Baronets Diary August 2016

Written By - Sir Richard Ranulph FitzHerbert, 9th Baronet.

Welcome To The Baronets Diary July 2016

Party Political.

It is not often that we receive an invitation that includes the serving Prime Minister on the ticket but that is what Fiona and I were delighted to accept for the dinner to celebrate the 30 years Patrick McLoughlin has served as our MP for the Derbyshire Dales constituency. Patrick won the by-election for West Derbyshire in 1986 after Matthew Parris stood down and has served our locals ever since. The dinner was organised to be held at Chatsworth long before the Brexit Vote was called and in the run up to the evening there were several rumours of a ‘noshow’ such were the current events at Westminster. In the end David Cameron kept his word to his good friend and colleague and made a most humble and amusing speech in the Painted Hall after an introduction from the Duke. Sadly, but understandably, the former PM had to rush home to his family after three weeks of furious activity and house-moving. The throng of 170 souls was thrilled that he had attended and the evening went on to raise funds for the party cause. When shall we host a former PM in our constituency again?

From Accross The Pond

It is always nice to receive complimentary write-ups after an event and whether it is a note from a satisfied bride or a letter from a visitor they all receive similar attention. A recent accolade was from a couple from the States who said... ‘My husband and I attended a tour given by Sir Richard FitzHerbert on Tuesday, 7th June at Tissington Hall and I just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I enjoyed it. We both found it absolutely charming and delightful that the tour was given by Sir Richard himself. I was really surprised the tour was not fuller and I wonder if there isn’t a HUGE opportunity with American visitors... We live in the greater NY area and have several friends (living in the city and under 40!) who view Downton Abbey as a religion and I feel they would all have been in heaven at Tissington having tea and cake with the owner of the estate. In fact, I may try to bring some of them next year! (We come to the Peak District every year, we used to own a vacation home in Bakewell before we moved to the US.)Thank you.’ We must look again at the US market!.

Butlers Retreat

This year we will have hosted over 30 weddings at the Hall. Over a year ago we renovated the Pink Bedroom to create the Bridal Suite. This has been a popular addition as it means the happy couple can swiftly escape the throng without the hassle of a taxi trip. On realising that other guests were also not keen on getting transport at midnight, we decided to repaint, refurbish and reposition one of the flats in the Hall and have named it the Butler’s Retreat. Advertised on the Air B&B portal and our website, it offers a bath/shower, kitchenette and double bed at complete with wifi and good views! If you would like a night during the week (without the wedding disco in the background) then please contact the office on 01335 352200. Sweet dreams!.

A Broader View

I have written before about the ‘evolution’ of the estate and the countryside that we are so lucky to manage, as well as what I believe are the planning hurdles that prevent this, especially as we live in a National Park with all its rules and regulations. The news we are to leave the European Union created much debate in our household and whatever one’s views, it is important to note that Democracy has spoken and we must adhere to that decision. What concerns me most is the subsidy system for the agricultural community and whether, in the future, the Government will appreciate that it is impossible for most small ‘hill farms’ to make a decent living so the landscape this country desires needs paying for. I trust the new Government will not forget this and will decide either to continue payments or to create a system that encourages good husbandry for the welfare of.

Summer Fun

As I write we are just coming to the end of our ‘frantic fortnight’ having hosted four weddings, various tours, two car rallies, the church fête and the Secret Gardens of Tissington Sunday. The last two events have been to benefit the coffers of St Mary’s Church in the village as we need to raise funds for a plethora of necessary roof repairs. The fête was blessed with brilliant sunshine which was fortunate for me as I undertook to sit on the ‘Dunk a Baronet’ stool for the afternoon. A steady stream of visitors lined up to hurl soaking sponges at my face but I had learnt from last year that it is wiser to wear flip-flops than gumboots – the latter are soon waterlogged! I would also thoroughly recommend a hot shower and a change of clothes immediately after the soaking. We did raise over £1,500 on the day though, which was a great achievement. .

See Your Next Month RRF