11 March 2017 - QH article 003: unrealistic? - my Queen's House expectations
According to Royal Museums Greenwich, I made “various positive suggestions” whilst volunteering at The Queen’s House, but they noted I “often had very unrealistic expectations about how some of these may be followed through”. Apologies, I just happen to believe that administrators of Grade 1 listed buildings should do as much as they possibly can to raise public awareness of ancient monuments under their guardianship. Holding such a unique heritage asset, I do find it hard to comprehend why the Museum doesn’t push the QH boat out just a little more.
And so here, in defence of heritage enthusiasm, are just a few propositions that I’ve raised over the last 5 years and which I believe not to be entirely “unrealistic”. They are based on my personal understanding of economic strategy and prudent investment in educational sustainability. Introducing a couple of these could possibly prove more successful in attracting visitors than a new coat of paint on the Tulip Stair balustrade or flecking spangly patterns across the Great Hall…
Yes, some of these could be actioned and achieved at very little cost and in some cases, no financial outlay at all. The building deserves more attention that it is currently getting and it cries out for a plan of action that extends beyond an obligatory heritage maintenance commitment. I take a contrary view to the cited failings of The Queen’s House as logged by Priya Gupta's blog, when reporting on QH Curator Christine Riding’s lecture at the University of Greenwich back in October 2015. It is misleading to suggest that prior to 2016 refurbishment, the house was past it's glory and suffering from an erosion of identity. All buildings have a life of their own and The Queen's House with a lengthy, varied past has accumulated a changeable narrative which merits a much fuller historical acknowledgement.
Its not the house that is failing, it is the lack of administrative willingness and enthusiasm to search out new, exciting channels for presenting the existing qualities of this unique and truly iconic structure. A building cannot answer back and is defenceless against museum professionals. I’ve therefore written this article in defence of The Queen’s House, which I believe still struggles with a fair degree of promotional neglect.
Without a substantial, inventive and radical blueprint, it is highly likely that The Queen's House will remain strangled and culturally weakened by the inattention of its guardians. This opinion may make me unpopular with RMG and is clearly a determining factor in respect of my current museum ban, but I would urge the public to seriously consider the points I've raised and reflect on the present heritage potency of measures currently adopted by RMG.
20 December 2017 - QH article 004: waiting - move along, nothing to see here... yet
In August 2017, Arts Professional published a story about my restriction from Royal Museums Greenwich. The excellent article suggested that the 2016 Draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill will address current PHSO procedural shortcomings. That’s the good news, for the likelihood of the widely accepted conservative legislation finding its way onto the statute books in the near future is far less assured. Due to the snap-shot general election early last year, the bill was dropped from the Queen’s speech and the last communique I have from the Cabinet Office simply informs “While there is no confirmed legislative slot for this Bill at this stage, the Government remains committed to bringing forward the Bill as and when a suitable legislative opportunity arises and Parliamentary time allows.” Not entirely encouraging, when my hope is dependent on the successful introduction of this bill which enjoys cross-party support. I am of course, most grateful to Christy Romer for outlining the general issues of my situation. However, it is sad to reflect that afforded no opportunity to challenge, my exclusion has reached 19 months, while a cumulative ban from Royal Museums Greenwich public membership scheme (with financial impact) now spans 4 years 5 months.