Thursday, 27 March 2014

A High Price for One Mistake

Celia Bryant-Smythe talks about how one mistake shattered many lives.

"We all make mistakes.  Many are minor enough to be ignored or at least lessons can be learned, but there are those mistakes that have shattering consequences.

"My mistake would have been the former type had I lived in your time, but my heady young days were when the world was at war and life was uncertain. I'm talking 1943, a year that will forever be emblazoned in my heart. It was this year that I not only fell in love, but the year I found myself expecting. You cannot begin to imagine what a shock this was to me as I was not yet married, though, I knew deep in my heart that was never going to be an issue. Marriage would have followed very quickly had my father not exploded with the news.  

"My father, Henry Bryant-Smythe, the Squire of Satchfield Hall, a cold and ruthless man with clear ideas about his family, tolerated very little and my behaviour sent him into a stupor. At first I was not afraid because I knew everything would end happily, not only was I naïve, but I utterly miscalculated the wrath of my father. What happened next took place at an alarming speed. Before I could draw breath to explain that there was nothing to be concerned with as David and I would be married, I was banished from Satchfield Hall. Frightened and unsure of what was to become of me, I believed my mother would talk my father round and all would end happily. I could not have been more mistaken. If I thought that being exciled from Satchfield Hall was punishment enough, nothing prepared me for what was to follow. Even today, forty years later, the hairs still rise on the back of my neck when I think of my father and the power he wielded to make every one pay."

Celica Bryant-Symthe's story can be found in Satchfield Hall

No comments: