WAEN SHEPHERD
Biography of a seven-year-old (1971-1979)
THINGS I LIKED
Doctor Who I watched this religiously every Saturday
Star Wars I’d only seen it once, but the toys and comics kept it alive
Marvel Comics Bought these every week, but didn’t necessarily read them
Blackpool My Gran took me there for a week every August Bank Holiday
Cats As an only child, the cats were my brothers and sisters
2000 AD Got this every week too but it was good so I did actually read it
Sweets Probably spent about 10p a day on these, a fortune back then
That’s me on the right there, dressed like a soldier. Except I’m wearing my Mum’s old girl guides cap instead of a proper army one. And I’m carrying a stick, because my parents wouldn’t let me play with guns. But none of that mattered to me. I was an army Captain and, for the rest of the day, no one would be able to convince me otherwise.
NAME: Waen Origen Shepherd BIRTHDATE: October 23rd 1971 BIRTHPLACE: Castleford, West Yorkshire, UK SIBLINGS: None CATS: Isis, Domino, Toby (deceased), Pepper (missing) LIKES: Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, 2000 AD, writing, drawing, sweets, cats DISLIKES: Football, dogs, climbing trees FAVOURITE FOOD: Chicken, rissoles, baked beans LEAST FAVOURITE FOOD: Kidney, liver, parsnips, turnips, sprouts FAVOURITE PLACE: Blackpool INTELLIGENCE: 10 CREATIVITY: 10 PHYSICAL PROWESS: 3
GARY & JANET My Mum & Dad. The people responsible for spelling my name like that. A pair of young, idealistic hippies who liked Jimi Hendrix and the occult, who had a kid and got married (not quite, but almost, in that order) when they were just 18 years old. For the first few years of my life, they were amazing, loving parents, who never hit me and always treated me with care and respect. Mum helped me to learn to read and write. Dad helped me to learn how to draw and how to appreciate music. This is one of the few surviving photos of them both together (mainly thanks to Dad burning most of the others when they split up in 1986).
RENE’E ATKINSON My Gran, on my Mum’s side. Pronounced ‘reeny’ (to rhyme with ‘Houdini’). Her husband Bill had suddenly passed away in the summer of 1971, a few months before I was born. I don’t know if I was a great replacement but I stayed with her every weekend and she was, for many years, probably my best friend. One of three siblings (while Bill was one of twelve), she still lived in the same house in Castleford that her parents had bought in 1930. Took me on holiday to Blackpool for a week every August.
MARY & JACK SHEPHERD My grandparents on Dad’s side, who lived in Durkar, a suburb of Wakefield. Mary thought she was too young to be a grandmother, so I was encouraged to call them Mary & Jack, much to Jack’s dismay. Mary could be stern and scared me sometimes when I was very young, but I got to know her better as an adult and realised she could be warm and funny too. Jack was a sweetheart who longed for the easy life and loved reading books about the Wild West. I miss them both very much.
