June 11 2017: The story of Amity

Blame it on my great grandfather. He was part of a religious revival that swept through North Wales over a century ago. While other miners in the booming coal town were busy drinking, gambling and looking for loose women, Robert Williams was singing hymns and preaching hell fire.

He wouldn’t have thought much of sparkly shoes…

Great grandad’s influence still lingered among my ancient aunts who were quick to condemn anything that might be fun. Playing cards were the Devil’s picture book – even when it was just snap with Mr Bun the Baker. Sundays were chapel, chapel and yet more chapel.

I thought these strict Welsh attitudes had died out until I visited the Western Isles. Sundays there were just for church. No playing, gardening, car washing or odd jobs. Even the playgrounds were empty, with signs saying “Respect the Sabbath”. It was the time of the Scottish Referendum. What would it be like, I wondered, if these people were in charge.

If people like my great grandfather ruled the world it wouldn’t be much fun at all. How would a spirited girl survive?

And that was the start of Amity…