Deputy Lieutenants are appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant at her discretion, subject only to Her Majesty The Queen not disapproving of the granting of the commission. They come from all walks of life. Appointment to the office of Deputy Lieutenant, which carries the post nominal ‘DL’ is in recognition of distinguished service to the community, predominantly in a voluntary capacity, or to the country or county. The Lord Lieutenant leads this influential network of Deputy Lieutenants and provides the organisation for their individual networks to interlock for the benefit of Somerset’s varied communities.
Although military in origin, the post no longer has any military significance, but every DL undertakes to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in the performance of any duties that may be laid upon him or her. This can include representing the Lord-Lieutenant at formal functions, award ceremonies, citizenship ceremonies or attending Remembrance Day services.
Their local and specialist knowledge and experience is increasingly being used to positive effect in key sectors ranging from education to youth services, and from business to the rural economy. They are the eyes and ears of the Lieutenancy in our local communities and liaise closely with the local authorities with whom we have much common cause.
They advise on events potentially warranting Royal visits, on how local people can put forward others suitable for National Honours or for invitations to Royal Garden Parties, and on Anniversaries warranting a message from HM The Queen. They also advise on how community organisations can gain recognition, for example, with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service This award recognises the vital role played by the thousands of unsung heroes of the voluntary and community world which we in the Lieutenancy believe it is important to celebrate and encourage. See links also to The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise
There are currently 35 DLs geographically spread over our county. Short biographies for each of them are below.
The Lord-Lieutenant has assigned certain DLs to lead on areas of focus and interest that cover the breadth of social and community enterprise across the county. These are:
|Agriculture, Environment and Rural Matters||Robert Drewett|
|Armed Forces||Mike Motum|
|Charity and Philanthropy||Trevor Smallwood|
|Church and other Faiths||The Very Revd John Davies|
|Commerce, Business and Employment||John Laycock|
|Delivery of Health Care||Brian Perowne|
|Heritage and Legacy, Arts, Media & Sport||Edward Bayntun-Coward, Colin Drummond, Tom Mayberry, Sarah Mead, Giles Clarke CBE DL (Sport) and Clinton Rogers DL (Media)|
|Honours and Awards||Andrew Rutherford (National Honours)
Jane Sedgman (QAVS)
Tim Mead (QAE)
|Law and Constabulary||Edward Allen|
Jennifer Achiro DL
Born in Uganda, young Jenn (Jennifer) arrived in the UK with her family fleeing political unrest in her birth country. Jenn was brought up in west London where she was also educated. She moved to Somerset in 2016 where she lives with her 8-year-old daughter.
With a keen interest in how human society is structured and functions, particularly the role Education plays in social mobility, Jennifer studied Sociology and Education at the University of Surrey, Roehampton. She graduated with an MSc Upper 2nd Degree.
After graduating, lured by the dazzling lights of corporate life, Jenn landed a role at IBM. She worked in various roles in Operations, Consulting, and Finance, finally settling in Sales after graduating from IBM Global Sales School. Jenn enjoyed 10 successful years at IBM before joining Microsoft in 2010 to Lead its Digital Transformation efforts in Local and Regional Government.
In 2015, Jenn took on an ambitious and exciting project to help leaders of Local Authorities tackle organisational challenges brought on by increasing demands on public services; here Jenn was introduced to Somerset County Council and the people of Somerset. Leaning on her degree qualification and +10 years industry experience, Jenn saw the opportunity for Microsoft to play a significant role in improving the social and economic outcomes of the region. Working with Council Leaders, Microsoft colleagues and Partners, Jenn created a ground-breaking Digital Skills and Training initiative for the region with an aim to improve the future employability of Children Looked After, Care Levers, the unemployed, ex-Military personnel, and those in employment looking to re skill. The success of the programme saw Jenn awarded the prestigious Microsoft Founders Award for outstanding achievement in 2018, recognising her significant impact and contribution inside and outside Microsoft.
Jenn, a former Barbados Non- Executive Director is passionate about improving the life chances of children and young people in Somerset. Today, she is a respected senior Leader at Microsoft, currently leading Microsoft’s relationship with Government.
Edward Allen DL
Born at Butleigh, near Glastonbury, Edward (Ted) James Allen lives near Shepton Mallet with his wife Pat and their two dogs. His family have lived in the area for over 450 years. They have 2 married sons; Jonathan, a Pilot with EasyJet based at Gatwick and Nigel, an actor who lives in Bermondsey, Central London. Educated at Wells and Bristol, Ted served in the former Bristol Police and then Avon and Somerset Constabulary and, after a range of specialist roles and responsibilities – including being the regular ‘face’ of the Police on the weekly HTV ‘Police 5’ programme, spent many years as a Chief Superintendent, District Commander of East Somerset. After leaving the Police in 2001 he became Business Director of The Marine Society and Sea Cadets based in Lambeth, London and then in 2008 became CEO of a child medical and welfare charity operating in W. Kenya. He is currently a member of Council of the Royal Bath and West Society, a Chief Steward of the annual Bath and West Show, Chairman of Governors of the Fosse Federation of Schools, Independent Chairman of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Safeguarding Group, committee member of the Somerset and Dorset Branch of the MSSC and President of the Mid Somerset Show.
His hobbies are walking with his dogs, rugby, cars and motorcycles, music (he plays the Trumpet) and working on his home, the garden and surrounding land.
Edward Bayntun-Coward DL
Edward Bayntun-Coward was born at Dunkerton, near Bath, in 1966, and educated at Monkton Combe Junior School, Marlborough College and University College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. From 1988 to 1994 he worked for Maggs Bros. Ltd in London before becoming a partner in George Bayntun, the antiquarian bookdealers and bookbinders; established by his great-grandfather in Bath in 1894. He has been sole owner since 2000. He was a volunteer and Leader at the Central London Branch of the Samaritans from 1988 until 1998. He was appointed a Trustee of the Bath Preservation Trust in 2004 and was Chairman from 2006-16. He was also Chairman of No.1 Royal Crescent, the Museum of Bath Architecture, Beckford’s Tower and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. He was a Trustee of the Holburne Museum from 2006-11, and returned as Chairman in 2017. He is a Trustee of the American Museum in Britain, Focus Counselling and Somerset Crimebeat Trust and the Patron of BANES Carers’ Centre. He served as High Sheriff of Somerset from March 2016 to March 2017. He is married to Laura, with 3 children, Lily, Joshua and Beatrice, and lives at Midford, near Bath.
Denis Burn DL
Denis started his working life as an engineer making steel in Sheffield but moved back to Somerset in 1983 to live in the house in which he was born. Shortly after this he joined a start-up consultancy business and remained with them for 20 years. He has been active in the charity sector for many years including acting as Chair of the MusicSpace Trust, South Bristol Youth and the University of Bristol. Until 2019 he was Vice-Chair of Bristol Old Vic and in 2018-19 he was High Sheriff of Somerset. He is a Director of a wind energy business with wind turbines in India that is ultimately owned by a local charity, The Converging World. In 2004-5 he was Master of the Merchant Venturers. He is married to Hilary and together they have four children and five grandchildren. He lives in Cleeve, North Somerset where he attempts to look after a small-holding with a few cattle, sheep and pigs. He was appointed as a DL in Oct 2019.
Charles Giles Clarke DL
Charles Giles Clarke was born in Bristol, brought up in North Somerset and educated at Rugby School. He graduated from Oriel College, University of Oxford with an MA in Persian with Arabic, spending a year (as the only Western student) at Damascus University and in Afghanistan. He has enjoyed a successful business career starting as an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston. In 1981 he bought what was to become Majestic Wine and as Chairman built it into a UK national chain before selling it in 1989. In 1990 he founded Pet City and as CEO, built it into a chain of 94 stores. After taking the business public in 1995, he sold it in 1996. In 1998, he founded Safestore, building it into the UK’s third largest self storage company, before selling it in 2003. He is now Chairman and controlling shareholder of Westleigh Investments, with a portfolio of companies. From 2002-2007 he was a National Council member of the Learning and Skills Council( responsible for adult learning in England and Wales) and a member of the Adult Learning Committee, a statutory body set up by Parliament. He was also Deputy Chair of the EU Task Force on Skills and Mobility and presented its report to the Barcelona Summit in 2002. He was nominated an EU Top 500 Entrepreneur in 1999.
He was Chairman of Somerset CCC from 2002-2007 and a Director of the International Cricket Council from 2007-2018. He has been Chairman of the ICC’s Pakistan Task Team since 2009. He was elected to the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2004 ,and was elected ECB Chairman in 2007. He completed 3 terms of office as Chairman, and was elected the first President in 2015, a role from which he retired in 2018.
He is a past Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers. The Giles and Judy Clarke Foundation focuses on supporting small local charities in the West of England,in particular focused upon deprived areas,education and enabling young people to start employment, as well as a perennial search for England fast bowlers!
He is also a Patron of Changing Faces and Future Hope. Married to Judy, they have one son, Jack who is Head of Strategy for LEGO, and two small grandsons.
Mrs Gloria Craig CB DL
After a long career in public service, Gloria retired from the Ministry of Defence in 2011 as Director General International Security Policy. She spent some 30 years in MoD in fields as varied as finance, human resources and health and safety, as well as policy and operations. She also served three tours outside MoD: one in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and two in the Cabinet Office.
After retiring from full-time work, she and her husband, Bob Ayers, a US-UK dual national, moved to Somerset where they live just outside Taunton. For eight years Gloria was a non-executive director of a friendly society offering medical insurance to public servants. She now has a number of part-time positions, including being a trustee of the South West Heritage Trust, mentoring at the Royal College of Defence Studies, and volunteering in her local community shop.
She has an MA in Russian from Oxford University, speaks fluent French and passable German, has a working knowledge of Latin and very rusty Old Church Slavonic. As well as being a Companion of the Bath, she holds the German Army’s Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Gold.
Gloria has always had two passions: animals (including birds) and history. Other interests are the natural environment, music, politics as a spectator sport, satire, the arts, and travel.
Chris Davies CBE DL
Chris was born and schooled in Swansea. After Nottingham and Cardiff Universities, he began as a
trainee social worker with Somerset County Council in 1971. He became the County’s Director of
Social Services in 1989, and held that post for 14 years. During that time, Chris was part of four
consultancy visits to Russia in the very early days of perestroika, to advise on reconstruction of child
protection and adoption services, and was awarded the Bear Trust medal. He was a member of the
Central Research and Development Committee for the Department of Health, 1995-2000, and
Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on health for their study of Children in
Care, 1996-8. His peers elected him national president of the Association of Directors of Social
Services, 1998-9. And he was appointed by Secretaries of State, first to chair a national task force on
violence to social care workers, which produced the report “a safer place”, and then (2001-3) to chair
the first national “Valuing People” task force, which he did jointly with a person with learning
Between 2006 and 2017 he played a reading role in the establishment of the Welsh Social Services
Improvement Agency, conducted a Serious Case Review for 4 London Boroughs, was on the enquiry
team into deaths of people with learning disabilities in acute hospitals, and chaired the Southwark
Childrens Safeguarding Board. He was Non-Executive Chair of the Somerset Care Group, one of the
largest not-for-profit social care providers in England for 7 years.
Chris was appointed CBE in the New Years’ Honours list, 2001, and made a Deputy Lieutenant of
Somerset in 2010.
Currently, he chairs two small charities. SACRO provides cash grants to assist the rehabilitation of
offenders in Somerset, and SingingWorks (Taunton Music Trust) promotes excellent singing
opportunities for state school children in the county. For the last 4 years he has been President of the
Red Cross in Somerset and is passionate about what it achieves locally and globally.
Chris and Katy have two children and four grandchildren. Music is a shared love. They both sing in the Amici.
chamber choir, and they lead the Halse village choir. Chris plays bass trombone in two small
orchestras, but not nearly as well as he would like. He swims in the sea almost every week and right
through the year. He follows rugby keenly, and still regrets that he can no longer play!
The Very Revd Dr John Davies DL
Dr John Davies became Dean of Wells in late 2016. He had previously served as Dean of Derby for six years, helping to restore the fabric of that Cathedral, as well as developing links between it and the city and county. His role at Wells is to Chair the Cathedral Chapter, its governing body; to ensure really good connections between the Cathedral and its many stakeholders; and to care for its fabric and worship. He is also a member of the Bishop’s senior staff team in the diocese.
John also serves as Chair of the governing body of Wells Cathedral School which sits in close proximity to the Cathedral and which has very strong links with the Cathedral’s music. John is a Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset, and is linked with a number of Somerset charities. Previously John had been a market town parish priest, an Oxford college chaplain and an inner city incumbent. He has strong interests in theology and the role of the church in today’s society.
Neil Dowdney TD DL
Neil Dowdney was born in 1953, grew up at Queen Charlton and was educated at Kingswood School Bath. He trained as an Auctioneer and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor before joining a local firm of stockbrokers and becoming a member of the London Stock Exchange within Godfray Derby & Co. He spent most of his career in Bath retiring in 2015.He remains a Chartered Member of The Chartered Securities Institute.
He joined 6th Battalion The Light Infantry when they reformed in Bath in 1971 and subsequently served in The Wiltshire Yeomanry prior to commissioning into The Royal Artillery serving with The Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery (266 Bty) and Central Volunteer Artillery HQ until retirement at the end of 42 years service in the rank of Major. For 9 years he has been an Independent Custody Visitor for Avon & Somerset Police and is now acting as a Lay Observer for The Ministry of Justice. He has served for some years on the Disciplinary Panel of The Chartered Securities Institute and more recently their Appeals Panel. Locally he chairs Marksbury Parish Council. His other interests include being a Friend of Iford Opera, member of The Royal Bath and West Society, Friend of The Royal Hospital Chelsea and of The Royal Academy. Sports include skiing, shooting and cycling. He lives at Marksbury with his wife Rosy and keeps donkeys as a pastime.
Robert Drewett DL
Robert Drewett is a solicitor and a partner at Womble Bond Dickinson in Bristol, specialising in property and charity law. He joined the firm in 2014 to launch their Private Wealth offering in the South West after 27 years at Osborne Clarke in Bristol.
He is Clerk to the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol, and a trustee of a variety of West Country charities, including the Royal Bath and West of England Society (of which he is chairman), the National Eye Research Centre, the Langford Trust, Wells Cathedral Preservation Trust and the Grateful Society (where he also acts as Honorary Secretary). He is also a churchwarden of St Margaret’s, Hinton Blewett. In the recent past he has chaired Folly Farm, being the trading operation of Avon Wildlife Trust and completed 9 years as a trustee of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
He is married with three adult children and lives on the Mendips.
Colin Drummond OBE DL
Colin has been Chairman of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (Musgrove Park Hospital) since 2014. He is also Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Governors of the University of Plymouth.
From 1992 to 2013 Colin was chief executive of Viridor,(headquartered in Taunton) and an executive director of Pennon Group PLC. During that time Viridor grew from its west-country base to become one of the UK’s leading recycling, renewable energy and waste management companies. He was then Chairman of Viridor until the end of 2014. Prior to joining Pennon, Colin was chief executive of Coats Viyella Yarns Division, an executive director of Renold PLC, a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and an official with the Bank of England.
Colin was Chairman of the Government’s ‘Living with Environmental Change’ Business Advisory Board from 2009 to 2015 and of the Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network from 2007 to 2013. He was Master of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators for 2007/08 and Chair of the ‘WET 10’ City Livery Companies from 2008 to 2013. From 1997 to 2015 he was a Trustee, and is now Honorary Vice President of the Calvert Trust Exmoor.
Colin holds an MA from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School where he held a Harkness Fellowship. He is a Licentiate of Trinity College of Music London. He was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2012 for services to technology and innovation, and a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of Somerset in 2016.
