A WREXHAM woman's creation of a fictional Yorkshire village during the Second World War is being launched as a book.

Juliet Warrington's comedic novel - 'The Wit & Wisdom Of Hilda Ffinch' - goes on the shelves in September, and it is hoped it'll be the first in a series of 'The Chronicles of Little Hope 1939-1945'.

Set in 1940, the villagers of Little Hope in Yorkshire are doing their very best to simply 'keep calm and carry on' - which isn’t always easy amid air raids, a lack of basic amenities and the influx of evacuees.

Enter Mrs Hilda Ffinch, a bored but rich lady of the manor who takes it upon herself to step into the role of Agony Aunt for the local newspaper.

Asked how she came up with the idea, Juliet, who lives in Cefn Mawr, says her inspiration for the work came from researching her own family's Second World War background.

She explained: "My interest in the British home front during World War II began purely by chance when I came across an article about the Nottingham blitz whilst browsing the internet.

"I was vaguely aware that my mother had, as a child, lived in Nottingham during the war and that she’d been badly affected by a particularly terrifying night spent cowering in a cellar with her mother and younger siblings whilst bombs rained down above them making the house rattle and shake like a jar of marbles.

"Mum would never really talk about the experience in any detail, but my interest was aroused by the internet article and I decided to ask her about the war again when I next spoke to her.

However that opportunity never came as her mother sadly passed away just a couple of days later.

Juliet said: "Once the initial shock and grief had subsided, I began to think more and more about the other people I’d known who had come through the war and who I’d never thought of as anything but ordinary folk on the periphery of my childhood world."

She found out about her great uncle Arthur who had parachuted into Holland in 1944 and had survived the botched Allied operation - codenamed Market Garden - by lying in a trench and pretending to be dead, and her other great uncle Trevor who - alongside 400,000 others - was miraculously rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk four years earlier.

Juliet soon found she had family links with several people who played key roles in the war effort.

She said: "I came to realise pretty quickly that I hadn’t really known any of these people at all, I’d taken them all for granted and now regretted it. I began to research the war in depth, the home front in particular as this was what fascinated me.

"Gradually, the idea of the fictional village of Little Hope began to take shape. It would be an odd little place set somewhere in my ancestral county of Yorkshire and would be peopled by an assortment of slightly eccentric, larger than life characters, any one of whom would have made Hitler think twice about invading.

"My villagers wouldn’t be strangers to courage and defiance at all as their own great grandparents would have been the ordinary British folk who’d helped to put a stop to Napoleon’s gallop. They would be people who could take whatever was thrown at them and would make the best of it with a raised eyebrow and a cup of tea."

The Leader: An example of some of Juliet's characters An example of some of Juliet's characters

Initially the project was photographic rather than literary.

Juliet explained: "Fortunately, finding people to portray my fictional characters wasn’t at all difficult, I’m lucky enough to have a circle of good friends and family who were only too happy to indulge me in my madness and who pitched in willingly with a theatrical flair which was really rather impressive.

"The images first appeared in ‘Digit’, a magazine produced by the Royal Photographic Society back in 2017 but by then the little captions which appeared under the images had grown longer and were beginning to develop into short stories and finally, this year, the first of my novels is due to be published.

The Leader: Juliet Warrington's comedic captions and photos have captured people's imaginations and led to her writing first novel. Juliet Warrington's comedic captions and photos have captured people's imaginations and led to her writing first novel.

"It’s an exciting time, seeing my first book in print and it’s also an odd feeling waving my characters off into the great unknown as they finally leave my imagination to visit the minds of others."

You can hear more about the characters of Little Hope here

The Wit & Wisdom Of Hilda Ffinch is available to pre order on Amazon.