Proper old school aristocrats who live in huge crumbling country estates

How do they live day to day ? The money has long since been squandered, the house is in complete disrepair and they can only usually afford to heat a few rooms . They don’t /can’t work . 

I was thinking particularly about I think it was the Fulfords, where channel 4 did a series on a few years back ?

It's amazing how much rent comes in.  Quite unexpected.  And the furniture can be sold instead of burning it for firewood.  For quite a lot.  And Daddy's shotguns.  

Often there is also a Great Aunt Agatha somewhere who lives in Mayfair and has a portfolio of lovely investments.  When she dies, all will be well.  Just have to totter on until she does. 

When my dad bought my new flat I put the whole street on notice.  I made it clear I wasn't going to have any of that gentrification crap, just pure, authentic legacy working class people. 

Always got on well with aristos though.  I'm real.  They can sense it.

Dal seigno , rent from what ? The fulfords were genuinely skint .

Family friend was exactly that.

Seat in the House of Lords, decorated as a Swordfish pilot in the war (of all the ridiculous aircraft), 300 year old crumbling mansion with serious fire damage in one wing, limping along with a kerosene heater in what had been the staff kitchen.  He had lived a swashbuckling life cavorting with Hollywood starlets and meeting Princes, statesmen and dictators around the world. Saddam Hussein apologised and had to excuse himself when they were chatting as he'd just gone to war with Iran.  Renowned ornithologist.

He survived from grant to grant from the National Trust, royalties from a few books, and flogging pieces of land as and when needed.

Absolute legend.  They don't make them like that anymore.

They live on a cottage in the grounds and pay an estate manager to look after stuff.

Those prepared ro put the work in reinvent the estate to generate income, weddings, etc. The alternative is a slow decline and dilapidation, unless they have kept the farmland to rent out. Dyoure ember Downton, and the efforts they made to “modernise” to protect the estate?

an unitmely divorce can destroy the whole thing, division of non cash assets.

So did our m8! He wrote a book or two about them.

Flew from carriers over the north Atlantic and was awarded the DSC (didn't the Royal Navy have the DFC?) but I don't think he flew again after the war.

Also drive his Morris Minor overland to NZ in the 50s.  And wrote a book about that too.  Travelled quite a bit writing and meeting interesting people behind the iron curtain. Picture of him and Saddam sat on the mantlepiece.  Think he might also have met Mao.

An example to all penniless aristos, m9s.

a friend fits this very well.

somewhat dissolutely, would be the answer.  plus he never needs to buy clothes as he's inherited more half decent dinner jackets and woolly jumpers (also no need to turn heating on) than you've had hot dinners.

 

I will tell you precisely what they do.

 

First they sell off lots of land without getting it properly valued, to a sharky farmer nearby who things "get in" and takes them for a ride, thereby reducing the estate's only income stream to the bare minimum.

Then they spend that money on buggering about with some elements of remedial work on the Big House to stem the flow of water from the non roof, only to find that it wasn't enough and the roof still leaks.

Then they take on stupid debt from a bank at rates they will never be able to service all in order to spruce up the place so it can be run as a wedding venue.

Then they think "crap" let's get this going or we will go bust and they spend even more of their capital on web design, infrastructure (a large marquee, carpets and furniture for the formal rooms where the mythical weddings happen) then they get a licence and do the maths and realise they need 50 weddings a year to break even so they restructure their debt.

Then they have a "startup" year where they have 5 weddings, the dog gets shot for chasing the neighbour's sheep on their own former fields, staff nick the till, the chef walks out, the barman drinks the entire bar one one evening,  the bits of the house they haven't done any work on (where they live, in squalor) collapse into the mud and then there is an outbreak of foot and mouth, or BSE locally etc etc

Then they find a body or a WW2 bomb in the lake when they dredge it. Someone gets the shits from the wedding meal.  The Health and Safety executive get involved and everyone goes down the shitter.

Then they take more money out of the family to keep it all going a bit longer before eventually someone has a nervous breakdown.

That's how it's shaping up in a family I am close to. Like "part of" close. I said sell the house. They know best. money pit.

Shame mutters. I just saw Q1's "Castles and mansions you can buy for less than a London flat" in the Daily Fail. Maybe you can still catch Q2's edition.

they should have sold it 10 years ago. Now they are beyond no return and in the endless vortex that will suck in their kids and their children too. 

 

If they haven't all died of necrotising bacterial arsitis by then.

