Blurb for Jeremy Sandford’s Memoirs
Young writers dream of authoring a work that will change the world. In Jeremy Sandford’s case it seemed to him that this had actually happened. When his ‘Cathy Come Home’ was first transmitted it made him famous overnight.
More importantly it resulted in major changes in the way that homeless people were treated in reception centres for the homeless; brought to an end the separation of thousands of children from their parents each year, and their removal into the often dreadful world of public care, for no other reason than that they were homeless; and also brought to an end other horrors such as the compulsory separation of fathers from their wives and children in homes for the homeless.
The humanity and commitment of ‘Cathy’ and its sequel ‘Edna, the Inebriate Woman’ struck a chord in the hearts of millions; their combination of careful research and powerful writing twice stirred the conscience of our nation; and won Jeremy a place as one of our best loved authors. The plays were recently voted among the best hundred television programmes ever, with ‘Cathy’ at number 2 in a BFI poll, and ‘Edna’ at number 57. Among the single television plays the poll put ‘Cathy’ at number 1 and ‘Edna’ at number 21.
Sandford’s upbringing, however, in the ‘arts and crafts’ mansion of Eye Manor in Herefordshire, a historic house open to the public and devoted more to aesthetic frisson than social commitment, gave little indication of what lay ahead; seeming to point to a life of aesthetic dalliance rather than social campaigning.
Sandford was as surprised as anyone else by the metamorphosis. He writes, ‘In this, the first volume of my memoirs, I describe how I graduated from the minor gentry world of Eye Manor to the point that I became married to the beautiful and talented Nell Dunn.
‘In my second volume I will tell how I came to write “Cathy Come Home” and how I believe we offered to the BBC the formula for a new type of socially committed programme which would have endeared them even more to our viewers and placed them fair and square in possession of the moral high ground. They threw that chance away.’
At intervals through his vivid life narrative, Jeremy finds time for more leisurely and poetic evocations of places and people who have been especially important to him, often drawing on his journals and other writings of those times. The Savoy Hotel, Eel Pie Island, Newington Lodge Hostel for the Homeless, the River Wye, Gospel Pass in the Black Mountains; ‘Dandy Kim’ Caborn Waterfield, the poets Laurie Lee and R S Thomas, and the artist John Bratby.
Jeremy Sandford FanClub Archives
Almost all of the content of these webpages is copyright of the estate of
Jeremy Sandford, RIP.
They are provided here for your private research, and as a tribute to Jeremy.
However the index and sorting and coding are copyright of me,
George @ dicegeorge.com(c)2006
[Jeremy Sandford FanClub]