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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read, 26 Aug 2013
This review is from: Village Policeman (Hardcover)
This is the second book I've read by Ian Niall, the other being "The Idler's Companion". The guy had such a great way of depicting times gone by and evoking the travails of a much simpler world. I have "The Galloway Shepherd" on the shelf for one of my next reads and can't wait to get started.

Being the son of a retired bobby myself I've grown up with tales of the beat and could listen to them all day long. Luckily for me my dad is getting everything written down for posterity and self-publishing collections of his best stories.

If you like the author, old fashioned tales, or a bit of history and rural nostalgia; you should definitely read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insight to village life., 17 April 2011
This review is from: Village Policeman (Hardcover)
This a wonderfully written book which provides a fascinating insight to village life as a Bobby, whose venture into Liverpool helped prepare him for the not so sleepy Welsh village of Abergynolwyn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great story of a fascinating life, 9 Feb 2011
This review is from: Village Policeman (Hardcover)
I must first declare a bias when writing this review for PC Arthur Williams, the subject of this book, was my great-grandfather. So my first delight in the work is as an insight into my family history.

However, even as an outsider I believe I would find this book engaging, entertaining and amusing. For it tells of a world in which a police officer were not `electronically tagged' by the possession of a radio; where justice could often be often rough and ready and certainly not stifled by red tape; where a policeman had to eek out their meagre living by poaching; where the true test of a country officer was to take on win by guile and muscle the king of the gypsies when he travelled into town.

Arthur is interesting in himself. He was, as his youngest son later became, a self-taught expert in natural history. PC Williams used the cell at the back not for prisoners but as a hospital for wounded animals which he bandaged and healed. Rather than rely on truncheon alone he supplemented his armoury with a staff which, as the book relates, he used to great effect against miscreants. In addition he also had his trusty Alsatian dog to whom he always gave instructions in German (the language of orders!).

To me the most interesting feature of PC Williams life was his recovery from severe shell shock. Today Arthur would have been given a pension, psychiatric help, drugs, therapy and retired for life following the post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered following his experience in a Flanders shell hole in No Man's Land in the bitter winter of 1915. In those days you simply had to "get on with it." Work and nature obviously proved itself to be the best type of therapy.

You also discover the other interesting characters in the village, not the least of which was my most indomitable grandmother.

If you like this book I would also recommend, particularly those interested in conservation, 'Wildlife in Custody' by PC Ken Williams and Ian Skidmore. Uncle Ken, youngest son of Arthur, set up the nature reserve that still exists in Penrhos, Anglesea, in 1972.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Village Policeman by Ian Niall, 3 Mar 2010
By 
R. Leeson (Glossop, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Village Policeman (Hardcover)
Arthur Williams the Grandfather of a friend of mine who shall always remain so simply because he introduced me to an amazing part of Wales very near to Abergynolwyn (English: Mouth of the River with a Whirlpool).
Visiting the beautiful small town of Abergynolwyn at least once a year and having visited most of the places Ian Niall (Pen-name of John McNeillie) involves in this piece of history I found the book a joy to read. I've managed to give 3 copies away now and hope this copy stays with me for sometime! (they are getting more expensive)
A touching part of this book for me is the fact that when you are in Abergynolwyn - just down the road from the Railway Inn going towards Dolgoch you'll pass over a river, if you view the walls each side of the river you'll see some fish etched into the tops of the walls. One done by Arthur, one done by his son and one done by his son's son (my friend - back in possibly the late 60's early 70's) The book comes alive when you have seen the area but still without this, you can still walk through the true history of a Village Policeman.Village Policeman
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5.0 out of 5 stars Policing like it ought to be!, 3 Jun 2009
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M. Bastone - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Village Policeman (Hardcover)
what a wonderful book! A great story and a reminder that policing has changed out of all recognition over such a relatively short time. Certainly our subject has feet of clay, but a local hero he is anyway.
I would recommend this title and 'The Gamekeeper' as the best of Ian Niall's works.
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Village Policeman
Village Policeman by Ian Niall (Hardcover - 19 April 1971)
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