Julia Elton FSA DL
Julia is an engineering historian, a musician and a (semi-retired) antiquarian bookseller specialising in civil and structural engineering. She was brought up partly in Clevedon and partly in London and still divides her time between them. She was educated at Badminton School in Bristol and then at Leeds University. In 2006 she played a major role in organising the Brunel Bicentenary conference, ‘Celebrating the Past, Inspiring the Future’, which was held in the Brunel train shed at Temple Meads. She sits on the Brunel Network committee and acts as an informal advisor to the Brunel Institute. She has served as a vice-president of the Victorian Society, spear-heading the successful campaign to save the Royal Pier Hotel in Clevedon. She is President of the Clevedon Civic Society and of Changing Lives (formerly Re:Mission). This last is a Clevedon charity which owns Andrew House providing a home and on-going support for up to eleven men who are recovering from the ill effects of substance abuse. She also runs and performs in small-scale musical events for charity. She is currently studying for a PhD in the history of lighthouse optics and rewriting the history of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Sarah is Chair of Yeo Valley Production Ltd, Riverford Organic and Sawday’s/Canopy & Stars. She is a Non-Executive Director at Inspired Energy plc and the Institute of Physics Publishing, and a Trustee at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Alongside her non-executive roles, Sarah is a Senior Advisor at Omers Private Equity and a consultant Board advisor on strategy, leadership and digital transformation.
Sarah was born in Somerset and, after a period of living in London, returned to live in Chewton Mendip in 2005 with her two sons who attend Wells Cathedral School. Sarah enjoys spending her free time cycling, singing in a choir and going to see her favourite bands in concert.
Brigadier D H Godsal MBE DL
Brigadier Godsal has lived in Winsford on Exmoor for 20 years and is involved in a wide range of local activities and organisations. For 9 years he was Chairman of the Parish Council; he is Churchwarden and Chairman and Secretary of the Parochial Church Council. From 2008 he served 7 years as President of the Royal British Legion, Somerset and in the same year took up the appointment of Somerset County Colonel of The Rifles, which he held until 2017. He became a Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset in April 2012 and was then appointed Vice Lord Lieutenant on 1st June 2018.
Clare Jordan DL
Dr Ian Kelham DL
Ian was born in Newcastle, studied Medicine at Leeds University, and completed his training in London. Having worked as a General Practitioner in Twickenham for 2 years and then Leighton Buzzard for a further 10 years, he followed his dream and moved to West Somerset in 1996 with his wife, Penny, and young family. He took on what had been a failing, single-handed GP’s practice in Porlock. Over the next 20 years, he developed the practice into a highly successful, multi-centred GP partnership which was rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. He was responsible for two architect-designed, purpose-built medical centres in the Exmoor National Park. The second, a surgery in Dunster, was the village’s first new building for 100 years. It serves patients from a more than 200 square mile area, catering to the needs of one the country’s oldest populations. Ian also worked as a Police Surgeon in Minehead. His medical interests include palliative care and he set up a charity to improve home care for terminally ill patients in West Somerset.
Ian has a long-standing interest in education; in 1992 he was appointed as Course Organiser at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire, and in 1997 at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton. He became Associate Postgraduate Dean for GP education in Somerset and later for the Severn Deanery with responsibility for recruitment.
He was invited to work for a week in Kazakhstan as part of a team helping to develop the country’s primary care education.
He became involved in the Severn Deanery’s advanced training network that supports doctors in difficulties and he established, and organised, the appraisal process for GPs in Somerset. He worked as a GP appraiser himself, became the Clinical Governance Lead for Somerset Coast PCT in 2006 and, from 2008, was appointed Patient Safety lead for NHS Somerset.
From 2013 Ian has been the Assistant Medical Director for NHS England South West. This role has entailed investigating doctors whose performance or actions have caused concern and undertaking the pastoral care of doctors in difficulty, in order to facilitate their rehabilitation back to work or to maintain them in their work.
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ian joined the NHS Covid 111 helpline in April 2020 and the Coronavirus Vaccination Programme, both as a Clinical Lead and as a vaccinator, in early January 2021.
Away from the medical arena, Ian is the Safeguarding Governor for Taunton School, as well as the Safeguarding Lead for the Porlock Benefice. He and his wife recently became directors of ‘Stacked Wonky’, a site-specific dance company based in West Somerset.
In his spare time, he enjoys walking with Penny on his beloved Exmoor, growing large quantities of vegetables, and working to restore his orchard. He is a proud father to his daughter, Charlotte, a vet working in Somerset, and his son, Oliver, a criminal barrister in London.
John Laycock DL
John lives in the Chew Valley and has spent most of his life in Somerset and surrounding area. He is an entrepreneurial businessman starting his first business from scratch in his mid-twenties and continues to have interests in a number of companies. Alongside his business interests he is passionate and has experience in education, care for the elderly and sport. He was the main sponsor of one of the first Academies in the UK, City Academy Bristol and for many years served as its Chair of Governors. A governor of many schools he is a Trustee of the Venturers Academy Trust and is proud to be a Governor of Venturers Academy which, in this region, is the first state funded school for children who have various degrees of Autism. He is a Trustee of the Wallscourt Foundation having been a Governor of The University of the West of England. He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from UWE for services to Education. He has been a Trustee of St Monica Trust, which is a significant provider of Care for the Elderly. He is a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers and is Chairman of the Cote Elderly Care committee which oversees the day to day running of Cote Charity and the separate Almshouse Charity.
