Oct 13, 2009

Ten Questions With Dilwyn Jeffrey Phillips - Welsh Author and Humorist

Dilwyn Jeffrey Phillips
Dilwyn Phillips:-"Dilwyn was brought up in Pontarddulais and attended Pontardawe Grammar School. He has lived in Llandrindod, Machynlleth, Aberaeron and Talybont, Ceredigion. Many of his jokes derive from his experience as a civil engineer, teacher and salesman."

Americymru: You have published 4 collections of Welsh jokes and humorous stories. How do you go about collecting material for your books?

Dilwyn: It really started with me always keeping a few jokes up my sleeve for use in after dinner speeches or similar.  Over the years I managed to collect many jokes which I saved.  Whilst working for Y Lolfa, (as a Sales Manager) during one of our regular meetings we were asked for suggestions for topics in the ‘Its Wales, series’.  I suggested Welsh Jokes and was asked if I would like to write a book.

I obviously didn’t have enough material to complete the first book initially, but when friends, relatives and colleagues realised that I was collecting material I was inundated with anecdotes and stories that they had heard or been told.

Incidentally I have had 5 books published, but due to the content of one I used a pseudonym, however, after people read the first joke and noted the style I was found out.

Americymru: Do you think that there is such a thing as a specifically Welsh joke? What if anything distinguishes the Welsh sense of humour from others?

Dilwyn: I don’t think there is a specifically Welsh joke, only that almost any joke can be adapted by using names and localities that are specific to different parts of Wales.

I believe that the Welsh have the ability to laugh at themselves and are not offended at references to their shortcomings and do not seemed bothered about political correctness, similar comparisons can be made to other Celtic races, i.e., the Irish and Scots.

Americymru: Gwyn Thomas is famous for observing that "There are still parts of Wales where the only concession to gaiety is a striped shroud." Do you think Wales has changed at all since Gwyn's time?

Dilwyn: Obviously Gwyn Thomas is talking of a different era and I would agree that in those days of hardship he may well have been right.  From my own experiences as a child and young adult growing up in a mining community this didn’t seem to be the case.

Americymru: You were born in Pontarddulais ( South Wales ) but lived at various times in Machynlleth, Aberaeron and Talybont ( Mid and North Wales ). What cultural differences did you note between North and South Wales? Were these reflected in the humour of the different regions?

Dilwyn: With integration through education and work there doesn’t seem to be any noticable cultural differences.  There has always been a great deal of jovial banter between the ‘Gogs’ and the ‘Boyos’!  There isn’t  a noticeable difference in the humour between the regions.

Americymru: You worked once as a teacher. Having had some experience of teaching in Wales myself, would you say that a sense of humour is an essential prerequisite for anyone taking up the profession in Wales? How much of the material in your books was gleaned during your time at the 'chalkface' or how much of it relates to your experience as a teacher?

Dilwyn: During my teaching practice I was told that every teacher should not be ashamed to be a clown and to make a fool of oneself in jest.  If anything happened I always tried to turn it into a joke and this did gain the respect of the children.

Most of the material regarding education has been passed on to me, however, there is the odd incident during my teaching career which has been used in the books.

Americymru: You also worked as a salesman. Care to tell us more about your experiences in those days?

Dilwyn: This was a job I took in retirement and allowed me to travel all over Wales and meet many of the characters depicted in the books.

Americymru: You were also a civil engineer. What kind of projects did you work on?

Dilwyn: I worked on the Heads of the Valleys Road, Corby Steel Works, Gower Sewage Schemes and the Trostre Steel Works.  I then joined Local Government as an Engineer.

Americymru: What prompted your retirement to Spain? Was it mainly the lousy weather back home?

Dilwyn: I retired to Spain to start a new life with my new wife, who as a retired Nurse, contributed to the Hospital Jokes Book?  The weather was a major influence in our decision also the Costa Brava is the healthiest area in Spain, according to WHO, due to the abundance of Salt Lakes.

Americymru: Do you have any further books planned?

Dilwyn: Yes, I have submitted 4 books for publication and have been informed that Golfing Jokes will be published before the next Ryder Cup, which you are most probably aware, is being held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.

Americymru: Any final message for the members and readers of Americymru?
I quote from my last published book.

Dilwyn: ‘Laughter can reduce stress, boost your immune system, help reduce your blood pressure and exercise certain muscles.

If you are looking for a quick way to work out, Laugh!’

Some of the jokes I have contributed to the Humour section of Americymru, but don’t let this stop you from purchasing any of the books. They can be bought online directly from the publishers at www.ylolfa.com

The titles are Welsh Jokes, Celtic Jokes, More Welsh Jokes, Welsh XXX Jokes and Hospital Jokes.


It was a hot Saturday evening in the summer of 1961, and Ianto had a date with Myfanwy.
He arrived at her house and rang the bell.
'Oh, come on in!' Myfanwy’s mother said as she welcomed Ianto in. 'Have a seat in the living room. Would you like something to drink? Lemonade? Iced tea?'
'Iced tea, please,' Ianto replied.
Myfanwy’s mother brought the iced tea. 'So, what are you and Myfanwy planning to do tonight?' she asked.
'Oh, probably catch a movie, and then maybe grab a bite to eat at the fish and chip shop, maybe take a walk on the beach..'
'Myfanwy likes to screw, you know,' her mother informed him.
'Really?' Ianto replied, his eyebrows rising.
'Oh yes,' the mother continued, 'When she goes out with her friends, that's all they do! Screw, again and again!!'
'Is that so?' asked Ianto, incredulous.
'Yes,' said the mother. 'As a matter of fact, she'd screw all night if we let her!'
'Well, thanks for the tip!' Ianto said as he began thinking about alternate plans for the evening.
A moment later, Myfanwy came down the stairs looking pretty as a picture, wearing a pink blouse and a hooped skirt, and with her hair tied back in a bouncy ponytail. She greeted Ianto.
'Have fun, kids!' the mother said as they left.
Two hours later, a completely dishevelled Myfanwy burst into the house and slammed the front door behind her.
'The Twist, Mam!' she angrily yelled to her mother in the kitchen. 'The f***ing dance is called the Twist!!!

Did you know that laughter can reduce stress, boost your immune system, help reduce your blood pressure, and exercise certain muscles?
'Hospital Jokes' by Dilwyn Jeffrey Phillips

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