WAEN SHEPHERD: FACT FILE
HIS FAMILY
THINGS THEY LIKED
FUN FACTS! My name ‘WAEN’ (pronounced ‘Wayne’) is apparently Ancient Egyptian for ‘one and only’ and my middle name ‘ORIGEN’ is supposed to mean ‘born of light’ - but I’ve found it quite difficult to verify this. Although I was born fairly near my Gran’s house in the centre of Castleford, I spent most of the first eight years of my life living on a council estate in Airedale, a suburb of Castleford at the top of Queen’s Park Hill Initially we lived in an upstairs flat at 14 Dove Drive, but I fell downstairs and split my head open one day while trying to answer the door, causing my parents to swap houses with a family who were living over the road at No 11. But that still had stairs, and I fell down them too I was a sickly child. By the time I was seven I had already had measles twice, rubella once and several serious bouts of tonsillitis (which sadly didn’t result in my tonsils being removed - they made me wait till I was 28 for that rare pleasure) My first three school years were spent at Redhill Infant School (now sadly closed). I didn’t attend the nursery, so didn’t start until I was four. Fortunately I’d had a bit of practice at home so I was already reasonably good at reading and writing
PARENTAL JOB FACTS! Both my parents were from a working class background but didn’t necessarily see themselves as ‘working class They met at Castleford Grammar School and both studied for A-Level courses, but Mum was the only one who took the exams, Dad having already dropped out by then. He always told me it was a political act in defiance at the plans to turn the school into a comprehensive, but it might also have something to do with the fact that he had a kid on the way Dad started out as a painter and decorator, then became a receptionist at the Yorkshire Electricity Board, before getting a job at the coking plant in Glasshoughton for a few years. When we moved to Fairburn, he had just started working in the Time and Wages office at Wheldale Colliery, where he would remain until it closed in 1987 Mum stayed at home looking after me until I was old enough to start school, then got a part-time job at the Rowntree-Mackintosh sweet factory, just down the road from Wheldale pit. Her own Dad had been the head foreman on the factory floor, but the environment made him ill and contributed to his early death in 1971 at the age of 56
Ancient Egypt Mum and Dad made up my name from bits of Old Egyptian words
The Occult It was the 1970s and they were kids. This stuff was all the rage
Jimi Hendrix My Dad’s favourite musician and biggest inspiration
Led Zeppelin Another band they liked - goes with the territory I suppose
Motor Bikes Dad loved bikes and built his own sidecar for me to travel in
CASTLEFORD
Castleford Its Wikipedia entry - feel free to add my name to it
Castleford Tigers The local rugby team, which I know nothing about
Worst Towns in Britain See where Cas came on the list!
Old Pictures A slide show of pics from the Castleford of yesteryear
Henry Moore Castleford’s most celebrated artist
Things to Do Go shopping! Stand on the bridge! Look at the sculpture!
Pram Race Castleford’s Annual Pram Race 1962
Dashcam Some bloke drives around Castleford in 1985
The Big Town Plan Kevin McCloud attempts to improve Cas on Channel 4
Ten Years On What effect, if any, did the Big Town Plan have?
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
ENGLISH 1 A few tentative steps into a world of terrible writing
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
BLONDIE! Pictures of Little Waen’s lovely blonde hair
Darth Vader An autograph from a genuine stand-in
Biography of a seven-year-old (1971-1979)
That’s me on the right there, dressed like a soldier. Except I’m wearing my Mum’s old girl guides cap instead of a proper army one. And I’m carrying a stick, because my parents wouldn’t let me play with guns. But none of that mattered to me. I was an army Captain and, for the rest of the day, no one would be able to convince me otherwise.
NAME: Waen Origen Shepherd BIRTHDATE: October 23rd 1971 BIRTHPLACE: Castleford, West Yorkshire SIBLINGS: None CATS: Isis, Domino, Toby (deceased), Pepper (missing) LIKES: Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, 2000 AD, writing, drawing, sweets, cats DISLIKES: Football, dogs, climbing trees FAVOURITE FOOD: Chicken, rissoles, baked beans LEAST FAVOURITE FOOD: Kidney, liver, parsnips, turnips, sprouts FAVOURITE PLACE: Blackpool INTELLIGENCE: 10 CREATIVITY: 10 PHYSICAL PROWESS: 3
GARY & JANET My Mum & Dad. The people responsible for spelling my name like that. A pair of young, idealistic hippies who liked Jimi Hendrix and the occult, who had a kid and got married (not quite, but almost, in that order) when they were just 18 years old. For the first few years of my life, they were amazing, loving parents, who never hit me and always treated me with care and respect. Mum helped me to learn to read and write. Dad helped me to learn how to draw and how to appreciate music. This is one of the few surviving photos of them both together (mainly thanks to Dad burning most of the others when they split up in 1986).
RENE’E ATKINSON My Gran, on my Mum’s side. Pronounced ‘reeny’ (to rhyme with ‘Houdini’). Her husband Bill had suddenly passed away in the summer of 1971, a few months before I was born. I don’t know if I was a great replacement but I stayed with her every weekend and she was, for many years, probably my best friend. One of three siblings (while Bill was one of twelve), she still lived in the same house in Castleford that her parents had bought in 1930. Took me on holiday to Blackpool for a week every August.
