This section provides brief biographical information on the Honourable Company’s main officers. With the exception of the Warden Emeritus and the Clerk, the incumbents change each year or every 2 years. The current Warden, Professor Christopher Gaskell CBE, was installed in April 2020.
A veterinary surgeon and graduate of the University of Bristol, Professor Chris Gaskell worked as an academic clinician (companion animals), and latterly in an administrative role, at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Bristol, Liverpool and the Royal Agricultural College, then University (RAU), in Cirencester. He retired in 2016 after nine years as Vice-Chancellor of The RAU. He is currently a member of the Boards of the University of Winchester and Reaseheath College in Cheshire, and of the Welsh bTB Eradication Programme Advisory Group. He has previously served as Chairman of Defra’s Chief Scientific Advisor’s Science Advisory Council and a member of the Government Chief Scientist’s Food Research Partnership. He is an Associate Member of the Royal Agricultural Societies of England. He was previously a member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Board of UCEA (the University and College’s Employers Association) and Vice-Chair of GuildHE, the representative body for specialist universities. He is an adviser to Applied Inspiration, a company providing advice on student recruitment, widening participation, and careers. Chris lives with his wife Rosalind in the North Cotswolds, and they have family and grandchildren locally and in Yorkshire.
Chris joined the Company in 2008 and Court in 2016; he was appointed Warden in 2020.
The High Sheriff of Gloucestershire for 2017-18, Andrew Tabor is currently farm manager and a partner in a predominantly arable farm in the North Cotswolds. Commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars, an armoured reconnaissance regiment, in 1982 he served in a variety of posts at regimental level and on the staff at both the Ministry of Defence and the Permanent Joint Headquarters, Northwood, before leaving the Army in 2001. He is a serving magistrate and since 2009 has run a Mock Trial Competition for Primary Schools which teaches children about the criminal justice system and develops their confidence in public speaking. He is also active in both The Royal British Legion and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, within the county. Andrew chairs the Community Support Group.
Julie Kent was born in Gloucester and attended the High School for Girls, Denmark Road. After Studying Jazz and Light Music at Leeds College of Music she was a professional musician until she settled in Cheltenham and started teaching at Dean Close School. She was a day housemistress and has been in Boarding for the last 18 years living and caring for sixty teenage girls in term time.
After losing her first child in 1995 she started a Charity called the Emily Kent Charitable Trust and for the last five years has been the Vice Chair of the Pied Piper Appeal. Her charity work raising money for Breast Cancer and many others has led her to be named in the Top 50 Greatest Women in Gloucestershire and most recently the Top 100 Women in West gaining the Most Outstanding Woman in the Charitable Sector in the West. She is Vice Chair of the Sports Group in the Honourable Company.
Eton College, Royal Agricultural College, Scots Guards. M/D Colesbourne Estate Company and associated companies each engaged in Farming, forestry, property, motor trade & snowdrop garden. Rural District Council (1959-74), County Council (1970-92 Chairman/Vice-Chairman 10 years). High Sheriff (1979/80), HM Lord-Lieutenant (1992-2010), Knight Commander of the Victorian Order (2009). Hon. Dr. Phil. University of Gloucestershire, Hon. Dr. Laws University of West of England, Hon Fellow Royal Agricultural University. President Gloucestershire Country Landowners Assn. (2005-), Regional Director Lloyds Bank (1985-91), Member Judicial Appointments Board (1994-2000), President Gloucestershire Reserve Forces & Cadets Assn (1992-2010), Twenty years Chairman Prince’s Trust Gloucestershire and Prince’s Youth Business Trust, Liveryman Worshipful Company of Gardeners, Initiator of Honourable Company of Gloucestershire and been associated as Patron, President or member of more than 20 County voluntary societies.
Born and bred in Cheltenham, Colonel (Retd) Phil Robson was educated at Cheltenham College and Bristol University. After commissioning into the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1978 he joined the Royal Welsh on amalgamation with the Royal Regiment of Wales in 2006; he retired in 2014 after a variety of roles in infantry battalions, MoD HQ, the Army Personnel Centre and Defence Equipment & Support in Bristol. His last appointment was as Head of the Defence Land Safety Regulator in the Defence Safety Authority where he was responsible for the regulation of safety across the land domain. Phil now acts as Chair of Cleeve Common Trust, which manages 1,000 acres of common land overlooking the Severn Valley, and as Vice-Chair of Cheltenham Junior Hockey Club. Still an active player and umpire, he coaches with Gloucestershire and Bath University and manages one of England Hockey's four regional boys’ squads; he’s also a steward at Twickenham.
