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Email from the National Trust

(19 Posts)
NanKate Wed 29-Jul-20 21:47:41

Being a member of the NT I received a long rambling email about how the NT had been affected by the pandemic. They say there will be many redundancies and cut backs but they weren’t clear on how things will change.

I expect the subscription will go up, fair enough, but it really was not explicit enough for me.

I hope they keep the cafes open but they could of course reduce opening hours or go back to only being open so many months a year. We shall see.

Galaxy Wed 29-Jul-20 21:50:03

I will be cancelling my membership, they have billions in reserves so to be talking about redundancies is beyond words.

fiorentina51 Wed 29-Jul-20 22:17:09

Perhaps if its chief executive took a pay cut, it might set a good example. Annual salary is currently £179000. 🙄

Callistemon Wed 29-Jul-20 23:03:32

I think the National Trust has about a billion in reserve so has no need to make redundancies, unless they mean some of the dozen or so who are on six figure salaries.

They rely very much on volunteers too who may nor feel happy to see salaried colleagues lose their jobs.

Surely reserves are there to be used in a crisis?

Firecracker123 Thu 30-Jul-20 08:07:22

Well I'm fed up with The National Trust as well we used to visit different houses and gardens all the time but now you have to pre book if you want to visit and trying to get a ticket is nearly impossible. Spoke to one of their volunteers and she said a lot of people have cancelled their membership.

kittylester Thu 30-Jul-20 08:13:46

We cancelled our membership a while ago when they started to treat their volunteers really badly.

MawB Thu 30-Jul-20 09:28:45

My National Trust membership, like English Heritage is more of a charitable donation as I haven’t “used” either in the last 15 months (at least!)
I assume there are many more like me who pay up annually and get little from it - a bit like belonging to a gym you never go to. If they cut their shops and cafes as well even when properties are fully open I suspect they are cutting off their noses to spite their face as the shop be the cafe are surely money spinners!
I agree about the inflated salaries, rather like charity bosses, this seems to be the norm. Sticks in the craw a bit when living on a pension hmm

Illte Thu 30-Jul-20 09:54:51

Oh dear. I mostly go for the cake😳

sf101 Thu 30-Jul-20 10:18:25

Me too Illte and the lovely gardens. I was also thinking of cancelling as it is so hard to get a booking.

Chewbacca Thu 30-Jul-20 10:25:57

There are 5 NT properties near to where I live and we tried to use our family membership to book a slot at any one of them. All were booked up until mid August. It's a lot of money for a family membership and not to be able to use it.

jaylucy Thu 30-Jul-20 10:27:00

I really do not like visiting a NT house and getting the hard sell to join.
I did join for about a year when my son was little, it was £10 pa (that's how long ago it was) and we were on holiday in Cornwall, visiting St Michaels Mount.
My friend and I, being single parents, thought it would be worth it for relatively cheap days out for us and our children - sadly, that never happened , after a whirlwind romance, she remarried and moved away from the area, never to be heard from again!
Considering that the people that you actually meet on visits are in the main, volunteers, redundancies for the few that you don't see, means little to me !

Noname Thu 30-Jul-20 12:08:11

Sadly I am one of the 1,200 affected by redundancy. Came completely out of the blue yesterday. I can assure you I’m not earning big bucks but employed in helping to run a cafe which is being closed down 😥

Illte Thu 30-Jul-20 12:14:11

Closing down permanently Noname?

I think they are shooting themselves in the foot.

Thank you anyway for all the pleasure cafes like yours have given me and I sincerely hope your talents will be appreciated elsewhere 💐

Noname Thu 30-Jul-20 12:31:57

@Illte thank you! I’m still reeling atm 😢 Yes, closing the cafe and the shop at our property which I feel is very short sighted.

Elegran Thu 30-Jul-20 12:42:13

I don't think you can object too much at the moment about having to book - they have to restrict visitors so as to keep everyone apart during the virus. That applies to many other attractions.

Redundancies and other money-saving measures are a separate thing. Do you get their accounts to see just where all their capital is going to?

Greyduster Thu 30-Jul-20 14:03:00

I agree that they have to restrict numbers at the moment, and I know they can’t, by law apparently, restrict access only to those with membership, but it is rather irksome when you’ve paid in advance for something you can’t get to use. We’ve had difficulty booking slots at several local properties too. If they are starting to close refreshment facilities also, they are, as someone said upthread, shooting themselves in the foot. They are currently spending megabucks on a big building project to extend cafeteria and visitor centre at one of our local NT properties (which is basically a car park with a lot of moorland attached to it, but very popular). If they can’t afford to pay people to staff it, you have to ask yourselves whether it will be money well spent. Noname I’m sorry to hear you are one of the ones who has fallen to redundancy. About a year ago, we visited the wonderful Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, just as they were embarking on their massive six million renovation of the roof and windows. One of the guides, who took advantage of the fact that we were something of a captive audience, was at great pains to say that spending plans for other properties had had to be put on hold to fund this very necessary project. That seems like pleading poverty given that they appear to have billions sloshing about. It is also one of the properties the NT are opening the interior of on a trial basis. Given that the outside is now covered in scaffolding and plastic, it seems a bit daft to do this rather than close it for the duration and concentrate on somewhere with more visitor appeal. One of the greatest joys of Oxburgh is its wonderful exterior.

mbmb Thu 30-Jul-20 14:31:42

Just a tip about NT booking. I tried many times to book as the new slots come available on Fridays but was never successful. However, sitting up late last Thursday to watch a film, I tried again just after midnight and had my pick of times available. So if you're a night owl, it's worth a try.

janeainsworth Thu 30-Jul-20 14:43:10

Greyduster I know they can’t, by law apparently, restrict access only to those with membership

I didn’t know that. But perhaps they could open the bookings each Friday for members only, say till midday? Then open it up to everyone?
I’m sure it wouldn’t be that much of a technological challenge. I really feel that people who’ve been members for years, and paid their subs irrespective of whether they’ve been able to visit the properties or not, should have some sort of priority, especially at this time.

Davidhs Thu 30-Jul-20 16:04:54

NT Cafes

We visited 3 NT attractions last weekend, the tickets are available each Friday, book the time and day you want for the coming week. There is no booking in advance of that.
Most other attractions have a similar system.

Indoor Cafes are closed but most do a take away service with outdoor seating, social distanced of course, really no great hardship