I was born in 1950, Catherine Natalie Wainwright, the eldest child of Trevor Douglas Wainwright and Dorothy Wainwright (née Northing).
My parents had met whilst studying photography at "Manchester Tech" (now part of The Manchester University) after their discharge from wartime service in the RAF, and they were married in July 1949. My birth was followed by the births of my sister Linda in 1952 and my brothers Barry in 1954 and Christopher in 1960.
When I was three months old, we moved to a newly-built house in Gatley and in 1955 I started school at Gatley County Primary School. During this time I was subject to considerable teasing, mostly by the boys, so I worked very hard to pass the 11+ examination to the all-girls grammar school, Cheadle County Grammar School for Girls. I did not fare much better there and made few friends. Most of my school reports were along the lines of "more effort needed" but I did manage to pass 5 GCE 'O' Levels. I then studied on a secretarial course for a further two years at Stockport College of Technology (now just Stockport College).
In 1968, I started work in the Foreign Department of the Manchester York Street Branch of Barclays Bank and about a year later I returned to Stockport College for evening classes for the Institute of Bankers Examinations, which I achieved in 1977. In 1971 I was transferred to the Stockport Bridge Street Branch of the Bank, where I worked not as a secretary but as a clerk, working in all areas of the branch, including foreign and securities. Promotions took me in the following years to Heaviley, Bramhall and finally Wilmslow, where I was Loans Officer. Only the Bramhall and Wilmslow branches still exist (2012), all the others having closed over the years.
Whilst studying for my banking examinations, one of my fellow students was Stephen Shaw, and in 1972, we were married. At that time, we were living in an attic flat in Heaton Chapel, Stockport, but in May 1974 we moved to our present home, still in Heaton Chapel.
In 1984, I gave up my banking career to prepare for the birth of our son, George Martin. I became a full-time stay-at-home Mum and housewife.
In 1994 I decided it was now time for me to look for some part-time work. Realising that prospective employers would not think much of my 25-year-old qualifications, I enrolled at evening classes at my local further education college, North Area College (which became the Heaton Moor Campus of Stockport College and has now closed), to bring my typing qualifications up-to-date in the computer age. In 1995 I achieved a Distinction for RSA III Word Processing, and the following year I also passed a newly introduced qualification - RSA II Integrated Business Technology. When George went to University, I enrolled on the follow-on course - OCR III Integrated Business Technology, which I completed in June 2003.
In mid-1995 the Evening School Manager at the College asked for volunteers for some temporary work at the college inputting data into a new database the college was acquiring, and I volunteered. A few weeks later, I was asked back to help to help with some word processing work and soon I had a 3-month contract. This was made permanent in 1996, and I continued to work for the College in a word processing and clerical capacity until 2005, when I took up a new role with the Probation Service, but still in a clerical capacity.
I continued to work for the Probation Service, at a nearby field office and later the Crown Court liaison office until 2010, when I retired.
The highlight of my retirement has been being reunited with the son I gave up for adoption more than 40 years ago, and meeting his family in 2014. As he lives abroad, I do not see as much of him as I would like, but I hope one day to travel to his home for an extended visit.
In my spare time, I enjoy my garden, especially my greenhouse which contains over 400 cacti. I also enjoy needle crafts such as bobbin lace making, embroidery, knitting. Both my parents have done considerable research on their respective family trees, and I am trying to redress the balance by researching the Shaw family's genealogy. However, my researches so far indicate that the Shaw family is very small!