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Terry Waite

Terry Waite – Beirut hostage for nearly five years - returns to his childhood in the small Cheshire hamlet of Styal. From 2011.

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 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 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.

Terry Waite takes Wendy Robbins back to the home and haunts of his childhood.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011.

Available now

28 minutes