Can We Still Trust The National Trust?

12 January 2009

People, you should never assume anything. Ever. For example, never assume that you know how to correctly set up a mouse trap. Also, never assume that the pipe-smoking man you call Dad doesn’t spend his Friday nights in a niche-appeal nightclub fannying about on Vermouth while dressed as Eartha Kitt.

Likewise, if you’re going to complain about a bad experience you’ve had in a restaurant, never assume that the proprietors haven’t been closely filming you and will carefully study the footage before rebuffing your grievances.

That was response that Marilyn Fletcher received when she complained about the service at the Manor Restaurant near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The restaurant’s manager, Simon Offen, rattled out an email where he said he had 'watched and listened with interest to the video recording of her table' and seemed to think that Mrs. Fletcher's brood looked happy with things AND ate all their grub up.

Mrs. Fletcher had described the meal as “not much better than a school dinner” but after studying the video evidence, Offen sniffily concluded, “It is probably better that you do not use our facilities here again.” Woof Marilyn – he like TOTALLY owned you there.

The story has an added, creepier dimension as the restaurant is in Waddesdon Manor (above), which is owned by the National Trust. So, here we all are, bracing ourselves for the slow encroachment into our private lives by government agencies and it’s the bastards at the National Trust that are leading the way!

Next time you’re enjoying (or not enjoying) a cream tea at one of the Trust’s finest historical sites, it might be worth just checking under the table for listening devices and making sure the teapot hasn’t got a tiny camera hidden in it before you start shouting your mouth off.

TOPICS:   Complaints   Restaurants   Privacy


  • Mike H.
    Don't you know Andrew? The National Trust are a front for the financial arm of the millitant wing of the salvation army, why do you think the tuna and cucumber butties cost so bleedin' much but taste like shoit!
  • MB
    It seems a good idea. Maybe more restaurants should do it to protect themselves against people making false claims after the event. If there is a problem with a meal, confront the waiter, the chef and then the manager while you are there.
  • Neil S.
    Do you have any idea what you are talking about? Militant wing of the Salvation Army? The Salvation Army is a church, which operates a charity to alleviate suffering. I and many other people who worship at The Salvation Army will know that the organisation was so named to help people relate to it during a time when military involvement was much more commonplace than it is today, and far more respected. Those who have had friends, relatives and ancestors who have been helped to a far better life by the kindness of others will understand how it operates. Interestingly you also quote tuna and cucumber butties as if you imagine this is something that is served within the church. Long gone are the days when this was the practice, and yet we are dogged by this hurtful cynicism based upon little or no knowledge. I imagine visiting the Salvation Army near you, without fear of any kind of indoctrination or anything like that, would make you see the organisation in a whole new light.
  • SJT
    Neil, I think you completely missed the point of Mike's post......
  • Chris B.
    Neil, you really need to sit down for a while and chill mate ;-)
  • Neil S.
    SJT, Chris B, Honestly, I am not upset by the comments, more by the suggestions made in them. That the National Trust, attempting in a maybe bizarre fashion to reduce the chances of it being conned, is in some way connected to a totally different organisation on the basis of an unfounded link used to humiliate both charities without any need to do so. In the Salvation Army we are constantly subject to ridicule, rumour and speculation which is rarely substantiated (I say rarely because on occasions there are elements of the church / charity that are misunderstood, which leads to the same effect). Although this is a comment made on a forum, it is not unknown for the media to use comments made innocently and make an issue of them. As a charity, there are insuffucient funds to defend against slander and therefore comments are allowed to be made. If we were to start defending in court against this kind of comment, we would be criticised for misuse of donated funds, and rightly so. If the media and public was to be intelligent enough to provide a church and charity which works hard to help other people as much as it attempts to belittle and redicule it, the efforts of it's members may be more successful and it's image improve. Until then, we must continue to be the butt of these comments without comeback. Had I missed the point of Mike's message? If his message was intended to suggest the National Trust provide a less than worthwhile service to the UK, that the food it provides is over priced and of inferior quality, that it hides some conspiracy...maybe he has missed the point! Constructive, informed reponses make sense on a forum. Those like Mike has made only go to demonstrate the limited knowledge people have, and yet how much more they have to say on such subjects.
  • Kevin
    Sounds like the person who had the complaint was making a false claim to me. Of course people are videoed in public places, what do you expect?
  • Harry
    The Natioanl Trust tried to stitch up my family, and it has £1bn in the bank! Why are they listening and recording what we do and say? Who else did this?
  • edwinawareing
    Want to know about the National trust ? I worked at a property in Cheshire for 11 years .I have MS and for 10 years worked with no problem .2010 a new dept manager arrived and immediately targeted myself and another person with a health problem through the use of vicious Disability Discrimination she managed to push me it of a job .This was fully ssupported by Top management. The Trust are incompetent , corrupt ,and Vicious. The managementt structure is Top heavy , elitist,and full of TOFFS Jobsworths !!!" I speak as a middle class person with no axe to grind with decent good companies .The Trust need to be exposed .
  • Lynne H.
    It's pretty obvious Neil that Mike was making a joke - but I guess you must get sick of cliches and stereotypes when people talk about TSA. Re The National Trust, we used to be members, but two things changed that; they allowed hunting on their lands, they have a car rally in the forest behind our property which can be heard in every room in the house - and the very worst; they started a wood school for children right behind my house - they have a whole forest to do that in... Children screaming all day making fires right next to crops and ripping up trees for wigwams they thought was brilliant. It took four months and the farmer explaining fires and crops don't really go together to get the area manager to move them away to another area of the forest. Many people have stopped coming to the forest since then. they've also put in a bid to bring rock climbing and other activities to the quarry in the forest. if you come to a forest, you want a bit if peace and to enjoy nature, not a kids playground, racing car track or teenage activity centre.
  • Margaret D.
    My husband and I visited Mottisfont abbey today and went for lunch in the restaurant. we ordered soup which was fennel and broccoli , we could not eat it as it was over salted and when taken back to the kitchen and tasted they agreed and offered us and alternative meal. we only have a snack at lunchtime so we went back to look at the sandwiches and they unfortunately were enormous and not very attractively presented. we eventually decided to have a cream tea. The scones were well risen but were overlooked to the extent that the outside of the scone was more like rock cakes, and also the sultanas were dried and hard. I wonder does anyone from the National Trust do a check on the catering at Mottisfont? The restaurant is not up to the standard of all the other properties we regularly visit, for example, Polesden Lacey, Claremont, Sheffield Park, Wakehurst Place or Nymans to name a few.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment