Meet the Abbey Team
The Abbey Museum is led by a board of trustees, each taking responsibility for different areas of the organisation. If you have any enquiries they would be pleased to hear from you.
Our accounts and policies, including Safeguarding, are available upon request.
Manager and Volunteer Coordinator
My main role is to manage our team of volunteers who staff the museum. Other duties include managing the shop and day to day running of the museum. I am also education lead for the Abbey museum and Gold Hill Museum. If you are interested in joining us, we'd love to welcome you to join the team. Bringing history to everyone is one of my passions. Apart from my work at the museum, I also enjoy living history and traditional crafts like Dorset Button making.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
After spending 35 years in the Royal Air Force serving in a number of countries in Asia and Europe, my wife and I spent 15 years living in Southern France before moving to Shaftesbury in 2018. I have considerable experience in training, conflict resolution and international relations, which serves me well as Chairman! My role is to oversee the running of the museum and its future development.
Administrator & Events
I am the first point of contact in the Abbey office and keep in touch with our Friends membership and volunteers. I enjoy organising our season of events, from open-air theatre to herbal workshops and liaise with the wider community and local media to promote all we do at the Abbey. I love exploring Dorset on foot and my choir has often sung at the Abbey during the annual Fringe Festival.
Trustee for Gardens
As well as managing the garden volunteers and contractors, I curate the Abbey’s plant collections and garden projects. An enthusiasm for the miracles of the plant kingdom drives me professionally as well, with my background in research, communication, botany and horticulture. I’m Kew-trained, so it should be no surprise that plants, their culture, history and purpose infuse every aspect of my life. Together the gardens team tackle everything from the mundane (weeding) to the extraordinary (creating a series of self guided tours), all in the name of bringing to life and life to the Abbey. We welcome new volunteers of all experiences and skill levels.
After several (too many!) decades as an accountant and finance director, I retired in 2016 and became treasurer and company secretary of the Shaftesbury Abbey Preservation Trust.
I manage and/or record all grant funding applications, income and expenditures at the Abbey, plus our annual accounts. I am also the key contact on behalf of the Trust with the Charities Commission and Companies House for all trustee/director matters.
Trustee & Archaeology Advisor
A long-term Shaftesbury resident I am an archaeologist, writer, broadcaster and educator. I have had a long career in archaeology, working in the commercial sector, for English Heritage and on both TV and radio. In recent years I have worked freelance, involved in education, outreach and community projects. I have been involved with the Abbey for over two decades and now offer archaeological advice and lead projects, the most recent of which explored both the Abbey church and the Saxon and medieval town. I am a great believer in public engagement (for all ages) and was very happy that we could involve hundreds of local school pupils in our Abbey excavations.
Trustee & Volunteer Director
Bekki has more than 25 years’ experience in the non-profit sector and has worked in community engagement, volunteer management, education and training, for example as Community Engagement Manager for Leonard Cheshire. She combines innovation, simplicity, and a people-focused approach towards managing community projects and has a passion for inclusiveness and accessibility – giving a voice to the “quiet one in the room”. She believes volunteers have an equal voice in helping shape their community and deserve a sense of purpose and belonging. Contact Bekki if would like a chat about becoming a volunteer and the opportunities at the Abbey.
Trustee & Town Council Representative
Phil was architect for the museum building and continues to advise on building matters. He has been a trustee for many years.
Trustee for Collections
I moved to Shaftesbury in 2006 after a career in education including 15 years as education lead and senior management team member at Fishbourne Roman Palace and Michelham Priory, both owned by Sussex Archaeological Society. I have a passion for sharing archaeology and history with as many people as possible, and have worked with Julian Richards on several education projects in Dorset and Wiltshire. Currently I lead a small and enthusiastic team caring for the Abbey archaeology collections, conserving, recording and displaying objects for all to enjoy.
Trustee for Digital Development
I have lived in Shaftesbury since 2011 and am fascinated by its history. I was a civil servant for 30 years working on education, training and business policies, and have previously served as a trustee and chair of governors of an adult education college. I have a strong interest in the use of digital technology for education and training, and at the Abbey, alongside being deputy chair of trustees, I lead on digital developments. It can be difficult to imagine from the ruins left by Henry VIII just how impressive and powerful the Abbey once was. Technology offers a myriad of new opportunities to tell our story to the world.