‘It was an ill-judged comment’: Stately home apologises following Facebook post

PUBLISHED: 14:31 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:04 02 May 2020

Somerleyton Hall. Photo: Archant

Somerleyton Hall. Photo: Archant


Bosses of a stately home have issued an ‘unreserved apology’ after a Facebook post about the impact of lockdown was slammed by the public before being hastily deleted.

Hugh Crossley 4th baron Somerleyton at the Fritton Arms. Picture: Jamie Honeywood Hugh Crossley 4th baron Somerleyton at the Fritton Arms. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The post, which was uploaded yesterday evening on to the Somerleyton Hall page, which is owned by Lord Somerleyton, read: “Lockdown...saving the NHS bankrupting everyone else... We will be hugely relieved when these fine doors can swing open and welcome you again...”.

It was quickly deleted following a backlash, alongside an apology which said: “We would like to very much apologise to all of you who were upset by our recent post and thank those constructive comments back.

“We of course want to save lives and protect the NHS, that is a given for any citizen.

“What we meant was it is just difficult for all of us who love our work in tourism and hospitality missing what we are doing best.”

Somerleyton Hall's now-deleted post. Photo: SubmittedSomerleyton Hall's now-deleted post. Photo: Submitted

Some members of the public criticised the post for being “thoughtless” and “narrow-minded”.

But other users said that criticism against the Government’s lockdown - and particularly the impact it has had on businesses - was valid.

A fellow business owner posted: “Personally, I saw exactly what was meant. Being self-employed, I totally understand that you would be finding the situation financially difficult. I hope you manage to reopen soon.”

In a further statement, a spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise unreservedly for any offence we may have caused in relation to an ill judged comment that was made earlier today. The post was since been deleted.

Somerleyton Hall issued an apology not long after their initial post. Photo: ScreengrabSomerleyton Hall issued an apology not long after their initial post. Photo: Screengrab

“The NHS as well as all front line workers are doing the most incredible job in a very difficult time for everyone.”

Many businesses in Norfolk have so far expressed frustration with the coronavirus lockdown measures.

But most are receiving financial support from the Government while staff are receiving furlough pay.

Mike Smith-Clare, councillor for Great Yarmouth’s Central and Northgate ward, said: “I fully appreciate how difficult it is for businesses to survive during this period, especially as no one knows how long lockdown will last.

“But it’s essential that safety is put first.

“We must never forget that over 26,000 people have died. These aren’t just customers, visitors or patients; they’re loved ones.

“That’s what’s really important to remember.”

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