Thank you both for your comments on yesterday's blog post. I think that the TMS Board is trying to control every little detail of a diverse organisation by issuing directives rather than consulting the people they expect to do the work. They need to get out more often.
Between March and July I was seen at the Museum most weeks. I attended the AGM and the Chairman acknowledged that I was taking notes for The Journal. A week later, on the day they decided to sack me, the Chairman, the Treasurer and the Editor all received drafts of my AGM Report. At no time did a single member of the Board offer to discuss Ian Dougill's letters with me.
I hadn't replied because I felt the tone of the letters was insulting to someone who first became editor 39 years ago and had always followed the rules and submitted copy for approval. Over the years I worked closely with Geoffrey Claydon, a solicitor, to ensure that The Journal was as accurate as possible. We used to meet and review every issue a few days before it went to the printers. Latterly I submitted complete PDF page files by email to Ian Dougill for approval. So where's the problem Wim? I don't need your lecture.
I have produced 57 Journals on time and on budget and feel that I should have been consulted before snotty, 'sign this or else' letters were sent out.
The main reason I was not prepared to sign is that frankly I don't think that Ian Dougill is the right man to be Board Member Responsible for The Journal. He has far too many and too diverse responsibilities to carry them all out effectively and he is not a natural journalist or a lawyer. Had the Board consulted me I would have explained my reasons for not signing in more detail and then have expected to be asked for my resignation.
Finally the TMS should adopt a policy of marking sensitive letters "Private and Confidential" and consider making them less impersonal and abrupt when dealing with volunteers. I know from the AGM that the Chairman shares this view. He referred to it as cosseting volunteers.