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One mistake too far!

Today we heard all about the caretaker sacked for unwittingly giving away a Tudor artefact worth £5 million after dismissing it as ‘rubbish’, an employment tribunal has heard.

Brian Wilson, a former live-in caretaker at the Grade II-listed Seighford Hall Nursing Home in Stafford, was fired from his job in November 2020 after it was discovered employers discovered that he had let a visitor walk off with a 460-year-old woodwork carving bearing the royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I.

Mr Wilson claimed he thought the oak overmantel was riddled with woodworm and dry rot and that giving it away saved him from burning the artefact himself at a later date.

Mr Wilson said that he had mistakenly dismissed the antique carving as ‘rotten’, and had placed it in a pile ready to be burned before a Mr Potter spotted the item and asked if he could have it.

Mr Wilson, who’d had worked at Seighford Hall since 1998 before he was dismissed last year, told the employment tribunal that Mr Potter had asked to ‘have a rummage through the fire pile’.

“I let him have it, since as far as I was concerned it was less rubbish for me to get rid of,” he told the tribunal.

After sitting on the item for over a year, Mr Potter was on the verge of chopping the piece up and using it as scrap, but was stopped at the very last moment when a man, who happened to be an expert in Elizabethan history, told him that the item could be extremely valuable so Mr Potter took the item to a local auctioneer who asserted that the item was a ‘sensational’ find, and in ‘excellent condition for its 400-plus years’ with ‘minimal damage’ and valued it at £5 million.

When news of development reached Mr Wilson he tried to cover his tracks by claiming that the item had been stolen, along with a tractor and two fireplaces he’d also sold off in the same period, but was rumbled after police said that there was no crime reference number linked to either of the cases he had allegedly reported.

As a result Mr Wilson was subsequently dismissed by his employer for ‘gross misconduct’ after failing to attend a disciplinary hearing relating to the ornament’s disappearance, but subsequently ending up winning his employment tribunal after a judge ruled that this was unfair dismissal and was duly awarded over £4,000 in lost pay.

Employment judge Kate Hindmarch said: “I have identified procedural failings in that Seighford Hall Nursing Home Ltd failed to make sufficient attempts to notify Mr Wilson of the disciplinary process and was therefore offered no opportunity to attend the disciplinary hearing and offer his explanation for the alleged misconduct.

Mr Wilson admitted removing the historic artefact from the hall and letting Mr Potter take it. Mr Wilson thought the overmantel was in very poor state of repair, but accepted that as a listed building, proper consent needed to be given for removal of artefacts and that the condition of the overmantel revealed after its recovery (and its value) do not support a contention that it was in poor repair.”

Meanwhile, Mr Potter has still been unable to find a prospective buyer for the woodcut, and recently turned down an offer of £1.9 million for the piece.

Keeping to a Royal theme, the topic chosen this week by Margaret Mills concerned a visit to Epping Forest by Queen Victoria.

It seems to have been a much grander affair than just arriving for a picnic with a blanket on the ground and a few sandwiches.

Listen here to learn more:-

I hope to catch you again next week,
Scott

One mistake too far!

Today we heard all about the caretaker sacked for unwittingly giving away a Tudor artefact worth £5 million after dismissing it as ‘rubbish’, an employment tribunal has heard.

Brian Wilson, a former live-in caretaker at the Grade II-listed Seighford Hall Nursing Home in Stafford, was fired from his job in November 2020 after it was discovered employers discovered that he had let a visitor walk off with a 460-year-old woodwork carving bearing the royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I.

Mr Wilson claimed he thought the oak overmantel was riddled with woodworm and dry rot and that giving it away saved him from burning the artefact himself at a later date.

Mr Wilson said that he had mistakenly dismissed the antique carving as ‘rotten’, and had placed it in a pile ready to be burned before a Mr Potter spotted the item and asked if he could have it.

Mr Wilson, who’d had worked at Seighford Hall since 1998 before he was dismissed last year, told the employment tribunal that Mr Potter had asked to ‘have a rummage through the fire pile’.

“I let him have it, since as far as I was concerned it was less rubbish for me to get rid of,” he told the tribunal.