After studying theology at King’s College, London, I was ordained Deacon and Priest in Durham Cathedral and served curacies at Darlington and Sunderland. This was my first experience of the North East and I retain an affection for the kind people there who took this very green curate under their wing.
In 1967 I moved from an industrial heartland to the rural setting of Cornwall where I served as Youth Chaplain for the Diocese of Truro and Vicar of Mabe, near Falmouth. It taught me a lot about rural ministry. In 1970 I came to Gloucester Diocese as the full-time Diocesan Youth Chaplain, moving to Stroud in 1977 where I became Vicar of Holy Trinity and Chaplain to the Local Hospital. In 1982 I was appointed a Residentiary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral and Diocesan Director of Education. During this time I also served on the General Synod– a fascinating insight into the Church of England!
My final full-time appointment was as Chaplain and Personal Assistant to the then Bishop of Gloucester. On retirement, I moved to Tewkesbury and value enormously a ministry as Chaplain to the Local Sea Cadet Unit and the Severn District. I count it a great blessing to have served a good deal of my ministry in Gloucestershire
Nick Broady is MD of the Avenue Group, founded in 1988 as Avenue Cars of Gloucester Ltd it has since expanded with Gloucester Coating Ltd and a commercial property portfolio. A founding member of the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, he chairs the Sports Group, which is always looking to help and support sport locally. He is also the Chairman of the Pied Piper Appeal here in Gloucestershire, based at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. The Pied Piper Appeal raises funds for sick and disabled children across the county. Nick is a keen sportsman and golfer and has been President of Brickhampton Golf Club since 2010.
Anne Chambers is the owner and hands on gardener at Kiftsgate Court where she has lived most of her life. Anne was High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 2009 and was a founder member of the Honourable Company; she has been a member of Court since January 2013. Anne has been President of the Gloucestershire Society and a past trustee of the Gloucestershire Community Foundation and has provided support for several local charities. Her interests include travelling and country pursuits.
Professor Colin Dennis has enjoyed a 44-year career in food science and technology, including 28 years at CampdenBRI in Chipping Campden, 21 years during which he was Director General. He continues to advise the food industry internationally as well as the UK Food Standards Agency and Innovate UK. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 for services to the Agri-food industry. He has served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire since 2005 and was a founding member of the Honourable Company, where he took over as Warden in May 2014. He is committed to other charitable and pro bono activities such as the International Food Information Service (Chair of Trustees), Governor and member of Audit Committee of the Royal Agricultural University, Governor of the British Nutrition Foundation, Board member of National Skills Academy and is President Elect of the Institute of Food Technologists (USA). He was listed as one of the top 100 Practising Scientists by the Science Council in 2013.
Thomas Frost was brought up in Hertfordshire and after school spent a year working abroad in South Africa and Kenya. On his return to the UK he qualified as a chartered accountant in the City, following which he joined Whitbread International as their Financial Controller for five years, frequently travelling abroad throughout Europe. In 1973 he moved to Gloucestershire working in Malmesbury as Finance Director and Secretary for an electrical light company before jointly selling it on to a large Plc. He then joined ARC at their head office in Chipping Sodbury as their Commercial Director responsible for their Building Products division until their takeover by Hanson PLC in 1991. From there he decided to acquire a distressed electrical manufacturer, which he managed to turn round and grow to an organisation employing a workforce of some 120 with a strong global customer base, before selling the business on to a private management team.
Since 2003, he has been concentrating on his property business and supporting several biotech start-ups locally as well as running the family’s small farm. Tom is a keen and dedicated countryman with interests in conservation, gardening, bloodstock breeding and exercising their five dogs (he is currently President of the Lucas Terrier Club) as well as the odd game of golf. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of Gloucestershire’s County Cricket side. He is Chair of his family-based charity dedicated to eye diseases and the prevention of blindness. This organisation is closely aligned with Bristol Eye Hospital and also offers fellowships to young trainee ophthalmologists. He was High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 2014/15 and was appointed a D.L. in 2016. Tom was President of the Gloucestershire Society in 2017. Tom and his wife, Carolyn, have lived for over 40 years at their home in South Gloucestershire and have three grown-up boys and four young grandchildren.
Chair (elect) of the Armed Forces Group.
Andy Hodson retired as a partner from a Gloucester firm of solicitors in 1983 to move into financial services and is now President of Summit Financial Planning Ltd. He has been a volunteer for over 50 years and worn the uniform of all three services. After flying with Oxford University Air Squadron he joined the Artists’ Rifles as a trooper and later commanded ‘A’ (Royal Gloucestershire Hussars) Squadron, The Royal Wessex Yeomanry, in Gloucester and later Bristol University OTC, retiring from the TA as Deputy Commander (TA Colonel) 43 Wessex Brigade and President of the TA Commissions Board. He was appointed a DL in 2002. He has been chairman of the Friends of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum twice and Vice-chairman for Gloucestershire of Wessex RFCA. He is married with three children, is a trustee of the RGH Benevolent Fund and has been a churchwarden for 14 years.