A keen sportsman he played football for Bristol Rovers, although not quite good enough for a fully professional career, played for Bath City, Clevedon, Taunton amongst others. He is a former Chair of Bristol City FC and has served on the board of Bristol Rugby (Bristol Bears). He is Trustee and Chairman of South Bristol Sport’s Centre which is a not for profit provider of facilities at the former Imperial Sports Ground achieving a footfall approaching 5000 users per week. John lives in Blagdon married to Johanna and they have 4 adult children.
Pradeep Madhavan DL
Pradeep was born in Madras (now Chennai) in India and was educated at Don Bosco’s School and Madras Medical College. He was a surgical trainee and medical officer in the Indian Railways with a public service commission before coming to the United Kingdom to pursue further surgical training and take the FRCS.
He was a registrar in Trauma and Orthopaedics on the Bristol rotation before doing a fellowship in spinal surgery at the John Radcliff Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford. He was co-author of the chapter on The Spine in Bailey and Love’s Short Practice of Surgery 25th edition.
He was appointed Consultant Spinal Orthopaedic Surgeon on the NHS at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton in 2000 and is in post. In addition, he is now the Clinical Director for T&O and Ophthalmology at Somerset Foundation Trust.
His wife Mala is a doctor in the Emergency Department at the same hospital. They have one daughter who is a trainee surgeon in New Zealand.
Pradeep’s hobbies include road cycling in the UK and abroad, trekking, ballroom dancing and music. He is guitarist and backing vocalist for a covers band called Ultrasound that was originally formed by staff at the hospital.
Polly Marsh DL
Founding Director – Cuddledry Ltd
Youth Engagement Team – The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Operations Trustee – The Ulysses Trust
Captain Polly Marsh was born in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1970. She attended Aberconwy secondary school in North Wales and took an engineering foundation course at UMIST before reading Molecular Biology at Manchester University. She joined the Officer Training Corps in 1990, and first attended The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1992, commissioning as a reserve officer into general service. She joined 101 Royal Engineers (EOD) in 1994, and after returning to RMAS on a regular commission course she joined 16 Regt Royal Artillery. During her time in The Army she was responsible for the welfare and training of 30-60 soldiers.
After leaving The Army in 1998, she moved to New York and worked in luxury brand management, as well as being involved in wildlife conservation. After the birth of her first child in London, she founded her own company with a friend and moved to Somerset, where she works as Director of Finance and Operations at Cuddledry Ltd, an established brand in the global nursery market. She has a teaching Diploma and a Masters Degree in genetic health, among other professional business and education qualifications.
Polly works as a freelance facilitator and expedition leader for Outposts Ltd – an outdoor education company in Somerset, specialising in teamwork and leadership, working with young people of secondary school age. She is a Governor of The Castle School in Taunton, specifically supporting senior leadership teams in curriculum and careers development. She is a Trustee of Somerset Army Cadet Force and The Ulysses Trust. The Ulysses Trust offers financial support to cadets and reservists to take part in adventure training and expeditions, prioritising those most in need, in order to develop young people through challenge and adventure. She supports many other charities that support help young people globally.
Polly has a passion to help young people be the best they can be – to make sure every child is aware of their opportunities, and helps to develop their self-awareness and values, to have courage to take them on, and resilience to see the challenge through – to become confident, valuable members of society.
Tom Mayberry MBE DL
Tom Mayberry has lived and worked in Somerset for most of his life. From 2004 he was responsible for Somerset County Council’s Heritage Services, including Museums, Archives and the Historic Environment, and led the projects for the creation of the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton as well as the redisplay of Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury. He was appointed Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust on its creation in 2014. He is a former chair of the Friends of Coleridge, and in that capacity led the partnership group for the redisplay of the National Trust’s Coleridge Cottage. He is a trustee of Arts Taunton, an organisation committed to promoting the role and relevance of the arts in Taunton and its area. He is deeply committed to community-based heritage and has taken the message of Somerset history all over the South West.
Mrs Sarah Mead DL
Sarah Mead was brought up in London but educated in SW England. She spent 3 years at Dance School in London where she formed a dance troupe with Liz Hurley touring the capital and regularly getting pelted with food. Luckily she met Tim Mead, and moved to Somerset to become a farmer’s wife. In between raising 4 children, she opened Holt Farm Gardens under the National Gardens Scheme before taking the plunge 8 years ago to open as the Yeo Valley Organic Garden, part of Yeo Valley’s Venues in Blagdon. She now works full time alongside Tim for Yeo Valley and as part of their marketing strategy is responsible for creative input at Yeo Valley HQ and the Organic Gardens, as well as curating the many events run by Yeo Marketing in and around the Valley. Outside of Yeo. She is part of the team that organises and run ‘Valley Fest’, a local Organic Food and Music Festival raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust and is a supporter of various other charities such as Valley Arts project and Key4life. She doesn’t get much time to spend gardening now, but when she does you will often find her in the herbaceous border with her pug Mabel or throwing some shapes at any festival for she can manage to get tickets.
