The picture that I have painted of my life on the whole is a happy contented one. I met the right woman, lived in some beautiful places and have shared good and bad times with our caring and supportive family. I am a lucky man. I have even dined out on my life story, giving several after dinner speeches. Mirfield is always a well received part of my talks. Once while regaling 150 “ladies who lunch” about Mirfield, I declared that I would have no hesitation sending an 11yr old child of mine into the same environment. Unfortunately that statement may no longer hold true.
I have sung the praises of many individuals who were responsible for our care, spent many a night at numerous country inns talking to friends about the huge characters who influenced and helped shape my life and made me the person I am today.
Several years ago I attended a reunion that ripped this illusion apart.
At this particular reunion several disclosures were made. These were talked about and touched on in a very casual manner, just a few old friends chewing the cud over a pint at the White Gate. They fell in and out of the conversation between football canoes on the Calder and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. It was only when I arrived back home that the full implications of what had been talked about hit home. My wife who has a good deal of experience of disclosure of abuse had always been skeptical of my belief that nothing of that nature could ever have happened at Mirfield. My blind faith in the church and its custodians would not allow me to believe that such things could happen.