NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

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kwackers
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby kwackers » 28 Jan 2019, 10:36am

I've had NT membership for well over 10 years (could even be nearer 20).
So far I've used it once to get free parking.

One day I'll actually use it to go and look at some of their properties but in reality I see it as a worthwhile charity.

Tangled Metal
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Jan 2019, 1:57pm

Was it not the NT who worked in one of their estates to make it better for a certain bird species and for walkers only in the process destroyed one of the most significant habitats for herps in the Midlands / West Country? Basically dig up and destroyed the winter hybernaculum area for, iirc, three counties of snakes and lizards including truly rare species. Thus destroying a large population of snakes and lizards and their habitat.

I wish I could find reference to it now but I got the story from a researcher who studied the area (as well as other important areas around the world). He posted for a while on a forum I used to visit. I've read a few of his published papers too so tended to believe what he posted at the time (over 10 years ago).

NT is a good institution but not without its issues. My son is a member but we're not. He visits with grandparents the NT sites in the area but we don't. Overpriced IMHO and not to our interests. We all pick our charities to support.

The other point is they increased lifetime membership a good few years ago by quite a lot I believe. My parents got in when it was still worth it.

kwackers
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby kwackers » 28 Jan 2019, 2:14pm

Tangled Metal wrote:NT is a good institution but not without its issues. My son is a member but we're not. He visits with grandparents the NT sites in the area but we don't. Overpriced IMHO and not to our interests. We all pick our charities to support.

I guess you have to ask yourself; "what will happen to all those properties & land if the NT didn't exist?"
We're always looking for old houses to convert to flats and land to build on I suppose...

Tangled Metal
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Jan 2019, 4:34pm

Are they all worth saving? Seriously the heritage business isn't always right. There's been some discussion as to whether everything the heritage industry has protected read worthy of it. You see a lot of old houses but are they what UK really thinks worth saving?

IMHO there's enough big old houses sucking the money out of the NT but what about our industrial heritage? There used to be a lot of mine buildings in Coniston copper mines valley that have crumbled to nothing in the period I've been walking up there (that's more frequently over the last 20 years). IMHO a lot could have been saved there. Other places too. Without industry a lot of these "big houses" wouldn't have been built.

It's not just mining neither. There's a lot of other industries that have had their history protected by private companies where I think NT should have done it or a state heritage body. Things like Wigan Pier is a commercial tourism venue but there's places that have just been knocked down despite being a big part of the history of a region. Yet the big house of the owners of that industry is saved by NT or the local council even.

I'm sorry but if I could make that decision I'd have the national trust sell some places and buy / save some old industrial sites with the money. What good is that old fake castle at Wray? Really worth saving? It's not earning and doesn't have any significant period items inside. It's a shell only.

kwackers
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby kwackers » 28 Jan 2019, 5:04pm

Tangled Metal wrote:It's not just mining neither. There's a lot of other industries that have had their history protected by private companies where I think NT should have done it or a state heritage body. Things like Wigan Pier is a commercial tourism venue but there's places that have just been knocked down despite being a big part of the history of a region. Yet the big house of the owners of that industry is saved by NT or the local council even.

The NT certainly saves some industrial heritage, do they save enough? Depends on what your viewpoint is.
Very few organisations do what I personally think they should but that doesn't mean they're wrong.

In my view the NT makes a difference. Heritage is worth preserving even when I personally am uninterested in it.
There's obviously a line to draw and if they ask then I'd throw in my tuppence about where it should be.

For me it's very simple though; I think we'd be a lot poorer if we didn't have it.

Perhaps the real argument is they have too much money?
Perhaps if they had less they'd have to be more selective.
Or perhaps they don't have enough?
If they had more they could save more stuff...

Tangled Metal
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Jan 2019, 5:35pm

There hasn't been the discussion. They're a unique organisation that's got a legal position I believe no other organisation has yet have a vast income, probably but enough, and aiui some state funding too. Legally I believe that they are not allowed to sell any property in their possession too. A lot of properties came into their possession through inheritance or other tax liabilities. They had no choice in some properties I think that means. It's partly why they're house heavy on their building stock.

In the meantime what has been lost that has greater national value?

IMHO the NT needs to be treated as for the national interest. Part of that should be a review about what properties they own and a change in stock to represent the real history of the UK. It's not all about historic houses, which are likely to be listed with a high degree of protection anyway.

I guess I'm a heritage socialist! :wink:

brynpoeth
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby brynpoeth » 28 Jan 2019, 8:56pm

Patrickpioneer wrote:I used to work for the NT, what seems like going down market has been happening for many years but its just a way of trying to get people from all walks of life interested in history not just the properties. The NT and others do a fair job but to do so means making it 'popular'
Don't forget all NT properties are open one day a year for free, if you have never been to one then try it and see, on your bike of course :D
Pat

Which day for free?
Erddig looks really interesting, not been there
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NUKe
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby NUKe » 28 Jan 2019, 9:50pm

Never seen the attraction of seeing how the aristocracy lived, it was always at the expense of the poor, or the backs of slaves. Give me a folk museum or an industrial site any day.
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fastpedaller
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby fastpedaller » 28 Jan 2019, 10:19pm

With reference to the Title..... Doesn't NT have to appeal 'downmarket'. otherwise it would just be the aristocracy going around each others' houses :roll:

Tangled Metal
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Jan 2019, 10:31pm

I thought some NT property is downmarket as in merchant class built / owned?

brynpoeth
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby brynpoeth » 29 Jan 2019, 4:25am

NUKe wrote:Never seen the attraction of seeing how the aristocracy lived, it was always at the expense of the poor, or the backs of slaves. Give me a folk museum or an industrial site any day.

Plus One, rural history, railway museums*, literature museums, amateur painting
*must start a thread about those :wink:
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brynpoeth
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby brynpoeth » 29 Jan 2019, 5:35am

Hoping for more controversy :wink:

The NT should protect its properties 'in perpetuity', but was there not a case where it reneged on this?
Did I read something about Burnham Beeches?
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Patrickpioneer
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby Patrickpioneer » 29 Jan 2019, 6:21am

brynpoeth wrote:
Patrickpioneer wrote:I used to work for the NT, what seems like going down market has been happening for many years but its just a way of trying to get people from all walks of life interested in history not just the properties. The NT and others do a fair job but to do so means making it 'popular'
Don't forget all NT properties are open one day a year for free, if you have never been to one then try it and see, on your bike of course :D
Pat

Which day for free?
Erddig looks really interesting, not been there


It will be on their web site, all properties on the same day are free, so you could do Erddig and then Chirk
Pat

Oldjohnw
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby Oldjohnw » 29 Jan 2019, 7:38am

The NT no longer accepts properties into its portfolio unless accompanied by a large enough legacy because some were becoming too expensive to maintain out of funds, or were in such poor order that they needed an initial fortune spent to make them visitable.
John

kwackers
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Re: NT National Trust going 'downmarket'?

Postby kwackers » 29 Jan 2019, 9:15am

NUKe wrote:Never seen the attraction of seeing how the aristocracy lived, it was always at the expense of the poor, or the backs of slaves. Give me a folk museum or an industrial site any day.

And our industrial heritage was built on?.. :wink: