Gav Davies, an AC Hoylake Under 10s and Academy coach, has turned his back on the trappings of modern life and taken his family back to the turn of the 20th century for the BBC documentary The 1900 Island.
The Davies family joined three other families to face the challenge of their lives by heading back more than 100 years to try to make a living in a 1900 fishing community.
The families spent four weeks on Llanddwyn, a beautiful, uninhabited tidal island, off the coast of Anglesey, where they were exposed to the extremities of the wild waters and unpredictable weather, while having to live off the land and sea – no phones, no cars, no Domino’s Pizza delivery.
The families came from all over the UK – Gav’s family representing Wirral, alongside families from Swansea, Cardiff and Kent – and all had to muck in together to make a living and put food on the table, with no running water or electricity, and just a small ration of food to get them started.
Just imagine how difficult that would be – getting thrown into hand-to-mouth living conditions with three other families you’ve never met before. Almost as difficult as coaching a load of hyperactive ten-year-olds.
About the Davies family
The Davies family of seven are from the Wirral, near Liverpool. They are 39-year-old full-time mum Natalie, 40-year-old operations manager Gavin and their five children. Gavin’s three times great-grandfather was a labourer in a fishing community.
Gavin says: “Before we arrived on the island we felt a real mix of emotions. We were excited as to what was ahead having held a long interest in the Victorian and Edwardian era but also a sense of trepidation at the tough roles we were going to face as a family.
“The biggest challenges were getting the children to eat the blandest, tasteless food... and very little of it too.”
Natalie says: “We fell in love with the life we experienced. Coming back to 21st Century living was hard. We now have a deep appreciation of the simple things in life. Good food, good family and friends and a lasting connection with those who lived that life. We bake and eat simpler foods - we all still love porridge and flat bread. We have slowed down our pace of life and live for the moments shared with family and friends.”
You can find out more about the show by going to the BBC website, and watch it on iPlayer (it’s already being shown on BBC One Wales). Or you can wait until the show hits English screens, where it will air on BBC Two on May 24th.
We’ve not yet been able to confirm whether Gav will be signing autographs at our presentation day on June 1st.