After sitting on the item for over a year, Mr Potter was on the verge of chopping the piece up and using it as scrap, but was stopped at the very last moment when a man, who happened to be an expert in Elizabethan history, told him that the item could be extremely valuable so Mr Potter took the item to a local auctioneer who asserted that the item was a ‘sensational’ find, and in ‘excellent condition for its 400-plus years’ with ‘minimal damage’ and valued it at £5 million.

When news of development reached Mr Wilson he tried to cover his tracks by claiming that the item had been stolen, along with a tractor and two fireplaces he’d also sold off in the same period, but was rumbled after police said that there was no crime reference number linked to either of the cases he had allegedly reported.

As a result Mr Wilson was subsequently dismissed by his employer for ‘gross misconduct’ after failing to attend a disciplinary hearing relating to the ornament’s disappearance, but subsequently ending up winning his employment tribunal after a judge ruled that this was unfair dismissal and was duly awarded over £4,000 in lost pay.

Employment judge Kate Hindmarch said: “I have identified procedural failings in that Seighford Hall Nursing Home Ltd failed to make sufficient attempts to notify Mr Wilson of the disciplinary process and was therefore offered no opportunity to attend the disciplinary hearing and offer his explanation for the alleged misconduct.

Mr Wilson admitted removing the historic artefact from the hall and letting Mr Potter take it. Mr Wilson thought the overmantel was in very poor state of repair, but accepted that as a listed building, proper consent needed to be given for removal of artefacts and that the condition of the overmantel revealed after its recovery (and its value) do not support a contention that it was in poor repair.”

Meanwhile, Mr Potter has still been unable to find a prospective buyer for the woodcut, and recently turned down an offer of £1.9 million for the piece.

Keeping to a Royal theme, the topic chosen this week by Margaret Mills concerned a visit to Epping Forest by Queen Victoria.

It seems to have been a much grander affair than just arriving for a picnic with a blanket on the ground and a few sandwiches.

Listen here to learn more:-

I hope to catch you again next week,
Scott

One mistake too far!

Today we heard all about the caretaker sacked for unwittingly giving away a Tudor artefact worth £5 million after dismissing it as ‘rubbish’, an employment tribunal has heard.

Brian Wilson, a former live-in caretaker at the Grade II-listed Seighford Hall Nursing Home in Stafford, was fired from his job in November 2020 after it was discovered employers discovered that he had let a visitor walk off with a 460-year-old woodwork carving bearing the royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I.

Mr Wilson claimed he thought the oak overmantel was riddled with woodworm and dry rot and that giving it away saved him from burning the artefact himself at a later date.

Mr Wilson said that he had mistakenly dismissed the antique carving as ‘rotten’, and had placed it in a pile ready to be burned before a Mr Potter spotted the item and asked if he could have it.

Mr Wilson, who’d had worked at Seighford Hall since 1998 before he was dismissed last year, told the employment tribunal that Mr Potter had asked to ‘have a rummage through the fire pile’.

“I let him have it, since as far as I was concerned it was less rubbish for me to get rid of,” he told the tribunal.

After sitting on the item for over a year, Mr Potter was on the verge of chopping the piece up and using it as scrap, but was stopped at the very last moment when a man, who happened to be an expert in Elizabethan history, told him that the item could be extremely valuable so Mr Potter took the item to a local auctioneer who asserted that the item was a ‘sensational’ find, and in ‘excellent condition for its 400-plus years’ with ‘minimal damage’ and valued it at £5 million.

When news of development reached Mr Wilson he tried to cover his tracks by claiming that the item had been stolen, along with a tractor and two fireplaces he’d also sold off in the same period, but was rumbled after police said that there was no crime reference number linked to either of the cases he had allegedly reported.

As a result Mr Wilson was subsequently dismissed by his employer for ‘gross misconduct’ after failing to attend a disciplinary hearing relating to the ornament’s disappearance, but subsequently ending up winning his employment tribunal after a judge ruled that this was unfair dismissal and was duly awarded over £4,000 in lost pay.