MARY & JACK SHEPHERD My grandparents on Dad’s side, who lived in Durkar, a suburb of Wakefield. Mary thought she was too young to be a grandmother, so I was encouraged to call them Mary & Jack, much to Jack’s dismay. Mary could be stern and scared me sometimes when I was very young, but I got to know her better as an adult and realised she could be warm and funny too. Jack was a sweetheart who longed for the easy life and loved reading books about the Wild West. I miss them both very much.
WAEN SHEPHERD: FACT FILE
HIS FAMILY
FUN FACTS! My name ‘WAEN’ (pronounced ‘Wayne’) is apparently Ancient Egyptian for ‘one and only’ and my middle name ‘ORIGEN’ is supposed to mean ‘born of light’ - but I’ve found it quite difficult to verify this. Although I was born fairly near my Gran’s house in the centre of Castleford, I spent most of the first eight years of my life living on a council estate in Airedale, a suburb of Castleford at the top of Queen’s Park Hill Initially we lived in an upstairs flat at 14 Dove Drive, but I fell downstairs and split my head open one day while trying to answer the door, causing my parents to swap houses with a family who were living over the road at No 11. But that still had stairs, and I fell down them too I was a sickly child. By the time I was seven I had already had measles twice, rubella once and several serious bouts of tonsillitis (which sadly didn’t result in my tonsils being removed - they made me wait till I was 28 for that rare pleasure) My first three school years were spent at Redhill Infant School (now sadly closed). I didn’t attend the nursery, so didn’t start until I was four. Fortunately I’d had a bit of practice at home so I was already reasonably good at reading and writing
PARENTAL JOB FACTS! Both my parents were from a working class background but didn’t necessarily see themselves as working class They met at Castleford Grammar School and both studied for A-Level courses, but Mum was the only one who took the exams, Dad having already dropped out by then. He always told me it was a political act in defiance at the plans to turn the school into a comprehensive, but it might also have something to do with the fact that he had a kid on the way Dad started out as a painter and decorator, then became a receptionist at the Yorkshire Electricity Board, before getting a job at the coking plant in Glasshoughton for a few years. When we moved to Fairburn, he had just started working in the Time and Wages office at Wheldale Colliery, where he would remain until it closed in 1987 Mum stayed at home looking after me until I was old enough to start school, then got a part-time job at the Rowntree-Mackintosh sweet factory, just down the road from Wheldale pit. Her own Dad had been the head foreman on the factory floor, but the environment made him ill and contributed to his early death in 1971 at the age of 56
WAEN SHEPHERD
THINGS I LIKED
Doctor Who I watched this religiously every Saturday
Star Wars I’d only seen it once, but the toys and comics kept it alive
Marvel Comics Bought these every week, but didn’t necessarily read them
Blackpool My Gran took me there for a week every August Bank Holiday
Cats As an only child, the cats were my brothers and sisters
2000 AD Got this every week too but it was good so I did actually read it
Sweets Probably spent about 10p a day on these, a fortune back then
THINGS THEY LIKED
Ancient Egypt Mum and Dad made up my name from bits of Old Egyptian words
The Occult It was the 1970s and they were kids. This stuff was all the rage
Jimi Hendrix My Dad’s favourite musician and biggest inspiration
Led Zeppelin Another band they liked - goes with the territory I suppose
Motor Bikes Dad loved bikes and built his own sidecar for me to travel in
CASTLEFORD
Castleford Its Wikipedia entry - feel free to add my name to it
Castleford Tigers The local rugby team, which I know nothing about
Worst Towns in Britain See where Cas came on the list!
Old Pictures A slide show of pics from the Castleford of yesteryear
Henry Moore Castleford’s most celebrated artist
Things to Do Go shopping! Stand on the bridge! Look at the sculpture!
Pram Race Castleford’s Annual Pram Race 1962
Dashcam Some bloke drives around Castleford in 1985
The Big Town Plan Kevin McCloud attempts to improve Cas on Channel 4
Ten Years On What effect, if any, did the Big Town Plan have?
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
ENGLISH 1 A few tentative steps into a world of terrible writing
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
BLONDIE! Pictures of Little Waen’s lovely blonde hair
Darth Vader An autograph from a genuine stand-in