Meet Beamish’s Board of Trustees. 15 volunteers, from all walks of life, who give their expertise, experience and their valuable time, to help make Beamish the award-winning attraction and successful business it has become.
Trustees play a vital role for charities, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about a charity’s work. Trustees’ Week is an annual event which showcases the great work that trustees do and highlights opportunities to get involved and make a difference.
Alan Ashburner – Alan, a retired Bank Manager, has been a Beamish Friend for 40 years. A former volunteer, he is Treasurer and their representative on the Board since its inception. He is also a Trustee for the former Miners’ Hall in Crawcrook, which is run as a charity for the community.
Mike Barker – Mike is Strategic Director, Corporate Services & Governance at Gateshead Council. Having lived, been educated, and worked in the North East all his life, he is immensely proud of our history and heritage as a region, as well as the achievements of the museum, which he has visited since childhood.
Cllr Richard Bell – Richard works with Unite and is a member of Child Poverty Action Group. He lives in Sunderland and is a councillor for Redhill Ward. Richard supports Willow Fields Community Primary School, Hylton Castle Primary School and Hylton Red House Nursery.
Cllr Angela Douglas – Angela is local councillor for the Bridges Ward in Gateshead and enjoys representing and engaging with the local community. She has lived in Gateshead for over 40 years and first became a Cabinet Member in 2009. Angela currently holds the Portfolio for Culture Sport and Leisure.
Cllr Ossie Johnson – Ossie was a Derwentside District Councillor, elected in 1996. He was then elected to the Unitary Authority at Durham County Council and presently serves on the Cabinet with responsibility for Sport & Leisure, Culture, Tourism and Rural Affairs. He has recently joined the Board at Beamish and looks forward to the exciting times ahead.
John Kelly (Chairman)- John is a Washington-born councillor and is chairman of a number of organisations, including Beamish and several sports trusts. While having a passion for heritage and sports he is keen to look at new ways of using heritage as a tool to improve people’s lives.
Cllr Nancy Maxwell – Nancy has been a South Tyneside Councillor since 2000 and presently holds the Cabinet post for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Co-operatives. Her involvement with Beamish spans many enjoyable years.
Gillian Miller – A Trustee since 2014, Gillian is Regional Director for the Association of Colleges and has worked in education and economic regeneration in the North East over three decades. Gillian lives in Sunderland with her family and is a regular visitor to Beamish.
Marie Nixon – Marie is former guitarist in girl band Kenickie alongside Lauren Laverne and now plays in folk band Cornshed Sisters. She is former Head of Communications for the Northern region of the Arts Council. Marie’s family is from Castletown and she attended St Anthony’s in Sunderland. She is Chief Executive of Sunderland University’s Student Union.
John Pennie – John is a retired solicitor who is now a director of various businesses and trusts. He is fascinated by the industrial and agricultural revolutions and has been a great fan of Beamish since settling in the North East 35 years ago.
Cllr John Robinson – John has been a member of Durham County Council since 2005, was a member of Sedgefield Borough Council from 1995 onwards and has been a town or parish councillor for 39 years. He was elected the 412th Mayor of Durham in 2014.
Sarah Salter – Sarah is Group HR Director at Northumbrian Water, moving from Cumbria to the North East in 2011, when she quickly made tracks to Beamish to relive memories of childhood visits. She has been a Trustee since 2013 and she represents the Business Friends of Beamish at the Board.
Cllr John-Paul Stephenson – John-Paul was raised in South Moor and attended St . Mary’s, Hustledown, and St Bede’s Lanchester. He now lives in Newcastle and represents the South Heaton ward. He is a tutor and examiner in Social Sciences for the Open University and also teaches at the University of Sunderland.
Sarah Stewart OBE – Sarah is Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, a tourism and inward investment agency which also delivers major sporting and cultural events. Sarah also sits on the VisitEngland Advisory Board and Arts Council North Area Council.
Cllr David Stoker – Councillor for Durham South, David was an academic for most of his career, mainly at Durham University Business School, where he was one of the Directors. He currently works as a coach, mentor, mediator, and facilitator with the NHS and in the charitable and not for profit sectors.