If we had not taken that step already, we should have done so this week, because the new NT’s volunteers’ survey seems both insulting and silly.
It invites speculation that when Dame Helen reads the findings, she will wag a wise finger and say: ‘Ah, I see that we need a lesbian recruitment drive at Petworth! Or call a meeting to discuss how to find more transgender volunteers for Hidcote.
At the coalface it seems to mean that if insufficient people, especially those from minorities, like an old place the way it is, steps must be taken to rebrand, refurbish, remodel, repaint and recycle it in a form that might find favour with new readers, viewers, and visitors.
Dame Helen has been an impassioned populariser who — for instance — replaced traditional Easter Egg Hunts at Trust properties with ‘Cadbury Egg Hunts’.
For more than a century it has fulfilled this role with wonderful success.