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Terry Waite

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 11 August 2011

Terry Waite, who was held hostage in Beirut for nearly five years in the late 1980s, returns to his childhood in the small Cheshire hamlet of Styal. Born in 1939, he remembers the constraints of being the son of the local policeman, where any misdemeanour from a young Terry came under scrutiny. His father Thomas, a highly principled man, was also a disciplinarian, leading to an ambivalent relationship between father and son. His mother Lena worked hard to keep the the family fed, especially at a time of post war rationing. Terry's parents used their large garden to sustain meal times and even sold fruit and vegetables to supplement a policeman's wage.

As a child, Terry failed his 11 plus and left school at 16. Being a loner and finding village life too confined, Terry was eager to see more of the world and applied to join the navy, but he was persuaded by his father to stay at home and continue his education through evening classes and college. The Church of England played a big role in his life. As a boy he sang in the church choir and and even learnt large parts of the prayer book by heart and it was the rituals, language and music of his faith which he says nourished and sustained him while in captivity.

In the House I Grew Up In, Terry Waite takes Wendy Robbins back to the home and haunts of his childhood.

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