To this day, Edward the Inbred's mound building legacy lives on in the form of 'Trellech Tump', a mound of earth behind the village church. Local legend has it that should anyone ever dig into Trellech Tump, the spirit of Edward the Inbred will return and turn the diggers soul into cheese and their spirits into potatoes for eternity.
The rise of Trellech, aka the 'alcoholic' period
Whilst drugs were still to be invented, the Normans introduced alcohol to Trellech in the form of wine and this led to a major change to the village's fortunes. This heralded the arrival of the alcoholic era. The village thrived to become the largest community of alcoholics in the whole of Medieval Wales. Alcholics travelled far and wide to settle in Trellech and drink themselves senseless, a tradition that carries on to this very day as another visible link to the past.
Trellech's fortunes varied over the coming years and in an effort to seek salvation, the locals built a huge church with a pointy spire and a brass cockerel on top. When the locals realised that a Church is not a pub (which is what they were actually hoping it would be when finished) the locals tried to burn the church down but they had yet to discover how to make fire so they gave up.
The decline of Trellech aka the 'incestuous' or 'menstrual' period
With the growth in the town of Monmouth, famous for its oxygen, loose women, attractive and uninhibited sheep and plentiful taverns, many locals decided to leave the 'top of the hill' to seek sexual indulgence and alcohol at the lower altitude of Monmouth. Trellech was now in decline with only a small group of hardcore alcoholics remaining and living on potatoes, cider and acorns for nutrition and by 'dipping into' a very small gene pool for procreation. In Trellech dialect "I'm going for a dip" is not a reference to a swimming based activity but is in fact a reference to sexual relations with another person/family member/ animal that is still in common use today. It is not uncommon amongst the farming community to hear the following. Farmer A - "What you been up to today bud?" Farmer B - "oh aye, dipping sheep all day". In Trellech, a 'Big Dipper' is not an adrenalin fueled fairground ride but is in fact a reference to any male with a prodigious sexual appetite and low sexual quality standards, that is to say, a typical village resident.
Social and economic stabilisation of Trellech, aka The 'Wilderness' period
Trellech remained a mere shadow of its former self well into the 18th Century and into the 19th Century, at which point its population stabilized and its local economic growth started with the arrival of the Hessian sack. Locals could now trade with one another by the sack full and not by having to rely on the grossly huge pockets that had become Trellech fashion for carrying vast amounts of potatoes that they used as coinage. The increase in the ability to pay for goods and services by the Hessian Sack full of spuds led to a period of rampant inflation, fuelled by greed and a love of chips. Trade with the lower, oxygen saturated levels at the bottom of the hill was still problematic due to the use of proper coinage at these lower levels and the non acceptance of potatoes as payment. Trellech had sealed itself off from the rest of civilisation economically and socially at this point in history.
When Admiral Horatio Nelson visited Monmouth in 1802, he was asked if he wished to travel to the 'Top of the hill' to visit Trellech, he made his now famous,and often quoted stark reply of "Trellech?, eurghhh, There is better culture on a block of stale cheese my good fellow". Whilst many view this comment as disrespectful of Trellech and its inhabitants, not one single person has ever actually claimed it to be false in any way. Trellech culture is at best described as a mixture of the morality of Sodom and Gomorrah combined with the collective creativity of a group of baboons with a crayon.
Monmouth and Chepstow's most famous resident 'Mad Irish Will' once visited Trellech but even a tanked up Mad Irish Will on his 9th can of Stella for the day decided Trellech culture was simply too much and departed within the hour saying "it's fekkin well mad up there yeaaaah, with all those pissed up fekkers. Fekkin too mad and fekked up for me like". To the casual passer by, Trellech may seem to be without culture but it is there, hidden and subversive, lying just under the surface like a large, fresh, soft dog turd hidden underneath autumnal leaves, ready to ruin the shoes of the unwary at any moment. Trellech does also have a magnetic affect on people and many 'outsiders' are drawn to its soulless charms for reasons that no one actually understands which is hardly surprising when one considers the overall low level of understanding of anything by anyone within the village. Once people move into the village, Trellech sucks away peoples' souls, intellect, hopes and aspirations and into the void it creates, it pours in alcohol in copious quantities, much like a water butt in a monsoon. It is said that even a Mormon would be turned into a drunk and a nun become a prostitute in Trellech. Many ex-Mormons and ex-nuns now reside in Trellech, the latter warmly welcomed by the locals who pay for their services with potatoes.
