In a further twist, Polish Action Group are also granted a separate High Court hearing (7 July, Queens Bench Division) to determine whether PAG should be admitted (“adjoined”) as a “watching brief”, (a court observer, and interested party), in the claim, and counter-claim action between Richard Butler-Creagh –v- Aida Dellal Hersham, and Cherillow Ltd –v- Richard Butler-Creagh. By attending this action/trial, it is hoped PAG can protect Polonia’s interests in the Marians unexplained ‘sale’ of Fawley Court. For example, why was higher offer of £22.5 million turned down for a radically lower one of £13 million ?
It’s getting serious. The stakes are high. Slowly but surely the cogs in the judicial wheel are turning and the convoluted, extraordinary saga in the ‘sale’ of Fawley Court is getting more and more attention from the law, police, media, and public at large.
The story so far… The Marian-Trustees, the ‘hierarchy’, decided to sell Fawley Court five, ten, fifteen even thirty years ago. Who knows ? What we do know is what we didn’t know. As Father-Trustee Gowkielewicz says; “All is shrouded in mystery”. By not telling Polonia, or anyone least of all us, be it donors, beneficiaries, congregation, or Old Boys, we were all left permanently in the dark for years over the Marians true intent and machinations.
For example it has only recently emerged that the Marians approached the National Trust in 2006, with a view to selling Fawley Court – meanwhile telling all and sundry they had no such intention. For their part the National Trust, perhaps sensing the potential minefield, declined on the grounds; “It does not match our criteria for acquisition.”
How many other parties did the Marian Trustees approach over the years, (without telling Polonia), trying secretly to sell Fawley Court? Anyhow we now have the High Court spectacle of an aggrieved party, Mr Richard Butler-Creagh, a respectable land dealer, alleging he is owed £5 million commission, over breach of contract over the ‘sale’ of Fawley Court. On the other side of the fence is the philanthropist Mrs Aida Dellal Hersham, refuting any such claim; indeed Cherillow Ltd have put in a counterclaim, against Butler-Creagh, to the tune of £4.5 million. It is unclear who has bought what, and what belongs to whom, and what is at stake… As our endearing Meerkat marketing creatures would say; “simples” isn’t it ?
Thank God for our fair-minded, keen justice system, judges and judicature who will unravel it all.
Meanwhile it is useful to compare the views of two neighbouring MPs. The first from John Howell OBE, MP for Henley who says in correspondence; “Its (Fawley Court’s) sale is a “private” matter, and NOT a parliamentary matter.”(14 December 2009).
The second view from the now retired Member of Parliament for Wycombe, Paul Goodman who says; “…if the sale of Fawley Court is unlawful, as claimed, …I suspect that the matter will find itself before the courts sooner or later ...given the “PUBLIC INTEREST” IN FAWLEY COURT I would be interested to see the Charity Commission’s reply (to Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s query).”
(2 February 2010).
Well, we can safely say with the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Attorney General, Treasury Solicitor and Ministry of Justice in full pursuit, that the matter of Fawley Court’s ‘sale’, is certainly in the public domain, and no longer “private”. How much longer before Parliament at long last takes a genuine interest, and Fawley Court’s ‘sale’ is a House of Commons “matter”?
Meanwhile the beautiful, plush Cliveden Hotel, building and land, just up the river from Fawley Court, renowned in the 1960s – when privately owned – for the notorious “Profumo Affair, and call girls spy scandal” is on the market through agents Christie & Co., for £35 million. Any takers ?