 

Which, if it isn't a thing, should be.

nonsense, there's always a wannabe like ebitda waiting to pounce on some poor family so that he can talk about his 'family seat' too. And mebbeh next he'll nab your family seal and in 200 years' time they'll forget he is an imposter and the muttleh's of Mutterings-by-Blow are by then the ebitmeh's of Eatme-or-Blow.

Mutely , funny as fuck but I think you are spot on. Wedding venue business , even for the grandest of homes in great locations is cut throat , even for the experienced ones . I have little sympathy for these people. 

Is that why the end up flogging them to the national trust , to raise some cash ? 

But where does all the cash go from generations before who has squillions ?

Basically you get generations who earn (a small handful) then generations who spend (a handful) then one or two who just fuck everything literally and figuratively.  The final two iterations of that is the old man who lives in the damp servant's quarters with a doddery wife and they eat out of Tupperware pots and let the damp block-printed wall paper fall off the state room walls, drink the cellar and then flood it, and then move into an estate cottage leaving it to the older son who inherits with obligation and then he, stupidly, decides to give it a go.  It goes to fuck from there as per my previous post.

Surely the smart thing to do is build a new property on the vacant land and let the old one go to ruin? Worked for a long while at Scotney Castle.

Tricky it is of their own making, they could sell the place to a developer and move into a “small “ house fit for purpose...

Family friend was exactly that.

Seat in the House of Lords, decorated as a Swordfish pilot in the war (of all the ridiculous aircraft), 300 year old crumbling mansion with serious fire damage in one wing, limping along with a kerosene heater in what had been the staff kitchen.  He had lived a swashbuckling life cavorting with Hollywood starlets and meeting Princes, statesmen and dictators around the world. Saddam Hussein apologised and had to excuse himself when they were chatting as he'd just gone to war with Iran.  Renowned ornithologist.

He survived from grant to grant from the National Trust, royalties from a few books, and flogging pieces of land as and when needed.

Absolute legend.  They don't make them like that anymore.

 

They do, they just usually live in council houses.

Didn't they use to marry American heiresses to bring in the money? Would the modern-day equivalent be the kids of Chinese "Communist" party members?

Perif, I think they did at one point, but I think that has long since finished. Lots of money but these pompous foo;s living in squalor view them as beneath them?

Eton doesn’t teach cash flow analysis let alone balance sheet management. Young Dukes are deluded that a country pile is an asset rather than a liability. 

I fear that Land Economy at Cambridge doesn’t do much better. Shame really. With some better advice they could shape their balance sheet, income and expenditure to better match their capabilities. 

To date rich Asian families have done a MUCH better job

Not many council house dwellers have spent time chatting to Kruschchev, m9.  

They have been brought up to believe that there are more important things in life than balance sheet, income and expenditure. Shocking, I know.

Often the land is in trust anyway and the one thing the trustees won't do is sell the house because the whole point is to preserve it for future generations. 

Oh come on - everyone in a council house knows Kruschchev!

Most of them have sold the stately pile to some terribly nouveau and are living in a smaller house somewhere on the estate. 

My grandparents bought a large house and several hundred acres off aristocrats and modernised the farm with EU grants and the like and got seriously into dairy farming.  Then when milk quota came in we sold the cows and limped on arable farming and renting the quota for while and the house started to deteriorate and we just became the next iteration of the cycle until granny was persuaded to downsize and we sold the big house and half the farm.  Now we've sold the rest of the farm and using half the proceeds to building a smaller more efficient house to further reduce the running costs.  Granny's house now belongs to an American banker who's spent a fortune repairing it and is still farming in a token manner and will no doubt never get back what he's invested but will find someone else to buy it who thinks they can make money out of it...

Sails , no mostly they do not sell to someone nouveau, as nouvea purchasers would not buy something like this . Besides they just don’t sell at all , as they cannot be seen to be the person selling the “family jewels”. The problem is with these doddery lunatics the family jewels are now cubic zirconia at best .

the position you described by your grand parents is very very different 

Ebitda they do sell.  Friend of mine is a scion of a Scottish dynasty who'll go and take over the estate but who is still bitter that his grandparents sold the big house even though his family still live in a quite big house.

My grandparents were the nouveaus who bought it thinking they could make it work and just the first of many cycles of the same thing.

Sails is this the Scottish friend whose family cannot afford a farm manager?

Don't the national trust bail out people like this by taking over the house doing the repairs and letting them live on in an flat in it if they insist?

Guy , yes for those that want to be bailed out .I suspect some of these estates are past the point of no return.

Yes Ebit.  You know you need about 1,000 acres of properly productive land to justify a full time manager these days?  We had one when we had 600 acres and 250 cows but once the cows went and he moved on he wasn't replaced as we couldn't afford it.