Dear Sirs

It’s a familiar read – criticism of the Royal Highland Show and a subsequent rebuke from the Chairman that constant negativity from some members will be the reason for any future failings of the Show. How similar a response when over 100 members wrote expressing concerns several years ago – those members being seen pretty much as saboteurs. There was absolutely no attempt to engage.

Surely it’s time to review the engagement with members, it is not just about listening to members there has to be some feedback mechanism. I made the point at this year’s AGM that, in my view, the Executive and Board need to stop just telling members, there was absolutely no real engagement over the ticketing changes or the concerts so the negative feedback received was hardly surprising.

There is a feeling amongst many that there is now a complete disconnect between the Executive and members. Well going by the merchandise offered to members to celebrate the 200th Show I can only agree. I have just returned from the Royal Welsh Show where there was a great variety of clothing and gifts available, all at very reasonable prices, in comparison I note the following for the 200th Royal Highland Show.

The rosettes all marked the 200th Show, and are to be treasured. However less so the merchandise. Members got the chance to buy – gin, posters, oh and designer pyjamas which came in at the princely sum of £120. Now I may well be mixing in the wrong social circles but most people I know, if they were spending that amount of money, would be spending it on clothing to be worn in public! What is more astonishing is that someone came up with this idea, and thought it was a jolly good one. Was there any approval as surely someone must have had to clear this and I do look forward to receiving more detail at the next AGM.

I note that Jim Warnock is looking forward to “meeting our stakeholders and listening to their feedback”. It will be interesting to see how this develops as far as members and exhibitors, who form part of this stakeholder group, are concerned. Surely time to work together in order to help ensure a far more positive culture.

Janice Milne, Thornhill, Stirling