Jeremy Sandford

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Jeremy Sandford
Christopher Jeremy Sandford

(1930-12-05)5 December 1930
London, England
Died12 May 2003(2003-05-12) (aged 72)
EducationEton College
Alma materNew College, Oxford
(m. 1957; div. 1979)
Parent(s)Christopher Sandford
Lettice Sandford

Christopher Jeremy Sandford[1][2] (5 December 1930 – 12 May 2003) was an English television screenwriter who came to prominence in 1966 with Cathy Come Home, his controversial entry in BBC1's The Wednesday Play anthology strand, which was directed by Ken Loach. Later, in 1971, he wrote another successful one-off, Edna, the Inebriate Woman, for The Wednesday Play's successor series Play for Today.

Early life[edit]

Sandford was born in London and brought up at Eye Manor in Herefordshire, home of his father, Christopher Sandford, who was the owner of the Golden Cockerel Press. His mother was Lettice Sandford.[3]

Sandford was educated at Eton and New College, Oxford, where he read English. During National Service, he was a Royal Air Force bandsman.


After his marriage to heiress Nell Dunn in 1957, they gave up their smart Chelsea home and went to live in unfashionable Battersea where they joined and observed the lower strata of society, and from this experience he published the play Cathy Come Home in 1963, and his wife, Nell, wrote Up the Junction.

In 1968, Sandford won a Jacob's Award for the TV production of Cathy Come Home.

Sandford became interested in gypsy causes and for a time edited their news sheet, Romano Drom (Gypsy Road). He travelled the country seeking out gypsy stories, published as The Gypsies, and later reissued as Rokkering to the Gorjios (Talking to the non-Gypsies).[4]

Personal life[edit]

Jeremy Sandford and his wife Nell Dunn (a granddaughter of the 5th Earl of Rosslyn) were divorced in 1979 after having had three sons together.

He died at his home, Hatfield Court in Leominster, Herefordshire,[5] at the age of 72.[1] His last words were: "I think I'll have a rest now."[6]


  1. ^ a b Hayward, Anthony (15 March 2003). "Obituaries - Jeremy Sandford - Writer of 'Cathy Come Home'". The Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  2. ^ Christopher J. Sandford (Results for England & Wales Marriages 1837-2008) at Find My Past.
  3. ^ "Jeremy Sandford", Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press
  4. ^ Sandford, Jeremy (2000). Rokkering to the Gorjios. Hertford: University of Hertfordshire Press. ISBN 1-902806-04-2.
  5. ^ Christopher Jeremy Sandford (Results for England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007) at Find my Past.
  6. ^ Obituary, The Times, London, 15 May 2003, p. 39.

External links[edit]