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» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Dead Horses   » Felbrigg Hall lanyards (Page 10)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Felbrigg Hall lanyards
Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I don't think the exhibition aims to either legitimise or rehabilitate anyone. It is aiming to explain the influences on the houses and properties as part of their histories. The National Trust seems to be trying to move from the sanitised country house histories to telling some of the hidden stories, without making any moral judgements that would be required to legitimise or rehabilitate.

It's moving from one selective account to another. Well, that's probably inevitable. History is always as much about the teller as it is about the subject of the telling.
No. It is broadening the account.
Broader, perhaps. But nonetheless selective, in the story which is told and in the emphasis applied to and the interpretation placed on different parts of it. As I say, I see no way that it could not be so.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I was saying your using of "proper volunteer management" looks like a red herring.

I quite understand that's not your primary concern. But it is one of mine.
This doesn't address what I said, but slides around it.

quote:
Personally I think that if the prevailing mood is that this is just to highlight another example of minorities being oppressed, it should have been a rant thread and it should have been in Hell.

The prevailing discussion is on the true dynamics of the situation. Most of the contributions to this tread have been measured and reasoned, nowhere near a Hell thread.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

If they are, it is simply that there should be space for an unheard community to talk about the hidden history of LGBTQ+ people in their properties.

The NT talks about comparatively mundane history associated with its buildings. It's not something I particularly care about - if I go and look at an old building, it's because I want to look at the building, and I'm supremely uninterested in who the 13th Earl was shagging or why. It's really not something I care about - so I tend to skip past that kind of stuff.

What I'm looking for at a historic property are technical details about how the building was built, how the ornamentation on the ballroom ceiling was done, and so on.

But apparently lots of people don't care about that stuff, but do care about the 13th Earl's sex life, and the NT should tell the stories of the gay aristocrats just as much as it should tell the stories of the bed-hopping adulterous ones, the happily-married ones, and whoever else.

Historically, the gay stories haven't been told as much, and we all know why. So making a bit of a song and dance about "now we're telling these stories" is eminently reasonable.

There seems to be some disagreement about whether the use of the rainbow flag means LGBT-welcoming, or LGBT-rights promotion and activism. At some level, it means both. Can you welcome gay people without explicitly supporting gay rights? Well, that depends on who you are. If you are, for example, a church, then "welcoming" gay people has to include blessing their relationships and treating them as equal brothers and sisters in Christ, and allowing them to serve in all your ministries on the same terms as straight people. That's basically the same as advocating for equal rights for gay people - it's hard to do one without the other.

If you are a coffee shop, on the other hand, then welcoming LGBT people merely requires you to offer friendly service to the two young ladies on their first date, and not to glare at them if they have the temerity to hold hands.

[ 14. August 2017, 04:02: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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There's a great deal in that last post which I welcome. However it does, I think, fall down at one point: there are some NT properties (eg John Lennon's house) which are only of interest because of the human interest attached to them, not their architectural merit. Granted, you may have no interest in going there (me neither) but it does mean that, at least for some properties, your argument doesn't work.

PS I like the church/coffee shop contrast.

[ 14. August 2017, 06:51: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Curiosity killed ...

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Isn't it as simple as the rainbow lanyards are being used as a signal from the National Trust that this is a house with an exhibition and/or events about an LGBT+ connection - and a chapter in the book they are selling. The intention being a visual shorthand for visitors.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
The problem with accepting the premise that Ketton-Cremer was "an intensely private man" is that isn't the evidence from all sources. And if you were a homosexual male in a society when homosexual acts were illegal, you'd be intensely private too.

Didn't seem to worry the Bloomsbury Group, Lord Mountbatten, Noel Coward and others.

They appeared to be immune from prosecution when others were set up and trapped.

Quite. If you want an example connected with another NT property, just look at the second Lord Faringdon at Buscot Park, who seems to have been a very ripe (and ISTM rather wonderful- I like his politics and I warm instantly to anybody who can absentmindedly address the House of Lords not as 'My Lords', but as 'My Dears' ) example of a comparatively flamboyant mid-C20 gay man. Curiously enough Buscot seems not to be part of the Prejudice & Pride thing: I don't know why, but I can only guess that this may be because the current Lord Faringdon, who administers it, didn't want it to be.
Probably because Buscott is rarely open for visitors (one afternoon a week, IIRC).

Buscott always raises another bog question for me - that of the ability to gift a property or estate to avoid tax, yet still retain use of it. HMRC wouldn't normally allow that sort of thing for us hoi polloi.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Before we go down that interesting tangent, here is an interesting and - shall we say - suggestive snippet by John Betjeman of his days at Oxford in the 1920s. (Do remember that he was something of a social climber though!)
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Isn't it as simple as the rainbow lanyards are being used as a signal from the National Trust that this is a house with an exhibition and/or events about an LGBT+ connection

I don't sense it is that simple, any more than Brexit is simple.

I'm not about to rehash why, but take this opportunity to make a more general comment.

Most of my contributions to this thread have been me trying to thrash out in discussion why it is I sense it's not that simple. I've certainly made some mistakes along the way and drawn some erroneous, misleading, and sometimes hurtful comparisons: sorry about those.

