The 2015 festival concludes by welcoming Terry Waite to talk about his debut novel. The Voyage of The Golden Handshake is a warm and charmingly funny story which reminds the reader what life is for, and in which Terry Waite shows an unexpected talent for comic fiction. The premise? On the first day of his retirement, Albert Hardcastle and his wife Alice decide to celebrate by taking the luxury cruise they always dreamed of. Meanwhile,on the Essex coast, Rear Admiral Sir Benbow Harrington’s newest cruise ship, The Golden Handshake, is ready for its maiden voyage. The result? An encounter with characters and experiences more colourful than either could ever have imagined.
Terry Waite was born in Cheshire in 1939. He spent many years working for the Anglican Church in East Africa, before being recruited by the Archbishop of Canterbury as an Advisor on his Private Staff. He negotiated the release of hostages around the world until January 1987, when he himself was taken hostage in Lebanon while negotiating for the release of others. He remained in captivity for 1,763 days, well over four years of which were spent in solitary confinement. He was released in November 1991, and has since dedicated himself to study, writing, lecturing and humanitarian activities. He is President of Emmaus UK, an international charity working with homeless people, and founder chairman of Hostage, a charity providing support for hostages and their families. He was made a CBE in 1992 and is the author of three previous books: Taken on Trust, Footfalls in Memory and Travels With a Primate.