Coinage had made a brief and erratic appearance in Trellech, the locals instead preferring to trade potatoes, stones, sexual favours, toe nail clippings and acorns in exchange for goods and services. With the introduction of eBay and online purchasing, this has made online purchasing and online payments somewhat problematic for the inhabitants of Trellech but since no one actually knows how to turn on a computer, let alone use one, this has proved to be the least of their problems. Upon the loan of the first computer in Trellech, locals sat in front of it for nine hours solid waiting for it to tune in to Emmerdale Farm, before someone told them it was not a TV.
The absence of a pure cash economy is most noticeable in the local public house, the Lion Inn, where it is common practice to order ale and other alcoholic beverages before declaring "I've got no money, I will pay you next week" or simply begging for a pint of ale like a dog at the dinner table. On occasions, beer 'tabs' are settled by the arrangement of favours. Potatoes are not accepted within the Lion Inn as payment for goods and services due to the danger of Potato Blight infecting the other 6,480 potatoes that are kept as the pubs cash reserve.
Current Exchange rates as of 2014
- Pint of Beer - 3.6 toe nail clippings
- Packet of Cigarettes - 16 big toe nail clippings
- Blowjob - 1 potato
- Gallon of Fuel - 29 round spherical shiny pebbles
- Mowing an acre of Hay - 2 normal pebbles (plain & unshiny)
- Penetrative intercourse - .25 of a potato
- Penetrative intercourse with someone of the opposite sex - .5 potato
- Large portion of chips - 1 potato
- Std bag of weed - .5 potato or a blowjob (received)
- Piece of coal - 6 acorns
Partly due to its economic struggles, Trellech was slow to embrace modern low grade recreational drug use, in part due to the fact that drug dealers were reluctant to be paid in potatoes and also the fact that locals purchased weed (Marijuana) in the mistaken belief it was rabbit food. However, once the locals got a taste of cannabis, it became the drug of choice and part of the staple diet of the human population of Trellech. The meteoric rise in drug use in Trellech coincided with a simultaneous slump in the price of a bag of chips at lower levels as the potato market became flooded with the spoils of less than lucrative drug deals from the top of the hill. At one point in the early 1990's, dealers were offering a 'half spud' bag of weed with a weight of 50 grammes whilst a large bag of chips was selling for just 12 pence.
Trellech once had a village post office but no one knew how to use a stamp so the post office shut. Trellech once had a butchers but once the government tightened food hygiene regulations and made it an offence to commit murder of another human being, this also shut (it made great meat pies though!). Trellech has a cinema. It arranges uncomfortable plastic school chairs in front of a projector screen in the village hall and plays the latest releases from 1986 in Cine 8. Locals marvel at the moving pictures but are horrified that the camera has stolen the souls of the actors.
At the interval it serves cinema goers with tea, biscuits and haemorrhoid cream to treat the piles resulting from the inappropriate and uncomfortable chairs. Trellech had at one point a new modern doctors surgery which replaced the previous witches coven that the locals used to treat all manner of ailments and rampant sexually transmitted diseases through the application of dead rats, boiled snakes, magic spells and curses. The local population have shown much resistance to modern medicine, claiming it to be the work of the devil and against the will of god, however penicillin has proved to be very popular in treating the locals due to the large amount of STD cases that have now found their way into the top of the Trellech food chain.
Trellech also has a modern primary school where teachers from the bottom of the hill (normal people) venture to the top of the hill (not normal people) and try to teach children that squiggly lines on bits of paper are letters and numbers, that the world is not flat, that the moon is not made of cheese and that fire can be made by mankind. A recent OFSTED report listed the primary School as 'improving and introducing exciting new concepts to children such as the fact that electricity is science and not witchcraft. Trellech has a taxi service of sorts, and as long as you don't mind travelling at 20mph in a farm vehicle that smells of cow shit and stale kebabs, it will get you out of Trellech (there is no requirement to take people to Trellech).
Education & Health
Trellech has a collective 'O' level in woodwork gained in 1986 which is proudly shared amongst the locals as evidence of the educational standards of the community. Whilst the community may be considered ‘educationally challenged’ in the sense of formal education, this is more than compensated for by a large range of practical skills and abilities amongst the population such as poaching, masturbating, fixing anything with baling twine, crying, rolling tidy spliffs, swearing, lighting farts, fighting, badger baiting and when the conditions allow, diagnosing the current weather in ‘real time’ by looking skywards and exclaiming –“it’s raining/snowing/windy/warm/cold it is (delete as appropriate)”. Any villager with an IQ approaching within 45% of the UK mean is immediately ostracised and sent off to university, never to be again seen in the village, thus ensuring the collective IQ of Trellech never remains anywhere near spitting distance of the UK national average – Darwinian theory in action!
