Thank you to everyone who fought valiantly over many years to protect Shakespeare’s Shottery from property development. Today, 3 Oct 2015, the SBT finally stabbed campaigners in the back, agreeing to sell Briar Furlong (above) to Bloor Hallam: http://ow.ly/SYy9i
This is our reaction:
SBT finally shows its hand
Well, what a surprise: the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has finally voted to sell Briar Furlong to property developers!
These past couple of weeks, Peter Kyle and Diana Owen have been pathetically trying to persuade us that it was a ‘regrettable decision’ brutally ‘forced upon them’. Come off it. It’s been on cards for the years. We, the audience, could clearly see that from the moment the curtain was raised by Eric Pickles.
They’ve always held a winning hand of cards. And they knew it. They were no good at calling anyone’s bluff, but they held out for three years knowing it would secure them the very best deal at the last possible moment.
Peter Kyle, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: “By opposing the developers’ proposals and holding firm to these non-negotiable requirements for the past few years, the Trustees have been able to secure the setting of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for future generations.”
Talk about putting a gun to Bloor Hallam’s head!
But to claim that “none of this is of our making” and that “we now have to deal with the consequences of decisions made by others” is completely disingenuous. They’re like a weak-willed Hamlet, publicly agonising about taking decisive action, yet all the time selfishly plotting behind the scenes.
Diana Owen let it slip on the radio this morning when she said that the opinions of the outside world had been noted, but the Trust would only consider its own self-interest – outside issues were not part of the vote. She’s clearly living in the past and needs to take a lesson from ex-chief execs of RBS and VW. No organisation today can look solely to itself while ignoring the outside world. Those that do, eventually fall on their own sword.
So, having stabbed the people of Stratford in the back, I hope everyone connected with the SBT can sleep at night. The rest of us now have to ‘deal with the consequences of decisions made by others’.
It’s time to finally bury Save Shottery, but I won’t be having nightmares. I resolve to boycott SBT and anything owned by its property-developing trustee. They’ve got enough money now, they won’t miss what locals could possibly give them. I encourage others to follow suit.
Debbie Griffiths, 3.10.15