His interests include aerobatics, skiing, things nautical and non-anthropogenic climate change.
Now retired from full time work in the media, Mark joined the BBC in 1978 and, apart from a short time in commercial radio in the early 1980s, has worked for the Corporation continuously in a wide variety of roles; these included presentation and production in both TV and radio before he turned his hand to management and leadership. Appointed as Editor of BBC Radio Stoke in 1998, he returned in 2002 to run Radio Gloucestershire where he was actively involved in many of the station’s major stories, including extensive coverage of the 2007 floods and conducting the final interview with Laurie Lee. Mark remains particularly keen that local media should reflect local rather than national life. In 2013 he worked in London for a year managing a BBC-wide initiative, ‘World War One at Home’, which focussed on the home front. He fulfilled a similar role in 2016, this time with local radio coverage of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, and continues to work part time for the BBC on various long term projects. He and his family have lived in the county for 27 years and become involved in the local community in a variety of ways; he is a season ticket holder at Kingsholm and sings with local choirs. A founder member of the Honourable Company where he serves on the Arts & Heritage Group, Mark is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Gloucestershire, a Patron of the Friends of the Wilson in Cheltenham, a Governor at King’s School Gloucester and in 2017 was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant.
Helen Lovatt retired as a solicitor in 2010 after practising in Gloucestershire for over 25 years. Whilst her legal specialism was in corporate finance, in her final role as a partner, she managed the firm’s business development and marketing. Helen now offers consultancy services to early stage businesses including angel investment and mentoring. She is also a non-executive director of family business, Blue Sheep LLP. Her volunteering started with the PTA at her children’s school and has included being a Parent Governor at Pate’s Grammar School, a Governor at Gloucestershire College and member of the Appeals Board at the National Star College. Helen is now a Trustee of Gloucestershire Community Foundation. Her interests include walking, skiing and travel.
Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller joined the Royal Air Force in 1967 and initially completed a 2-year apprenticeship qualifying as an airframe fitter. He went on to become a pilot flying the Jet Provost, Hunter, Jaguar and Tornado; he was a flying instructor on the Jet Provost and Hunter, and a weapons instructor on the Hunter and Jaguar. His has served in the Ministry of Defence, attended the Joint Services Defence College, Greenwich and undertaken operational command with NATO in Sarajevo acted as Air Component Commander for UK Forces in Afghanistan, where he was awarded the CBE. He has also served as head of Royal Air Force training subsequently head of Royal Air Force personnel and career management. He was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List 2007 and retired in 2008 after serving as Deputy Commander of the NATO Headquarters in Naples . He now holds a commission as a flying officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training). He has served as National President of the Royal Air Forces Association, Branch President of the Cheltenham Royal Air Forces Association, President of the Air Power Association, Vice-Patron of the Royal Air Force Halton Apprentices Association, Patron of the Central Flying School Association, Honorary President of the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Honorary President of 125 (Cheltenham) Squadron Air Training Corps, and is a member of the Gordonstoun School Board of Governors and the Finance & Estates Committee. He is Patron of ‘Turn to Starboard’, a sailing charity for recovering wounded injured or sick armed forces veterans. His leisure pursuits include offshore sailing and he holds the RYA Yachtmaster qualification.
An entrepreneur and owner of a specialist telecoms and internet company based in Cheltenham and operating throughout the UK, Ian also has commercial interests in the upstream oil and gas exploration market and previously owned a small chain of restaurants; he has worked extensively throughout the Middle East and Africa as well as the UK. His background includes experience of investment banking, where he developed strategies for the introduction of electronic trading platforms at Deutsche Bank, and policing, where he worked in numerous roles as a senior officer within Gloucestershire Constabulary. Educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Ian was commissioned into the Light Infantry and served in numerous operational theatres domestically and internationally. He is a graduate of Loughborough University and a post graduate of the University of Cambridge. An enthusiastic sportsman, he is a former international hockey player and track & field athlete; he also once held the world record for the longest indoor hockey match. An avid adventurer, he recently completed an expedition into the Arctic Circle and Svalbard (one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas). Nearer to home Ian provides tutor and mentoring support to 13-14 year old school children and is involved in volunteer coaching for a youth hockey team. He also supports a local initiative to help adults reconnect with hockey and regain fitness after significant breaks from playing regularly.