By Helen Cummings
In 1970, Helen Cummings married Dr. Stuart Wynter. This was once the start of a hellish lifestyles of spiralling abuse. Helen escaped, yet Dr. Wynter remarried and his new relations couldn't.
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Extra resources for Blood Vows. A Haunting Memoir of Marriage and Murder
Stuart tried to insist on giving me money to replace my lost wages, but I refused to let him. His offer reinforced my positive opinion of him. Around this time Stuart helped Dad in a way that made the whole family grateful. Dad had been very ill with thyrotoxicosis, and we were afraid he was going to die. Stuart noticed that Dad was taking a high dose of a very powerful drug prescribed by his doctor, Dr Barnes. Stuart sat down with Dad one day and explained in detail that the drug and the quantity, taken over a long period of time, could damage his heart and ultimately kill him.
I knew exactly what she was saying. Maryolika is still part of our extended family. We kids would while away hours on the grass, listening for Tiger Moths and other little biplanes that spluttered in the sky above our back yard. On washing day, I’d lie on the lawn waiting for crickets to poke through. Soapy water was supposed to kill them, but I suspect they lapped it up. I’d watch them go back down their holes to wait for the next soaping. Our bread was delivered by horse and cart, and we paid for it with tokens; likewise the ice for the ice chest.
My father was a fireman. He was a handsome, quiet, loving father. One of my earliest memories is of wintertime in our draughty home at Mayfield. All of us huddled around the kerosene fireside heater – Dad in his fire-brigade uniform, resting his head in Mum’s lap as she stroked his hair, waiting till it was time to put on his metal garters and ride his bike to the fire station at Tighes Hill. Dad didn’t seek other male friends or go to pubs or clubs. He was basically a shy man, not the blokey type.