Generally speaking, other than the medical complications bought on by inbreeding such as oversize ears that stick out or large arses, the population of Trellech enjoy generally good health in the physical sense but poor mental health. Mental health problems manifest themselves by the inability to reason, comprehend simple concepts, put together a coherent sentence, gullibility and high emotional neediness. The latter emotional neediness is most apparent in the local watering hole, aka ‘pub’ that is the Lion Inn after a good hard session on the ale/wine/cider. Visitors to the Lion Inn often think they are sat in the waiting room of a mental health clinic with a moody receptionist instead of a pub.
Mental health counselling in Trellech is provided by telling another villager of your problems who then in turn tells the rest of the village before finally the initial problem is magnified and distorted beyond all comprehension and returned back in the form of mindless gossip fed to the person with the original problem. Example - A villager who at 9.00am informs his neighbour that he has run out of sugar will find that by 4.30pm this has now become a major house fire, his wife walking out on him and his dog run over by a tractor. The constant ebb and flow of mental health patients aka ‘customers’ at the Lion Inn would indicate that little progress is being made to improve the mental health of Trellech. In 2012, after receiving funding from MENCAP a new medical centre was opened within the village that contained real life doctors from the bottom of the hill. When the villagers realised the medical centre did not sell alcohol, fags, Rizla paper, recreational drugs or crisps and was therefore not in fact a pub, they never bothered to visit the medical centre and it shut in 2013 after being turned into a very modern and well equipped lambing shed (maternity ward in local speak).
A medical survey of Trellech in 2010 revealed that;
- 72% of the villagers caught a sexually transmitted disease from an immediate family member in the previous month
- 28% of the villagers caught a sexually transmitted disease from a close friends immediate family member in the previous week
- Chlamydia was the STD of choice for Villagers under the age of 40
- 64% of the villagers used cannabis for ‘medicinal purposes’ in the treatment of a sneeze or an itch
- 97% of the villagers were unsure what a survey was
- 92% of the villagers claimed to have been abducted by aliens and had been experimented on by ‘little green men’
- 81% of Villagers admitted to a drink problem but were sure that it was ‘under control’ because the Lion Inn did not open before mid day
- 47% of Villagers had unusually high levels of a bacteria normally found on sheep ‘naughty bits’ as the locals like to call them
- 18% of Villagers attended the survey thinking the circus had come to town
Communication and Transport
Communication with the outside world is sparse in Trellech leading to its almost complete isolation. Mobile phones do not work in the village since even a digital radio wave steers clear of Trellech and gives it a wide pass. Trellech does boast of having a piss soaked telephone box but the coin slot is constantly jammed up with potatoes rendering it totally useless. BT installed high speed broadband internet in Trellech in 2007 after being petitioned by the local population but once installed it became clear that the locals had misunderstood the term 'BroadBand Internet' and never realised that you need a computer to access and use it. Early trials with a Grundig TV, a big aerial and some dodgy copper cabling in the Babington centre came to nothing and to this day, Trellech is the only village in the whole world with ZERO internet access.
Verbal communication in Trellech is not unlike normal English but with more guttural grunts and finger/hand pointing to emphasise a point. Hearing locals grunting a conversation in the Lion Inn after the customary too much alcohol has been compared to the high pitched fevered grunts of a stag 'going at it hammer and tongs’ in the rutting season. Paradoxically, a country walk in or around Trellech can create confusion when one does actually hear the grunts of a shagging stag and this often leads to villagers shouting "Bob is that you?". During the rutting season the cacophony of confused villagers all shouting one each others names in response to a noisily fornicating stag has been called the 'Trellech Chorus'. For this reason, deer shooting has been banned within a five mile radius of Trellech on the grounds of safety.
The good news is that every road leads out of Trellech. The bad news is the Monmouthshire County Council's Highways department have yet to make them one way and therefore every road also leads back to Trellech. Enjoying as it does a position of ‘top of the hill’ gravity is always on your side when leaving the village and is science's nod to the fact it got it wrong in other areas of Trellech and is therefore trying to make amends. Popular escape routes are to Monmouth, Chepstow, Abergavenny or Tintern, all located at the lower oxygen rich levels of Monmouthshire. A driving licence, MOT, car tax and car insurance are all optional extras for the Trellech motorist and adequate parking is often to be found by wedging your vehicle in a hedge, into dry stone walls or any other solid roadside object making safe motoring somewhat of a lottery in Trellech and its surroundings.
Trellech has a bus stop outside of the Lion Inn but since the bus company does not accept potatoes, acorns, pebbles or toe nail clippings as payment it never actually stops and carries on driving past the expectant, yet bewildered locals as they stand in a queue clutching their worthless local currency.
