Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The first shot

In reply to comments, when I edited my first issue of The Journal way back in 1972, the text was checked by the Secretary and this was the case with every issue I produced over the next forty years. I declined to sign a document demanding that this procedure was followed in future as I had always complied in the past. 
I published the letter for two reasons. 
First so that Kremlin watchers would know why my name has disappeared from the masthead of the next Journal and secondly to illustrate the difference in the treatment of staff and volunteers at the Museum. Staff would be taken through a formal disciplinary process. Volunteers are simply kicked out without even a thankyou.

Finally between October 1972 and October 2007, I edited 57 issues of The Journal. Each one of them was approved by the Secretary before going to the printers so what is all the fuss about? Why do I have to end my career by being dismissed in such a crass and insensitive manner? No wonder the Society and the Museum are short of volunteers! Posted by Picasa


  1. Alan Kirkman2/8/11 20:15

    I and doubtless others am somewhat confused by this post. We presumably are meant to draw some conclusions from it, but as this is the first time you have posted anything on this issue how can we? If we are to understand this you need to explain both what you were asked and whether you did send a reply or not and if not why not?

  2. Yet again we have someone pontificating on free speech and fair comment while hiding behind anonymity. Sheer cowardice. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Richard's comments he at least has the integrity to put his name to his comments.

    It is such a shame that a blog that on one hand keeps readers in touch with developments at Crich also sees Richard having to make the comments that he has made, whether rightly or wrongly and equally that they have been responded to mainly by childish, anonymous comment that equally does no favours at all to the TMS.

    There clearly are severe problems on several sides of this matter.

  3. Anonymous2/8/11 22:33

    As you put it, Rob, severe problems on several sides. More correct to say on both sides.

    On one side, the problem for Richard's 'targets/victims' (or select your own description) is being the subject of irrational, irresponsible, often libellous blog comments by both him and those who subsequently respond.

    As for the other side, just what is Richard's severe problem? Answers welcomed.

    George Delany

  4. Porky Pig3/8/11 08:44

    Mr Shaggy Dog from Magic Roundabout is such a popular chappie. Are there any other characters from Magic Roundabout on the TMS Board ?

  5. Anonymous3/8/11 20:08

    How can anonymous 2/8/11 22:33 be anonymous when he printed his name at the bottom of his post?

    Howie B

  6. Anonymous3/8/11 22:25

    Hi, I'm in agreement with Alan Kirkman, Richard. We need you to explain, but unfortunately you still have not done that. If you still regard yourself as suitable to be Assistant Editor then I cannot see how this selective release of material will convince TMS members that you have the editorial qualities they have a right to expect.

    George Delany

  7. Gary Conn4/8/11 11:50

    I continue to be amazed at the arrogant way some people at the TMS conduct their business. We are a group of like minded individuals with a common interest - trams! I applaud Richard for continuing to volunteer his services to the TMS (a lifelong hobby) despite continually being kicked in the teeth and slapped down at every turn. We all know that Richard did wrong in the past with items on the blog and this was dealt with at the time. How long must he suffer the wrath of individuals at Crich just because he cares about the place so much and dares to speak his mind. I find the tone of the letter disgusting, no wonder we struggle to keep volunteers these days! Shame on the board if they instructed the secretary to write such an insulting letter to a long standing volunteer.

  8. John Stainton4/8/11 12:04

    So much for democracy if the Journal has to pass through the Doughill/TMS Board censorship machine before it reaches members. I hope your Blog continues to be a forum for the views of all TMS members to be expressed, not just those which meet the approval of the TMS Board.

    I have to say that this is an absolutely appalling way to treat a volunteer. No wonder the museum is struggling to attract working members if this is an indication of how the efforts of TMS members is repaid. I suggest you stick up two fingers to the TMS Board and devote your time and efforts to a voluntary organisation which values the input of all it’s members not just those who are willing to lick the backsides of those who press the buttons.

    Keep up the good work Richard.

  9. The Journal is the official publication of the TMS and therefor comes under the full responsibility of the secretary of the TMS. The Board is elected by the membership of the TMS to govern our society. Wether you like it or not, I can't see any illogic about the prudency of the secretary to check that the contents of the Journal is consistent with the official policies of the TMS. This has nothing to do with censorship, because there is always space for letters to the editor. Indeed, it is the duty of the secretary to check that the editor is not biassed towards selecting letters for publication if space to publish them all does not exist. And look at some of my articles: they were not always hallelujah, yet they were published without problems, because they were articles based on fact finding and arguments.

  10. Van Helsing the 3rd Jnr4/8/11 21:43

    Richard, may i suggest that you start to volunteer in the cafe?
    This way you will get into the good books of some TMS board members, you may even get your pet photographed and placed on a picture in the shop, or even possibly a building on the premises named after a member of your family.
    I too have tried this method, unfortunatly i have a pet Pig. He struggled to stand on his back legs on a stool for a photo and the only memeber of my family has the name Engelburt which has pretty much ruined my chances !

  11. Anonymous4/8/11 23:16

    Understand what you're saying re the cafe, Van, but you need to get up to speed with Richard's history - he's boycotting the cafe over the food (can be found way back in his blogs if you care to check), and not surprisingly his blog comments at the time annoyed the staff and volunteers there. Add to this Richard's exclusion from the Library and now his dismissal as assistant editor of the Journal and you'll see that his Crich options are diminishing. Ask yourself why no other person has managed to achieve such a record.

    George Delany

  12. David Holt6/8/11 07:31

    "Volunteers are simply kicked out without even a thankyou."
    Something else is missing from the Society's letter of dismissal to a long-serving member - an expression of regret, such as "It is with the greatest regret and sadness that I have to inform you that . . . . ".
    It makes one feel rather contaminated to belong to an organisation which treats volunteers in this way.