Autumn 2020 Newsletter

Chairman’s message
Chris Bellamy

Letter to NT Director General and Trustees

Director General’s reply
Hilary McGrady

Do you like asking questions?
David Simmonds

Newsletter Editor’s note
Paul Chaplin

Return of deposits
Paul Chaplin

The Unmasked Raiders
Shirley Deering

A Dip in the Economy
Shirley Deering

Chairman’s message
Chris Bellamy

Thank you for electing me as Chairman. Since shortly after the AGM we have all been in unprecedented times because of CV and I would express condolences to any member who has lost a loved one and wish a speedy recovery to anyone suffering any symptoms of CV.

A mature lady receiving flowers from a mature gentleman

Many thanks to Jackie Arnot who retired as Chairman at the AGM after nearly 10 years of leadership, and as I said then she has given an enormous amount of time and dedication, present at virtually all events, including Eastern Region and Chelmsford committee meetings, the week-long annual September holidays visiting NT properties; thanks here also to Paul and Janet Chaplin for all their years of organisation. I am glad to say she has agreed to stay on the committee. Thank you to East of England Regional Director Paul Forecast for his interesting presentation of the state of the E of E NT at the AGM.

Jackie was invited to speak about C&D NT SG on Rotary Round Up on Chelmsford Community Radio, 104.4 FM, which was broadcast between 10 and 12 noon on Sunday morning, 19th July 2020. Those of you who missed Jackie’s interesting account you can access it on “catch up” on the Rotary Club of Chelmsford Mildmay website and follow the links.

The committee have been active meeting twice by e-mail aided by telephone conversations. Letters were sent to the Board of Trustees (see the menu) to raise awareness of Supporter Groups and their contribution. Similarly, e-mails have been sent to office holders in the East of England and the NT Annual Handbook Editor.

The Director General, Hilary McGrady, has been invited to speak at our meeting on 13th October 2021 and it is in her calendar. In the same e-mail Chris made several suggestions for helping Groups.

I have put members on e-mail into contact groups of circa 30 each which has enabled me to send out several e-mails bcc over the last months. Now however with thanks to members Ron Freeman, Colin Jay and Sue Almond this Newsletter is coming to members by Mailchimp.

Members not on e-mail have been telephoned by committee members to provide contact and information and in several cases provided or updated their e-mails.

All office holders and committee members have listed/updated their roles and duties and this will be helpful for the future especially as Treasurer Alan Arnot and the Examiner of Accounts Laurie Boyle will be standing down at the next AGM. Please consider whether you could fulfil either of these roles or know a member who would and contact us. We also need a Secretary - can you help?

Thanks to President David Simmonds, who has devised and produced hand-out yellow cards, on one side outlining our aims and objectives and on the other side our future meetings, a useful publicity and recruitment aid, many being placed on notice boards etc.

Regrettably, because of CV all the Summer and the Autumn outings have been cancelled and the September holiday - although Paul has arranged a 2021 hotel stay in Caernarfon from 20th to 24th September 2021. However, our Autumn meetings are available by Zoom and we begin with Tony Tuckwell speaking about Tudor Education and KEGS at 7.30 pm Wednesday, 23rd September 2020. Thank you to Paul Chaplin for setting up the Zoom arrangements.

It has been very disappointing to have only limited visiting to NT properties, and the huge loss of income from the paying public for the NT, however I hope many members have enjoyed the e-mails sent out from NTHQ, especially the virtual 125th Birthday Party video featuring Prince Charles and the Director General Hilary McGrady.

In order to receive these e-mails, e-mail: Many of us are currently enjoying National Trust unlocked with George Clarke, viewed at 9 pm Sunday evenings on Channel 4 TV or on “catch up”.

The media has carried many recent reports about the state of the NT, and the DG has been interviewed on TV/Radio including BBC 2 Newsnight. However it will be interesting to see the actual changes and developments and members will have an opportunity to be involved, subject to the format, in the online broadcast on Saturday, 7th November 2020.

Please look at our website for up to date information and thanks to Keith Otter for all your input.

I would like to thank all the committee members for their various contributions in a very unusual period and encourage members to publicise our group to their friends and others to look to the future enjoyment of all the NT has to offer as we will come out of this exceptional time.

Keep well.

Next article