Being pulled up on them, constructively, has helped me refine my thinking.

As an example of refining my thinking, Leorning Cniht's post above has provided a really helpful insight for me: I'm approaching this largely from a church leadership perspective and not a coffee shop perspective, because that's more my frame of reference, and as LC has so usefully pointed out, the implications of putting up a rainbow flag over each are not the same.

Differing frames of reference undoubtedly explain some of the heat generated by our respective contributions; they also demonstrate that when it comes to us discussing this case, all with our different contexts, this really isn't simple (this is, after all, page 10...).

Indeed, if DH issues were simple, we wouldn't need DH.

If we don't accept they aren't simple, we are unlikely to be able to engage constructively with each other here; it will indeed just become an extension of Hell (hence my recent plea on a tangent there for a tone that facilitates and invites discussion).

When I come to DH I'm sincerely trying to make the effort to dialogue here. I recognise that my posts don't convey the empathy I'd like them to. I'll try and work on that. I also welcome those who make similar efforts - not just for my own comfort but for the good of the discussion as a whole.

And that's all I have to say for now.

[ 14. August 2017, 07:52: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Isn't it as simple as the rainbow lanyards are being used as a signal from the National Trust that this is a house with an exhibition and/or events about an LGBT+ connection - and a chapter in the book they are selling. The intention being a visual shorthand for visitors.

Not according to what the NT said about the lanyards, no. It said that they were about expressing a welcome to the community as part of the exhibition.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Looking for something else, I found this article in Civil Society, discussing the press coverage and issues around the Felbrigg Hall film and exhibition.

Several points:
  1. The National Trust announced the Prejudice and Pride programme in December 2016;
  2. The film about Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer was made as part of this initiative (and volunteers from the Hall took part in the film);
  3. Ketton-Cremer was a biographer; he left his papers to the National Trust - which strongly he understood those papers would be used;
  4. that if this exhibition had been about women's rights, the volunteers who protested would not have had a hearing in the press
The piece concludes that the National Trust should have held firm about the requirement of front of house volunteers should wear the rainbow lanyards, which I don't agree with, as that would add to the management problems with the volunteers.

As an aside, the tone of 22 July story in the Eastern Press about the film is very different to that of the Daily Telegraph on 21 July.

There is a comment in the front page story in the Daily Mail of 4 August that suggest there were other issues at Felbrigg Hall:
quote:
Ukip MEP Gerard Batten said: 'This is politically correct nonsense gone mad. Who the hell do the National Trust think they are? 'Why should the people who volunteer to show people around be forced to wear a badge that's got nothing to do with their role? If half the staff have walked out it serves the trust right.'

Volunteers are also furious at an order issued in a meeting two months ago to stop approaching visitors and offering to answer questions. They claim they were told to keep a low-profile and avoid becoming distracted as visitors file past valuable artefacts.

which suggests there were additional problems with some of the volunteers and their perception of their role. If something had been stolen I can see why that memo was sent.

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mr cheesy
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I don't like clicking on the Daily Mail links, but it was worth it for this photo caption

quote:
Mike Holmes, who has served at Felbrigg Hall for 13 years, said 75 people are no longer working for at his National Trust


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Curiosity killed ...

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Eutychus, Leorning Cniht's post was helpful to me too, as realising that's where you were coming from and why we were all talking past each other.

I wonder if part of this problem is that the rainbow lanyard is seen differently by different groups. I do not see it as a campaigning symbol, but as a shorthand for "LGBT+ welcome here", because that is how I use it in my working life. But I work in education where we were struggling to support equal opportunities for LGBT+ in the years between 1988 (Section 28) and 2003 (the repeal of Section 28). For the last 14 years we have been steadily increasing inclusion for LGBT+. I know that the situation in many church circles is different and there the campaign is still live.

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lilBuddha
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The Daily Heil goes pretty far to "suggest" a lot in that article. The blood fairly drips from their hatchet.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Curiosity killed ...

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That Daily Mail article was followed up by more coverage on the front page the next day, Saturday 5 August, (in concert with the Daily Telegraph) followed by the National Trust capitulating on the compulsory wearing of lanyards.

(so should have checked that coding)

[ 14. August 2017, 08:47: Message edited by: Curiosity killed ... ]

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
However it does, I think, fall down at one point: there are some NT properties (eg John Lennon's house) which are only of interest because of the human interest attached to them, not their architectural merit.

True - and you're right, I have no interest at all in memorabilia like John Lennon's house, CS Lewis's pen, and so on, so I implicitly excluded that kind of thing before I even started thinking.

It could be that in John Lennon's house, there is what I would consider a serious historical study of his early life, rather than a big pile of tat that he happened to have owned, and if there was, I might go for that.

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Curiosity killed ...

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I bothered looking to find out what was the interest for the Beatles' family houses in Liverpool. The National Trust only owns a couple of the many options, and the ones they own are the houses where many of the first records were written, with the rooms as they were at the time. John Lennon's room apparently didn't need much work as it had been used as a store room in the intervening years.

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