Timothy Mead DL
Tim joined the family business in the Yeo Valley in 1987 and piloted the company through rapid growth. He established an organic range of dairy products, under the Yeo Valley brand, using milk sourced from The Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative. Today, Yeo Valley has four manufacturing sites and two distribution centres in the South West and employs 1,400 people. In recognition of his contribution towards the development of the Dairy Industry, he was awarded The Dairy Industry Award for 2002. The company attained the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2001 and 2006; both times for sustainable development. Holt Farms consisting of 150 acres, next to Blagdon Lake was purchased in 1961 by his parents, Roger and Mary Mead. Today, they farm 1,250 acres of mainly dairy and arable land, split between the Yeo Valley and the Mendip Hills. All of the land is certified organic and all the milk from their Lakemead herd of British Friesians is used is by Yeo Valley in their dairy products. Trained as an accountant with Edward Moore & Co (1983-87) after leaving Sherborne School (1976-81), Tim’s passion is for the land and his commitment to conservation is considerable. He and his wife, Sarah, and their four children live at Holt Farm. One of his favourite expressions is “live for today but farm for tomorrow”.
David Medlock DL
Born in 1955 in Bath, David was educated from 1962-72 at King Edwards School, Bath. He graduated from Salford University and completed his professional qualification as an Environmental Health Officer at Tameside Metropolitan Council. In 1979 he joined Hebron and Medlock, an engineering design company started by his father in 1951. He is now Managing Director of the Group renamed Sitec which employs 600 staff, turns over £45m and consists of a technical recruitment arm and a design consultancy. Since leaving school, he has been always been involved in the voluntary sector ranging from work with Shelter and adult literacy in Manchester to the Centre for Voluntary Services and the Gateway Club in Bath. He is now Managing Trustee of the Medlock Charitable Trust set up in 1985 by his father, which has contributed over £35m to various causes throughout the country, including a Chair in Mathematics, a Chair in Engineering and Design and the Chair of Dean in the Faculty of Engineering and Design at the University of Bath. David has been Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset since December 2008 and was Vice Lord Lieutenant from 2012-18. He was High Sheriff of Somerset from 2007-08. He Married to Jacky since 1981, they have 3 children. His outside interests include rugby and masonry.
General Sir Gordon Messenger KCB DSO* OBE DL
Gordon retired from the Royal Marines in 2019 as Vice Chief of Defence Staff at the Ministry of Defence. His 36-year career involved a number of operational deployments, including command of Taunton’s 40 Commando RM during the early days of the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns.
Married to Sarah, they have lived in the Taunton area on and off during their married life and have made it their home for the last 16 years. Since retiring Gordon has established a portfolio career: he is a Non-executive Director of QinetiQ PLC and an advisory board member for a number of start-up technology companies. Government roles include being the UK’s representative on Ukraine’s Defence Reform Advisory Board and board membership of the National Leadership Council.
Charitable roles include Vice President of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Patron of both the Royal British Legion Industries and Royal Marines Association – the Royal Marines charity.
Rear Admiral Ian Moncrieff CBE BA DL
Ian lives in Exmoor National Park and became a DL in December 2014. A former Chief Executive of the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) from 2011 – 2015, he served as UK National Hydrographer as a Rear Admiral from 2006. He served in the Royal Navy for 35 years, accumulating over 20 years’ practical seagoing experience in 11 warships and the Royal Yacht HMY BRITANNIA.
His senior roles included Joint Command as Commander British Forces South Atlantic and he commanded the ice-breaker HMS ENDURANCE and destroyer HMS NOTTINGHAM and was executive officer of the aircraft carrier, HMS INVINCIBLE.
Appointed CBE in HM The Queen’s 2010 Birthday Honours List; he is now semi-retired. He was a Non-Executive Director on the Port of London Authority Board from 2015-2021 and continues also to be on the Operational and Safety Advice Panel for British Antarctic Survey. He has 3 other voluntary roles besides being a DL: as an Elder Brother and Member of the Court and The Corporate Board of Trinity House London, as a Governor of Taunton School since 2016 and, as a trustee of the Falklands Conservation charity since 2010.
He is a Master Mariner and member of the Naval and Military and Antarctic clubs. He is married to Marion and they have 2 sons: Andrew an Army officer in the Royal Dragoon Guards, and James an Associate Investment Partner with Veritas in London. They have 2 grandchildren. His pastimes are wildlife photography www.ianmoncrieff.com and fly fishing on Exmoor rivers.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Motum DL
Following education at Dean Close School Cheltenham and Sandhurst, Mike was commissioned in to The Gloucestershire Regiment. At unit level he held several posts including command of a Reserve Battalion. He also carried out Army and NATO staff appointments as well as a tour at The Royal School of Signals. Having left the Armed Forces in 2007, he served briefly with the South West Regional Assembly’s secretariat before commencing regimental secretary duties with The Rifles; responsibilities fall within Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Appointed a DL for Somerset in 2012, his other voluntary work includes being a founding trustee of the South West Heritage Trust. Mike and his wife Bente have 2 sons and 2 grandchildren.
Mrs Lucilla Nelson DL
Lucy founded Tommy’s, a national charity funding medical research into the reasons why babies are born too soon and too small, stillbirth, miscarriage, poor foetal growth and prematurity. It now raises around £4million each year. She was Tommy’s CEO for 10 years, a Director of Mark Birley Associates for 20 years and a Director of the Catholic Building Society. Lucy was also a Governor for 20 years and finally Chairman of Governors for Port Regis school in Dorset. Lucy was High Sheriff of Somerset 215-16. She is particularly interested in mental health and raised a fund for 4 mental health charities (Well Wessex) in Somerset during her year as High Sheriff. She is also a Trustee of Somerset Community Foundation. She has lived in Penselwood, Somerset for 20 years and runs a small stud, breeding horses for eventing and dressage.
