Damaging effects of the Highgate Cemetery 'dictatorship'

Revd Fielding (H&H letters May 14) dismisses Highgate Cemetery critics as disgruntled and their concerns as tiresome prattle whereas Mrs Pateman is a dame formidable with a superb intellect before whom lesser mortals wilt and fall by the wayside

Revd Fielding (H&H letters May 14) dismisses Highgate Cemetery critics as 'disgruntled' and their concerns as 'tiresome prattle' whereas Mrs Pateman is a 'dame formidable' with a 'superb intellect' before whom 'lesser mortals wilt and fall by the wayside'.

There you have it -- a very clear picture of dictatorship and the cult of personality which has long prevailed at Friends of Highgate Cemetery.

This 'wilting and falling' has cost the cemetery dear. Mrs Pateman's policy of 'managed neglect', for instance, has now been revealed to have had very little 'managed' in it and will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to put right.

Her 'dame formidable' chairmanship had other damaging results: a decline in membership, low staff morale, a brain drain and damage to the Friends' reputation both here and abroad.


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Plus there's the investigation by the Charity Commission (and by others as well, I understand). In so far as the cemetery has survived it's been despite Mrs Pateman not because of her.

The Directors have finally seen this and given her the boot.

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Sue Berdy

1

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