And hit back they have, with Pat Pike, 73, expressing his anger to the BBC while shopping in the fruit and vegetable shop. “I was born and bred here and I’ve always loved it,” he told the beeb. “I felt deeply angry when I read about that article.” Lets hope he was selecting soft fruits rather than the potentially lethal coconut or pineapple.

The journalist went on to warn the offending mbr journalist from ever setting foot in the local café again, after describing it as “faded” with “food debris decorating the interior”.

The wordsmith also quoted Ann Wilshire, owner of the fruit and vegetable shop, who said the village was “down to earth and very friendly,” before he issued another caveat to mbr: “But perhaps not quite so friendly if you’re a feature writer for a certain mountain bike magazine,” the journalist wrote.

We have been warned. Looks like we’ll have to find another run-down café to sate our lust for rarebit and seaweed.

Of course the fabled journo saw the very best of Ferndale, about eight miles north of Pontypridd, arriving as he did in style, “choosing the more convenient option of driving, rather than a mountain bike, to get to the village.” Sigh, if only mbr had had the sense to cover those motorway miles between London and Wales by car, rather than wheelieing its way there.

The sunny weather may also have helped his mood, certainly the array of boarded up shops failed to put him off – “If the residents don’t like living there, they certainly hid it well from me,” he wrote.

Why mbr was so critical of a town that can boast “handsome hillsides, a main street with banks, a post office, butcher and other useful shops,” I’ll never know… perhaps us simple town folk just prefer life at a slower pace and have less need for such refinements.

No hard feelings Ferndale, the Valleys will always draw us back in waves!

Read the original BBC article at