Employment judge Kate Hindmarch said: “I have identified procedural failings in that Seighford Hall Nursing Home Ltd failed to make sufficient attempts to notify Mr Wilson of the disciplinary process and was therefore offered no opportunity to attend the disciplinary hearing and offer his explanation for the alleged misconduct.

Mr Wilson admitted removing the historic artefact from the hall and letting Mr Potter take it. Mr Wilson thought the overmantel was in very poor state of repair, but accepted that as a listed building, proper consent needed to be given for removal of artefacts and that the condition of the overmantel revealed after its recovery (and its value) do not support a contention that it was in poor repair.”

Meanwhile, Mr Potter has still been unable to find a prospective buyer for the woodcut, and recently turned down an offer of £1.9 million for the piece.

Keeping to a Royal theme, the topic chosen this week by Margaret Mills concerned a visit to Epping Forest by Queen Victoria.

It seems to have been a much grander affair than just arriving for a picnic with a blanket on the ground and a few sandwiches.

Listen here to learn more:-

I hope to catch you again next week,
Scott

One mistake too far!

Today we heard all about the caretaker sacked for unwittingly giving away a Tudor artefact worth £5 million after dismissing it as ‘rubbish’, an employment tribunal has heard.

Brian Wilson, a former live-in caretaker at the Grade II-listed Seighford Hall Nursing Home in Stafford, was fired from his job in November 2020 after it was discovered employers discovered that he had let a visitor walk off with a 460-year-old woodwork carving bearing the royal coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I.

Mr Wilson claimed he thought the oak overmantel was riddled with woodworm and dry rot and that giving it away saved him from burning the artefact himself at a later date.

Mr Wilson said that he had mistakenly dismissed the antique carving as ‘rotten’, and had placed it in a pile ready to be burned before a Mr Potter spotted the item and asked if he could have it.

Mr Wilson, who’d had worked at Seighford Hall since 1998 before he was dismissed last year, told the employment tribunal that Mr Potter had asked to ‘have a rummage through the fire pile’.

“I let him have it, since as far as I was concerned it was less rubbish for me to get rid of,” he told the tribunal.

After sitting on the item for over a year, Mr Potter was on the verge of chopping the piece up and using it as scrap, but was stopped at the very last moment when a man, who happened to be an expert in Elizabethan history, told him that the item could be extremely valuable so Mr Potter took the item to a local auctioneer who asserted that the item was a ‘sensational’ find, and in ‘excellent condition for its 400-plus years’ with ‘minimal damage’ and valued it at £5 million.

When news of development reached Mr Wilson he tried to cover his tracks by claiming that the item had been stolen, along with a tractor and two fireplaces he’d also sold off in the same period, but was rumbled after police said that there was no crime reference number linked to either of the cases he had allegedly reported.

As a result Mr Wilson was subsequently dismissed by his employer for ‘gross misconduct’ after failing to attend a disciplinary hearing relating to the ornament’s disappearance, but subsequently ending up winning his employment tribunal after a judge ruled that this was unfair dismissal and was duly awarded over £4,000 in lost pay.

Employment judge Kate Hindmarch said: “I have identified procedural failings in that Seighford Hall Nursing Home Ltd failed to make sufficient attempts to notify Mr Wilson of the disciplinary process and was therefore offered no opportunity to attend the disciplinary hearing and offer his explanation for the alleged misconduct.

Mr Wilson admitted removing the historic artefact from the hall and letting Mr Potter take it. Mr Wilson thought the overmantel was in very poor state of repair, but accepted that as a listed building, proper consent needed to be given for removal of artefacts and that the condition of the overmantel revealed after its recovery (and its value) do not support a contention that it was in poor repair.”

Meanwhile, Mr Potter has still been unable to find a prospective buyer for the woodcut, and recently turned down an offer of £1.9 million for the piece.

Keeping to a Royal theme, the topic chosen this week by Margaret Mills concerned a visit to Epping Forest by Queen Victoria.

It seems to have been a much grander affair than just arriving for a picnic with a blanket on the ground and a few sandwiches.

Listen here to learn more:-

I hope to catch you again next week,
Scott

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