Stephen Pilkington CBE QPM DL
Steve retired as Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary in 2005 after completing 32 years of police service, 25 of which were in the Metropolitan Police. His career choice was a surprise to many after completing a PhD in Plant Physiology at London University. He lives near Wedmore with his wife Anne where they pursue their love of natural history. His interest in ornithology has led him to visit many far-flung places. Closer to home he records the butterflies and moths of the area running a regular moth trap around his property. He has renovated an old cider orchard and has developed a wildflower hay meadow from an area of agricultural dereliction. Steve enjoys dry stone walling and hedge laying both on his own property and on Mendip. He is a keen cyclist and energetic gardener.
Dr Alexander Priest
After finishing his undergraduate degree and PhD in Artificial Intelligence & Cancer Chemistry at Oxford University, Alex started his working life promoting youth training partnerships as Chief Executive of an educational charity in the City of London.
Later, he jumped from a successful career in Intellectual Property Law to become Chief Executive of Mind (the mental health charity) in his home county of Somerset, where he now farms with his young family.
Alex is a Non-Executive Director of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Chairman of Wessex Scouts, and holds various trusteeships and directorships in the mental health, education and third sectors.
The Hon Thomas Rees-Mogg DL
Clinton Rogers DL
Clinton has lived in Somerset virtually all is life. He and his wife Joanne now live in the village of Bradford on tone, near Taunton. They have three daughters and a son and five grandchildren. After leaving Court Fields School in Wellington at the age of 16, he began his journalistic career on his local newspaper, the Wellington Weekly News. It was, he says, a career he instantly fell in love with. When he retired in 2020 it was after nearly 50 years in journalism, the last 40 with the BBC. He was instrumental in establishing the first the first local radio station in Somerset, BBC Somerset Sound, in 1988 and was its first presenter. He has won three Royal Television Society Awards for investigative journalism and has reported from one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters in Bangladesh. He was a founder member of the Mid Somerset branch of the charity CLIC and was for a while its president. He has for many years been a supporter of St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice and in retirement has written an autobiography, entirely to raise money for the charity. His hobbies include music (he plays in a local band), walking the family dog, motor cycling (he and a group of friends rode Route 66 across America to celebrate his 50th birthday) and foreign travel.
His Honour Judge Andrew Rutherford DL
Born in 1948. Lived in Bath from the age of about 18 months. Educated Clifton College and Exeter University. Called to the Bar by the Middle Temple 1970 and practised as a barrister in Bristol and the Western Circuit for 25 years. Appointed to the Circuit Bench in 1995 sitting mainly in Bristol but also the last circuit judge to sit on a regular basis in Bath. Retired on 25 March 2018. Currently PCC Secretary (and one time Churchwarden) of Bath Abbey. In past years a Finance Steward for 30 years with the Royal Bath and West Show and from 1989 to 1995 commanded the Air Training Corps in Somerset. Currently Chairman of the Church of England General Synod Legal Aid Commission He married to Lucy and they have 2 daughters.
Jane Sedgman JP DL
Jane was born in Taplow, Berkshire and educated at Maidenhead High School. She joined the WRAF in 1969 and held a Short Service Commission as an Admin Officer, holding posts as a Families’ Officer, OC WRAF (responsibilities for welfare and discipline) and a Flight commander at a training establishment. Thereafter she held various positions in the South East using her admin background and married David, whose family come from Somerset, in 1976. They have 2 daughters and a son and 4 grandchildren. They farm in South Somerset and are first generation farmers (David’s father was a clergyman) so have had to adapt to weather the vagaries of the industry. They started milking cows, have had both beef and sheep enterprises, also a B&B, but since 1992 have had an entirely arable business which is now, in part, a co-operative venture with other like-minded farmers. David has an ongoing involvement with the Royal Bath and West Society. She became a magistrate in 1986 transferring to the then Yeovil Bench in 1990 when the family returned to David’s roots here in Somerset. She has been involved in many aspects of Bench life serving on most committees at some point, including 9 years on the Sub Advisory Committee, but her overriding interest was in Youth Justice, she sat on the Youth Panel for 19 years, stepping back after some years as Chairman and still misses it! She was also a Bench Deputy Chairman. Jane has also had many years of church involvement, being licensed as an Anglican Reader (or Lay Minister) in 2009. Her interests include gardening, her 2 labradors (working – sort of!), theatre, reading, music and most importantly, her family.
Thomas is a solicitor in private practice who, having qualified in 1977, has held both professional and management roles in a top 100 law firm, including over ten years as the firm’s Managing Partner. He is now a consultant and has returned to a client facing role.
Alongside his professional life, Thomas has been actively involved with charities and not for profit organisations; this is usually as a trustee and often as the chair. These charities have followed his interests and include arts-based charities, such as Bath Festivals, Bath Theatre Trust and the Arnolfini in Bristol; and also, health care organisations, such as Dorothy House Hospice Care, the Royal United Hospital NHS Trust and the mental health charity RICE.
Thomas has held local roles such as parish councillor and churchwarden. He spent over ten years on the Council of Management at the University of Bath and was a director of Bath Rugby in its first years as a professional rugby club.
