SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: A very uncivil war breaks out at the house of Bathurst
The Countess of Bathurst, pictured with her husband the Earl of Bathurst, is upset after being ‘falsely’ credited with plans to introduce a charge at Cirencester Park
That’s not very ladylike! Cotswold aristocrat Countess Bathurst has launched an extraordinary tirade against her own estate manager.
The row has been sparked by proposed access charges to her Grade I-listed family estate Cirencester Park, which has been free to the public since 1695.
Lady Bathurst says she is being falsely credited with the initiative and has been on the receiving end of ‘upsetting bullying’ on social media as a result.
‘The blame is now being placed at my door, and I cannot allow that to happen and I’m getting scant support from the estate office who seem to be perfectly happy for me to shoulder the blame, so I shall have to fight my own battles,’ Lady Bathhurst said in a Facebook post.
‘If truth be told, they were also not my choice and I have been very unhappy about it — but the decision was made and as I have no say in the management of the estate, there was nothing I could do. I am uncomfortable with the growing belief that this is all my doing. It is not.’
She then passes the buck squarely on to her estate manager : ‘Our CEO Peter Clegg is the author of the initiative and I do not want to have the blame laid at my door.’
Clegg, who has headed up the Cirencester Park management team since 2018, declines to respond to Lady Bathurst’s outburst, but tells me: ‘It is an initiative that the Estate is considering and we will keep the community informed as our ideas progress.’
Lord Bathurst was unavailable for comment. The Community Passholder scheme proposal is set to be launched in 2022 with the installation of three electronic gates with card readers so tourists can be charged a ‘modest’ fee for access.
The bitter row has been sparked by proposed access charges to Lady Bathurst’s Grade I-listed family estate Cirencester Park (pictured), which has been free to the public since 1695
While local residents will get in free, critics say it will deter visitors.
The furious backlash against Lady Bathurst has forced her to quit social media temporarily.
‘Following a truly horrendous few days on social media, I’ve decided the time has come to take a break.
‘Life is way too short to be subjected to such personal abuse and I’m way too old and world weary to put up with it.’
Lady Bathurst’s stepmother–in-law the Dowager Countess famously infuriated locals in 2013 when she evicted doctors and nurses from Cirencester Hospital’s free car park — she owned the land on which it stood — and turned it into a pay and display.
Mrs May trousers £240k for ‘virtual’ speaking tour
Theresa May could be forgiven for not wanting lockdown to end.
I learn the former prime minister has managed to make almost £240,000 in little more than three weeks without ever needing to leave home.
She gave a string of speeches during April and May for which she was paid a total of £239,800, with all six of them being ‘virtual speaking engagements’.
Former prime minister Theresa May (pictured) has managed to make almost £240,000 in little more than three weeks without ever needing to leave home by giving a virtual speaking tour
According to her newly updated entry in the House of Commons Register of Members’ Financial Interests, May was paid £38,000 by four different organisations in America, with each speech involving no more than four hours’ work.
Another one paid her £41,000, with one more paying £46,800.
That works out at £10,000 per hour, or the equivalent of £19 million per year. More than a top Premier League footballer!
Uh-oh … BIP lets rip at arty party
She once sang about an imagined tryst with Boris Johnson, and now quirky musician and model Bip Ling is raising eyebrows for a different reason.
At this week’s launch party for Art In The Age Of Now, a new exhibition at Fulham Town Hall, the 31-year-old caused a scene when she fell out with the curator because she didn’t want her artwork — a 2×2 in vinyl-coated piece of cardboard depicting her cartoon bear creation, Mooch — to share a wall with celebrated artists Pauline Amos, whose husband is ex-Army officer Tim Spicer, and Charlotte Colbert, daughter of the late banker Sir James Goldsmith.
Pictured: Bip Ling attends ‘Art in the Age of Now’ at Fulham Town Hall on Tuesday evening
‘She tried moving the other art works around as she wanted a wall on her own. So I took her artwork down and she ended up hanging it in the sales room,’ the show’s curator, MC Llamas, tells me.
An embittered Bip claims her work, which she hopes to sell for £88 million, was ‘moved into a room where there were f****** huge bin bags everywhere.’ Careful, that’s probably someone’s beloved art installation . . .
Adwoa’s a model of indulgence
Pictured: Adwoa Aboah celebrates her 29th birthday with a gold chocolate cake in bed
Even when she’s alone in a hotel room, society model Adwoa Aboah, who starred on the first British Vogue cover under its new editor, Edward Enninful, knows how to celebrate in style.
Turning 29 this week, the daughter of Camilla Lowther — cousin of the 8th Earl of Lonsdale — and model location scout Charles Aboah, marked the occasion with an indulgent gold tiramisu cake made by Caffe-Pasticceria Cova, one of Italy’s oldest and most fashionable pastry shops owned by Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Ready to tuck in while wearing her pyjamas, she said: ‘A 29th birthday spent working in Milan, but I felt all the love. I really am so lucky, thank you for all the birthday feels.’
Is Modfather Paul Weller going underground for good? The founder of The Jam reveals retirement is on the cards.
‘I don’t know if I’ll make any more records after this one,’ says the 62-year-old of his latest album. ‘It’s hard to say at the moment.
‘This is my 16th solo album. I can’t believe it. The music business has changed so much in the past few years, I don’t really recognise it anymore.’
Summer: I was pushed onto stage
Bonnie Langford’s niece Summer Strallen has opened up about the pressures of being a child star.
The actress, 35, says how she was ‘pushed into dancing professionally and not for fun from a very young age’ which took its toll on her mental and physical health.
Summer Strallen says she was pushed into dancing professionally not for fun from a young age
‘As a part of my recovery from body dysmorphia and years of, now mild but in the past severe, anorexia, I am starting a journey to decide what I actually like doing for my health,’ the Olivier nominated star says.
Joanna Lumley considers herself absolutely fabulous when it comes to recycling.
‘I re-use cling flim, I re-use tin foil, I save up and take back to the dry cleaners the metal coat hangers they bring our clothes on,’ she says.
‘I save up the elastic bands that come with our mail or are dropped on the pavements and I give them back to the Post Office, who as you can imagine are thrilled. I turn off lights like a maniac and I sew up buttons and seams.’
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