Today’s guest blog comes to us from Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust. She writes:
Many of you will think of the NT as an organisation for preserving buildings and landscapes of aesthetic and cultural interest. And so it is. But many people are unaware that – from the founding days of Octavia Hill and Beatrix Potter – the Trust has exercised another important function: that of social engineering. Today, in the spirit of our noble founders, we are in the forefront of the up-coming Gender Revolution.
2018 is set to be our year of ‘Gay Britannia’. So, if your relatives formerly lived in one of our properties and there is a skeleton in your closet (or even in the attic), let us know. We can make money out of the dear old perverts even now.
Tastefully conducted tours by look-alikes of Sir John Gielgud or Sir Ian Mackellan will generously fill the visitors’ time with salacious innuendo, accompanied by Noel Coward songs in every room, including the commodious facilities.
But this is not all.
In some of our more spectacular venues there will be special attractions. Visitors will be able to take short trips on the lake at Petworth in the very punt in which Roy Jenkins and Anthony Crosland made love in Oxford back in the bad old days..
In the long gallery at Montacute House there will be an arrangement by Tracey Emin of dirty sheets said to have been used by Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas in the Cadogan Hotel.
We are also thrilled that a massive grant from the Sir Elton John Charitable Trust is enabling us to transport from California, and re-erect in Stowe garden, the public lavatory in which George Michael famously propositioned a police office. It will have been saved for the nation!
Beside it will be a fully interactive visitor centre, with cafe and gift shop, designed by award-winning architect Norman Foster.
Finally, at our magnificent Georgian Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds we will be staging a traditional pantomime entitled ‘Jack and Beanstalk (geddit?)’ in which all the characters, according to the robust British tradition, will change sex between acts.
Something for everyone!