He is currently the chair of the Bath Preservation Trust, a campaigning and heritage charity which also runs museums together with the Beckford Tower Trust and Herschel Museum of Astronomy. He also a chair and trustee of several grant making charities including the newly formed Somerset Supports Ukraine.
Thomas was the 960th High Sheriff of Somerset and lives in the Bath area with his wife Michelle.
Martin Thatcher DL
Martin Thatcher is a fourth-generation English cidermaker and has been Managing Director of Thatchers Cider Co Limited since 1992. The family-run business maintains it’s mantra of a sustainable company for future generations.
Martin is an active member of the National Association of Cidermakers, the body that represents the interests of cider producers in the UK and helps raise the profile of the industry to the public. In 2005 he was awarded the coveted Nuffield Farming Trust scholarship; and in 2016 he received the Trust’s Steven and Gill Bullock award for innovation. Martin has been a Trustee of the Bath & West Society since 2015.
Encouraging skills development is a passion of Martin’s, and the Thatchers Young Talent apprenticeship programme that he has introduced into the company has attracted considerable interest not only from applicants keen to join the company, but from wider industry, gaining recognition including the national IGD award for Employability in 2018, and in 2019 the Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Apprenticeships in the FE Week AAC Awards.
With his family, Martin has established the Thatchers Foundation, a charitable trust which supports good causes in Somerset. Martin is married to Anne, and has two children, Eleanor and Peter, who are currently working in the family business. Martin is a keen sports fan, in particular Rugby Union.
Brigadier Richard Toomey CBE DL
Richard retired from the Army in 2016 after 37 years’ service in the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and on the General Staff. On leaving the Army, he and his wife Liza moved to Somerset, where his parents have lived for many years.
He now works part-time as a management consultant, and does quite a lot of voluntary work. He is The Rifles’ Regimental Colonel for Somerset, the Honorary Colonel of Somerset Army Cadet Force, and a trustee of the body that owns the Somerset Light Infantry collection displayed in the County Museum in Taunton. He is Chair of Trustees of the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester, and is also Chair of Action4Diabetes, a charity that provides medical support to poor children with Type 1 diabetes in South East Asia.
He is interested in lots of things, including history, current affairs, choral singing and the great outdoors.
General Sir Peter Wall GCB CBE MA DL
Peter Wall retired from the British Army after a career spanning 40 years. He joined the Royal Engineers from Sandhurst military academy in 1974 and read engineering at the University of Cambridge. He finished his military career as the Army’s chief from 2010 to 2014. He has served all over the world, including operational command tours in Rhodesia, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
He is now Director of Amicus, an advisory business which specializes in imparting military and commercial leadership expertise, with emphasis on strategic planning and execution, leadership development, and organisational health. Peter is also a director of General Dynamics, the US defence and aerospace corporation, and President of Combat Stress, the military veterans’ mental health charity. Originally from Suffolk, he has lived with his family in the Mendips for 20 years. He is a keen supporter of Blagdon Cricket Club and enjoys skiing and sailing.
Professor Ian White FREng DL
Ian is Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath. He joined the University of Bath from the University of Cambridge where he had been Master of Jesus College, van Eck Professor of Engineering, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of Photonics Research in the Department of Engineering. He gained his BA (1980) and PhD (1984) degrees from the University of Cambridge and was appointed a Research Fellow and Assistant Lecturer at the University of Cambridge before becoming Professor of Physics at the University of Bath in 1991. He moved to the University of Bristol as in 1996 as Professor of Optical Communications and became Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1998. He returned to the University of Cambridge in October 2001 and, in 2005, became Head of the School of Technology and subsequently Chair. He left there to become Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs in 2010. His research interests are in photonics, including optical data communications and laser diode-based devices. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He was a Member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Photonics Society (2008-2012). He is an Editor-in-Chief of Electronics Letters and Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering. He was appointed as a DL in Oct 2019.
Olivia Winterton DL
Born and brought up in Hampshire, Olivia moved to West Somerset in 1995 with her husband Michael, and their 3 children. She studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute, and then worked as a curator in the Print Room of the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. A very enjoyable part of this work involved accompanying Leonardo da Vinci and Holbein drawings around the world to loan exhibitions. She was later a researcher for the 1989 Arts Council Leonardo exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. When the family moved from London to the West Country she decided to pursue other interests, and worked voluntarily for the Witness service in Taunton Crown and Magistrates Courts and became interested in the work being of the Probation Service. Wishing to be more actively involved in the criminal justice system, she retrained and joined Avon and Somerset Probation in 2008 working between offices in Taunton, Bridgwater and Minehead. She is a newly (2019) trained volunteer adviser for the Citizens Advice, and also involved in a joint enterprise project with MIND and the Quantock AONB that gives people with poor mental health the opportunity to do conservation work in the Quantock Hills. She loves living in the country and is keen on walking, preferably with her dogs, and amateur gardening. Along with reading, art remains one of her main hobbies providing good motivation to return to London to visit family and enjoy theatre. She was appointed as a DL in Oct 2019.
Peter Wyman CBE DL
Peter is currently Chair of the Care Quality Commission. He is also Chairman of Sir Richard Sutton Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Pay.UK. Previously he was Chairman of Somerset Community Foundation and of Yeovil District Hospital as well as Treasurer of Bath University. He was President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Partner at PwC.