The National Trust
Dear Mr Lynch
Your letter dated 5th May 2004 addressed to me
with your peremptory decision to return the Society's stock of CDs at
Chartwell was forwarded to the Chairman and committee together with
copies of all correspondence relating the history of the Churchill
Society sales at the Chartwell Gift Shop.
The committee were dismayed at your letter, the
more so, when they realised that both you as Regional Operations
Manager and the managers of the Chartwell Gift Shop had never even
stocked the society's Churchill War Time Speeches Speeches CDs for I
had only delivered them on Good Friday this Easter when she was away
and they have never been put on display at Chartwell.
They were even more astonished when told that
Mr Powell's famous Burford Bridge speech to the Society about
Churchill had long ago been taken off display in the Gift shop and
they refused to believe the statement made by Mrs ........... to me
that the public had complained at it being on display.
I will digress here to inform you, that knowing
of Mr Powell's work with Churchill, I was the person who invited him
to address the Society and who in conjunction with Trust House Forte,
oversaw all the arrangements for that splendid and wonderfully
attended occasion including the recording of his speech.
I had to inform our committee that no-one from
the society had ever met or spoken with anyone from your NT Regional
Buying Office since Chartwell stocked the CDs. We had only ever dealt
with Mrs ............. and after her, then Mrs ........... Both were
The committee therefore concluded that your
decision to remove the society's leaflets, and CDs from display the
Chartwell Gift Shop without any discussion with the society should be
They argue that had the society's free leaflets
and the CDs been displayed properly the latter would have sold just
as well as they do everywhere else they are on sale. They also
calculated that in returning them you lost the National Trust not
only over £20 in freight costs sending them back to us, but a
clear profit of £469 for the NT - to say nothing of lost future
profits on fresh future stock.
Enclosed is our NT price lists to prove the
That the stock was left in the stock room, now
explains to us why for the last two years many of our members (most
of whom are likely to be National Trust members also) had often asked
us here why nothing - not even the society leaflets - were on display
at Chartwell when they visited.
The committee are convinced the leaflets and
CDs were removed from display for reasons that had nothing to do with
honest commerce: for this society being a non commercial educational
society are able to produce and sell the society CDs far cheaper than
any commercially made ones.
The correspondence and returned CDs prove that
you Mr Lynch had never even listened to any of the CDs because all of
them came back here with their cellophane wrappers intact. The
committee consider this was most unfair of you and moreover unjust to
both NT members and this society's members
The Chairman has written a letter of complaint
to the Chairman and Councillors of the NT at Head Office. A paragraph
in that letter demands that the Chairman and Councillors state the
name of the person who ordered the removal of Mr Powell's speech
about Churchill from the shelves of the Gift Shop for they
emphatically do not believe the statement made by Mrs,,,,,,,,,,,, to
me when she claimed it was done because the public disliked them
Had you listened to that CD you could not have
failed to realise that it is historic, being by far the most
impressive and knowledgeable speech by any one who had worked for
Churchill - as did both Mrs and Mrs Powell.
I have this morning persuaded our Chairman to
allow me to hold back the committee's letter to the Head Office of
the NT until after the society receives your reply to this
I feel much saddened at what has happened. I
believe that had we known each other this could never have
The trouble stems from the unusual buying
procedures for Chartwell. An example is that even when 'sale or
return' CDs sold instantly - as did all the specially designed
CHARTWELL MUSIC CDs - Mrs ........... appears to have had no
authority to re-order. As our previous letters to her reveal, it is
nigh impossible to sell music CDs unless the shoppers can listen on
earphones to them and she says she has urged the NT buying office to
provide this facility.
As we pointed out in our e mail - military
museums and other outlets sell all our CDs without any difficulties.
I am enclosing herewith one each of the CDs in
question. I want you and your colleagues to listen to them. I want
you to especially listen to the CD of Churchill's War Time Speeches
which the staff at Chartwell thought so attractive when I delivered
them and who commented that they retailed at half the price of those
you had on sale. (See below).
As the senior gift shop buyer whatever was in
your mind when you ordered Mrs............ to send them back before
she even had the chance of seeing how well they sold?
The NT makes 100% profit from the sale of these
CDs - this society makes a fraction of that amount and devotes it
entirely to the funding of the Society's thrice awarded Educational
Web Pages entitled:-
SCHOOLS AND YOUNG PEOPLE - WHO WAS
These pages attract a vast annual audiences -
last year estimated at over three million because of the BBC's
''Greatest Briton' competition.
I suffer from heart failure but would be happy
to be driven to meet you, Mrs ........., and Mrs............. to
privately sort this problem out.
With kind regards
Norman Harvey Rogers,
"We make a living by
what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
The National Trust.
7th June 2004
THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY London
c/o 18 Grove Lane
Dear Mr Harvey Rogers
Thank you for your letter of 24 May regarding
the Trust's decision to stop stocking your CDs at Chartwell.
The decision is purely for commercial reasons
due to poor sales of the CD.
Terry Lynch (Operations Manager).
He returned the package of all the CDs