Terry Waite: Beirut kidnap victim talks about solitude at book event

By Aimee Jones | Oswestry | Oswestry entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

It has been more than three decades since Terry Waite hit the headlines when he was kidnapped in Lebanon.

Terry Waite with his new book for an event at the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry

Yet people still flock to meet the former peace envoy and hear the story of how he was held hostage for 1,763 days in Beiruit - the first four years of which were in solitary confinement.

The 80-year-old dropped into the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry on Saturday to greet fans and sign copies of his three latest books.

The latest book is on a topic Mr Wait knows better than most - solitude.

WATCH: Terry Waite on solitude

Terry Waite: Beirut kidnap victim talks about solitude after book launch

"It looks at how different people deal with different kinds of solitude," he said.

"The book touches on my solitude but it's mainly about the different people I have met.

"It starts in Australia in a very remote area of the outback - these people were in solitude because they were 400 miles from the nearest shop.


"Years ago Stalin's daughter Svetlana came to stay with us in London.

"She suffered a very unusual form of solitude because she could never escape the fact that she was Stalin's daughter.

"One Christmas she said she would like to go to church so I said she could come to the Orthodox church with us. She said she couldn't because everyone knows what her father did."

Solitude also includes previously unpublished interviews with figures such as the double agent George Blake and the 'Moors murderer' Myra Hindley.


He also revealed he is currently working on a new book which is set to be released next year.

Mr Waite has been in the area over the past week in his capacity as the president of the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod.

But having forged a close relationship with the owner of the British Ironwork Centre, Clive Knowles, on one of his trips to Shropshire many years ago, Mr Waite could not pass up an opportunity to drop in.

"I love coming up to Llangollen and Shropshire," he added.

"I have been the president of the Eisteddfod for the last 13 years and I think it's wonderful. It brings young people from all over the world together in the name of peace and that is very much needed in today's world."

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.


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