Sports and recreation
Trellech is not exactly a sporting village, in fact there are no sports activities at all unless you count enthusiastic sexual intercourse as a sport, in which case, if Trellech were to field an Olympic shagging team it would win a gold. Trellech has petitioned the Olympics governing body to recognise enthusiastic shagging as a team sport with up to 14 players each side but as of May 2013 has still yet to receive a reply. Wife carrying is gaining popularity in Trellech both as a sport and also as a practical means to get your spouse home from the pub or on special occasions, someone else's wife. Trellech has no football team, no cricket team, rugby team or anything that could remotely be called ‘active sports’ of any sort and has never produced an Olympian (if only the Olympic governing body were to respond in the affirmative!)
Trellech residents are able to enjoy a wealth of recreational activities, most taking part in the Lion Inn. There is the chance to play crib which for the uninitiated involves leisurely sticking pins in a wooden board as you play a card game. Quiz nights bring out the intellectual elite of the village who pit their wits against other local village communities in what they mistakenly think is a really difficult job interview. Darts is a popular past time and forms part of the village’s adult learning maths curriculum with many three dart scores of 193 being achieved by enthusiastic and skilled players.
The 2nd and 5th Monday of every month is ‘open mic’ night at the Lion Inn where amazingly talented local musicians are barred access and in their place a ragtag collection of drummers,strummers and tone deaf shouters of lyrics entertain the bewildered and frankly nonplussed locals trying to enjoy a pint. On occasions, the Lion Inn hosts a karaoke night to allow the tone deaf shouters of lyrics to perform in front of yet more nonplussed locals trying to enjoy a pint as if to prove once and for all that Trellech never has and never will feature on Simon Cowell's bucket list of places to visit to obtain raw talent. Other forms of recreation include walking up and down the main road through Trellech, mindless gossip, pondering the paradox of Rene Descartes “Cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I am) whilst chewing on straw, rolling the perfect spliff, sleeping off a hangover or in the summer months playing cow pat frisbee with another local as the ‘catcher’.
Visit Trellech during the months of May to July and you will find it awash with young archaeologists, many in need of an actual wash. These Indiana Jones wannabes bear little resemblance to the real life Indiana Jones (manly & normal) and instead take the form of really unusual socially outcast troglodytes from middle earth. It has been suggested that the whole reason they dig is to actually try to get back to middle earth.
Trellech has an abundance of archaeology with students regularly undertaking excavations to try to discover how Trellech evolved alcoholically over the years by studying spirit, wine and beer bottles in a stratified historical and dirty finger nailed context. This branch of academic study being known as 'Alaeohology'. If one visits the Lion inn during the digging season you will find the pub full of asexual and socially outcast ‘middle earthers’ as the locals like to call them. Locals observe the young archaeologists as lower forms of evolutionary life whilst the archaeologists view the locals as a lower form of evolutionary life thus ensuring social equilibrium within the pub. A popular game for some of the more wayward villagers in the summer months is a cat and mouse game of finding and stealing the archaeologists beer stash within their camp site whilst they are drinking in the pub.
Things to see and do in and around Trellech
Trellech doesn’t have a lot to offer the visitor (or 'outsider' as they are known locally), in fact it is amazing anyone actually visits Trellech at all. Comparisons to the ghoulish attraction of a Victorian Freak show or a Hogarth painting in real life are often made by visitors.
The Lion Inn public house ‘Local pub for local people’
Sitting opposite the church graveyard (coincidence or an early form of good planning?) and forming the communal social hub of this dystopian village by acting as the alcoholic dispensary to the local population and any non villagers (outsiders) that dare to enter across its threshold, the Lion Inn offers much (again). There is B&B accommodation, shit covered wellies, CAMRA approved real ale, really pungent body odours, inane conversation, constantly shifting friends and fortunes, food, real fires which the fire brigade have to regularly put out, speculative gossip, swearing, and farting all within the colloquial setting of what is a rural sanatorium for the emotionally deprived. They can be seen standing and staring aimlessly with hollow bloodshot eyes.
Ale, beer, wine, cider and spirits are all paid for in pebbles, acorns and toe nail clippings (no more potatoes thank you) which can cause problems for those visitors that only carry the Queen's currency. The Lion Inn does not understand that round shiny and thin papery things are money. 'Cash point' facilities are available in the Lion Inn by the making available a set of toe nail clippers that are kept behind the bar on a chain for security reasons. The Lion Inn is the winner of numerous awards including the prestigious 'Febreeze Rosette' for odour control and the South Wales Argus award for best pub napkins 2001. The Lion Inn is a popular meeting place for various local groups such as the church bell ringers who often meet for an ale or two after having a tough session in the church belfry driving the local Quasimodos deaf and insane for amusement purposes.
