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Leadership team

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Lisa Gale

Visitor Experience Manager

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Sue Tapliss

Mill Director

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Laney (Elaine) Thorpe

Groups and Volunteer Co-ordinator

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Jessica Bone

Operations Manager

Our Trustees

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Andrejs (Andy) Alferovs

Trustee

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Caroline Barber

Trustee

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Christine Beresford

Chair

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David George

Trustee

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Liz Hide

Trustee

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Sarah Mitchell

Trustee

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George Oakham

Trustee

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Annette Poulton

Trustee

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Phil Turner

Trustee

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Beverly Vaughan

Trustee

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Kevin Wheeler

Treasurer

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Lisa Gale

Lisa Gale has spent the last ten years working in museums, combining her enjoyment of history and working with people, in various roles. She now splits her time between working at the Mill and entertaining her toddler, she hasn’t worked out which is more demanding! In her spare time she volunteers at GAP club in Basingstoke & her local toddler group.

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Sue Tapliss

Sue Tapliss has been Mill Director since 2012. She is a Curator and experienced Heritage Manager. In her 20-year career in local and regional museums she has been involved in transforming the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Basingstoke and now the Mill. She is involved with various community museums within the region and is an Arts Council England Accreditation Mentor for Fordingbridge Museum and Greenham Control Tower and a Trustee for the Royal Artillery Museum.

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Laney (Elaine) Thorpe

Laney (Elaine) Thorpe was born in Farnborough, Hampshire where she worked in publishing before going on to be Director of an IT software training company. Moving to Bradford, West Yorkshire, Laney worked for a debt counselling charity engaging with leaders at all levels to grow the charity centres throughout the UK.

Laney has lived in Whitchurch since 2012 when she began volunteering at the Silk Mill.

She became a member of the paid team in 2013 and is now responsible for co-ordinating our group visitors and volunteers and provides management support.

Laney is a keen crafter (including hand weaving), enjoys reading and watching movies.

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Jessica Bone

Jessica Bone joined the Mill team in 2018. She grew up in Southampton before graduating from Winchester School of Art in 2011 with a degree in Woven Textile Design. She has several years’ experience working in both catering management and retail and now combines this experience with her passion for woven textiles. Besides the Mill, Jessica enjoys arts & crafts, swimming and cooking.

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Andrejs (Andy) Alferovs

Andy has 40 years’ experience in educational publishing, and has worked for the British Library, HarperCollins and a number of book and journal distribution companies. He spent time in North America as a vice president of the US’s largest book distributor. He currently works for a new education technology start-up, Kortext, delivering interactive digital textbooks to university students. Andy has been a Trustee of the Mill since 2019, his interest in textile production stemming from being brought up in Bradford, surrounded by textile mills.

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Caroline Barber

Caroline has been a Trustee since 2014. She has a young family and works part time as an in-house lawyer for a theatre company, her main area of expertise being intellectual property, but with experience of commercial, employment, data protection law and safeguarding. She is involved with various community groups within Whitchurch, and her interests include theatre, live music and playing the harp.

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Christine Beresford

Christine has lived a full and varied life. She grew up in Switzerland and the Channel Islands, and after a few years serving in the British Army and raising a family she returned to full time education to study heritage management. She was a museum curator, manager and consultant for nearly thirty years, during which time she was manager of Whitchurch Silk Mill. Although now retired, Christine is still involved with museums as a volunteer and trustee. She became a Trustee of Whitchurch Silk Mill in 2013 and Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2017.

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David George

David is a Basingstoke and Deane Borough Councillor for the Whitchurch ward. Now retired, he was vice president of a major international engineering company, responsible for the development of a range of environmental and engineering disciplines. David is an environmental science graduate with a postgraduate qualification in hydrology, and is a chartered geologist. He has been a Trustee since 2018.

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Liz Hide

Liz is Director of the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. She trained as a geologist and palaeontologist, and has been a Curator at the National Museums of Scotland, and Museums Officer for the eight museums of the University of Cambridge. As an independent consultant she has advised museums and organisations nationally and internationally on advocacy, organisational strategy and audience engagement. She is committed to making museums places where everyone feels welcome and can find something that meets their needs and interests. Liz has a long-standing family connection with Whitchurch and with the Silk Mill, and became a Trustee in 2019.

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Sarah Mitchell

Sarah is passionate about textiles, having studied textile design before changing career track, resulting in her completing an MA in museum and gallery education. Her experience in the arts and heritage sector is broad, though primarily focused on fundraising, with a range of experience across major gifts, events, membership schemes, campaigns, trusts and foundations. She began her career at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village and now works for the Tate galleries based in London. Sarah lives in Hampshire and became a Trustee of the Mill in 2019.

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George Oakham

George has been a Trustee since 2012. His career developed within Courtaulds and Mars. He has broad multidisciplinary experience, having managed in R&D, manufacturing, management development, human resources, organisation development and external relations before establishing his own consultancy, the Centre for Effective Business Development, which works globally with many blue-chip clients, charities and quasi-governmental agencies. George is proud to have been the strategic facilitator and professional adviser to Place2Be during its formative years.

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Annette Poulton

Annette studied textiles at Chelsea and Winchester Schools of Art and has worked in woven textiles for around forty years, for most of that time designing collections for commercial purposes and selling internationally under the name DesignZamis. She has been much involved with the planning and teaching of woven textiles at higher education level and still works as a visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins. She has been a Trustee since 2016.

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Phil Turner

Phil became a Trustee in 2012, nominated by the owners of the Mill, Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust. A retired architect and town and country planner, he specialises in the heritage of built and natural environment, reflecting his experience as a former Hampshire assistant county planning officer (environment) and as a sole practitioner in rural and community planning. His career began as an articled apprentice at Courtaulds, Coventry, where his duties included care of the archive of drawings of silk mills owned by the firm. Phil is also a Trustee of Europa Nostra UK and of Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust.

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Beverly Vaughan

Beverly has been a Trustee since 2017. She is a firm believer that traditional techniques of silk weaving should be continued as an important legacy of our industrial heritage, to educate future generations. Her views are enforced by her passion for textiles, and all forms of sewing and needlecraft. She had an extensive career in education, both in the private and public sectors, in which she held senior positions in management and governance. Apart from the Silk Mill, Beverly is an active member of the Parochial Church Council and the local Women’s Institute.

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Kevin Wheeler

Kevin is the Mill’s treasurer and has been a Trustee since 2016. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. After many years’ experience in accountancy firms, dealing with small- and medium-sized enterprises, he founded his own firm, Wheeler & Co., in 1991. He has been volunteering at the Mill for most of his 28 years living in Whitchurch. His main interests (apart from family and the Mill) are running his two sports cars, snooker, skiing and walking his dog.

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