To all our patrons, friends and supporters,
I’m very sorry that we had to make the decision last Friday to cancel both the King’s Talks that started that evening and the Blackfriars Talks next weekend.
And I understand the frustration of some of you that we did so – I know some people had eg made expensive hotel bookings and have had to re-arrange their weekends.
I can promise you that our own disappointment more than mirrored yours – we have all put a huge amount of time and energy into organising the Gloucester History Festival 2022.
It is true that the guidance by government was not definitive, and there was no simple instruction for us to cancel all the talks.
However we felt, as a mark of respect to the Royal Family and Her late Majesty in particular during a period of national mourning, that it would not be appropriate to try and realise the upbeat, positive spirit of talks, debate and occasional controversy that we have had for the last 12 years (and even when online only in 2020).
Most, but not all, of our loyal customers agreed with this decision, which was not an easy one but on which Trustees were unanimous.
Ultimately I am sure that we would have been criticised whatever our decision – either for showing disrespect by some or for being too cautious by others.
We chose the risk of the latter – and I am sorry we had make a decision sure to irritate some of our friends and supporters.
Those seeking refunds should have had an e mail on Saturday with advice, and there’s also a notice on our website with your options.
Our intention is to hold the postponed Kings Talks over the winter and the Blackfriars Talks in the Spring, and we’ll be in touch soon with more details about this and next September’s Festival.
Chair, Gloucester History Trust