Summer Beer festival
The highlight of the Trellech social calendar is the summer beer festival held in a muddy tent in the pub car park. This culturally challenging event spanning a whole weekend (liver allowing) gives both locals and visitors alike the chance to drink themselves into oblivion. The ability to dance in rhythm to the music performed by the various bands is generally held to be out of character with the event as is the skill to be able to contain the contents of ones stomach or rectum, whose contents are presented openly in an ejected form to all and sundry on a regular basis. The ability to use a flushing toilet also tends to disappear around the time of the beer festival.
Summer Cider festival
If the above isn’t enough, substitute cider for beer and note the results are no different other than the more apple like aroma of the piss.
The legacy of medieval Edward the Inbred's drunken sand castle building is ‘Trellech tump’ situated behind the church. Thankfully due to its being made of mud, it has yet to be stolen and remains in place.
Tracing its roots back to the boredom of prehistoric iron and bronze age man and evidence that drugs and alcohol were not available at the time, Harold's Stones can be found at the bottom of the village and prove to be a huge draw for the bearded weirdo stone hugging types who can often be found around them at periods of full moon, looking for inspiration and guidance in life matter from the little green men who obviously put them there…...NOT!
The Virtuous well
In a strange twist of fate by being the only thing in Trellech to actually be ‘virtuous’ this well is yet another draw for the bearded weirdo types who visit the well and tie little bits of cloth on the tree above in the hope that it will change their lives. A common wish to the ‘little green men’ is for the little bit of cloth torn from the persons clothes to be replaced once the wearer realises the garment is now well and truly trashed. On occasions visitors may spot used condoms hanging above the well as proof that for some, a wish to have penetrative sex did actually come true, although not always with someone of the opposite sex perhaps due to lack of the correct value of potatoes.
Famous residents of Trellech
• Howard Marks. Yep, at one time the UK’s most prolific drug smuggler of the 1970’s and 1980’s, Howard Marks aka ‘Mr. Nice’ lived and ran his international drugs operation whilst living in Trellech. Unfortunately, Howard Marks does not actually remember where he lived due to the ridiculous amount of cannabis he was smoking at the time. He does however remember it being a ‘farm’ which within a farming community narrows it down to one of a possible 234. Local rumours that Mr. Mark’s stashed vast amounts of drugs and cash within the village but in a haze of cannabis smoke forget where he put it, still abound and provide many an hours’ enjoyment for the villagers scouring the countryside for this mythical stash.
• Carol Decker. Lead singer with the now disbanded band T’Pau once lived in Trellech. Carol wrote and performed their major hit “China in your hand’ in reference to the fragile mental state she found the local population of Trellech to be in. After this hit she left Trellech in 1988 and had a further hit with “Road to our dream”, a reference to the road that leads out of Trellech.
• Bertrand Russell. Unbelievably, this eminent philosopher, logician and social critic and founder of CND (Campaign for Nuclear disarmament) was born in Trellech. His early years were spent pondering why he had the unfortunate fate to be born in Trellech and this gave rise to early philosophical interests such as the philosophical question – “Why me?” Bertrand Russell's famous quote “Boredom is ... a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it” was a direct reference to the boredom and morality of Trellech. Modern Social critics in Trellech tend to espouse less high brow comments such as “He/She must be fekkin mad” or “He/She got shagged by X/Y last night. Can you believe it?”
• Robert Plant. The lead singer of Led Zeppelin lived just outside of Trellech at a house known as the Argoed. The Led Zeppelin hit ‘Stairway to Heaven’ was inspired by Plant's visits to Trellech, and in particular his desire to get away from Trellech and the disconcerting habit of the locals smoking weed in the undergrowth or just standing and staring aimlessly at him and anyone else and talking to themselves (as still practised today). Here is the seminal line from Stairway to Heaven referencing this point - “There's a feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving. In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, and the voices of those who stand looking”. Stairway to Heaven is regularly and painfully killed to death both musically and vocally within the village at every opportunity, in tribute to Robert Plant's time in the area.
• Kate Humble. The Television presenter specialising in Wildlife and Science lived in Trellech but soon moved out once she realised that the local untamed wildlife had a human form and that science sometimes gets it wrong. Kate wanted to produce a TV documentary about Trellech but it was turned down by the BBC as being highly unsuitable for family viewing and therefore against the core values of the BBC.