Thursday 21st February 2019

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Tunguska

A vision met me like the apocalypse
Like a meteor had hit
Like the scene at Hooge or Memetz Wood
It was awful
I felt sick inside
I was hoping you would not ask me
You did
I could not speak
I stood and stared
Really I felt sick
But you
You were so strong
You were
So determined
I must give you that
I was impressed by you all
And I felt old
I felt my time is nearly done here
My sadness is a waste of energy I see that
You are right and I am left behind
That’s how it is
That’s how time passes
New things grow from great effort
But I am tired now
The young won’t care about sentiment
They are the now and you make it happen
You are Legend

Bish 22nd February 2019

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Good morning John,

I’m getting in touch as it has come to my attention that you posted a series of images on Instagram yesterday about the changes taking place around the Forest School site. Your reaction is completely understandable and will no doubt be shared by many others. However, as an employee and therefore an advocate of Compton Verney, I would like to impress upon you the potential impact that a seemingly innocuous post on social media can have, and would implore you to remove the post.

Your colleagues across the organisation are working very hard to deliver the essential changes that must take place to ensure a sustainable future for Compton Verney. All the work has been carefully planned and undertaken with the approval and recommendations not only from Stratford District Council, but also Historic England, Middlemarch (part of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust) and Warwickshire Archaeology. Some of the decisions have been difficult to make, but those making them have done all they can to ensure that the action being taken is the best option, for the benefit of the parkland, organisation, and visitor experience.

The reason for the removal of trees around the Forest School site has not been necessitated solely by the changes to the car park, as you may assume. It has also been essential for the maintenance of the ecology of the woodland. The Wellingtonias and other protected trees were under threat from encroaching plants and these had to be removed in order to protect them and secure their futures. There were also several plants and trees that were reaching the end of their natural life cycle and were beginning to pose a potential threat of falling, which I’m sure you would agree would be devastating should they hurt a member of the public, particularly a child at the Forest School site. While the site may feel somewhat barren at the moment, the project is still quite far from completion, with lots of planting planned, including the introduction of mature oak trees.

I know that change is hard, and the Forest School site is held closely in many peoples’ hearts, but it is for this reason that we’re asking staff, volunteers and all advocates of Compton Verney to come together to present a positive and united approach, and to reassure the wider public that the decision has not be thoughtless, and that it will ultimately result in a better experience for all. This will be communicated thoroughly with staff during Induction Week, but before then I know that Emma and Emma have plans to brief the Forest School team for the incoming education groups who will be arriving earlier than the general public.

A little post on social media may feel private and personal, but it can be seen and shared by many, or prompt others to create similar posts. It can begin a chain reaction of responses that can quickly escalate, and ultimately has the potential to be picked up by press. This not only creates a significant amount of work for the Marketing and Communications team to manage, but may also upset colleagues throughout the organisation who have been working tirelessly on the project to make it the best it can be.

We do have a thorough plan to communicate the changes to staff and the wider public, and therefore I would kindly ask that you remove the post and help us to share a positive message that supports the work of our colleagues.

If you have any questions and concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, or to speak directly to Emma and the Learning Team. I hope you understand and that you might put aside any personal opinions, to focus on the positives and share a hopeful message for the future.

All the best,
Jess Wolinski
Director of Sales and Marketing

Hello Jess

Yes I fully understand your letter to me.

I am very committed to CV and have been for ten years.
I will continue to promote its many wonderful offerings to everyone. I know my colleagues work hard and are as committed as I am to promoting CV.

I have to say as a sixty plus man I sometimes forget that the internet has a wider audience than just me and people known to me. I often post things so I can remember them like a personal diary or the like.

I am a poet and an artist and have a real passion for art, life and nature.
This mix sometimes gets me into trouble as I also wear my heart on my sleeve and say things that I mean and do not hide my feelings.

I can see my friends working hard and I regret posting the image I did not want to upset people on a personal level.

They know how painful it was for me to see the forest school area as it is now.
I worked very hard with Vix and Clifford and other volunteers but it was mostly I and Clifford every week and more working in this area so it really hurt.

I apologise again and have removed the post. I regret posting it.

Hope you can understand I never meant to cause harm to CV or my friends.

John Bishop

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