The Officers of the Company are the Warden, Assistant Warden and Junior Warden; they are each elected by the Court, effectively the Company’s Board of Directors. While the Court itself consists nominally of 12 members, including the three Wardens, the number of members can be varied at the Court’s discretion. Each of the Officers serves for one calendar year, although in exceptional circumstances this period can be extended to two years. When the Warden retires he/she is automatically replaced by the Assistant Warden, who is in turn replaced by the Junior Warden; a new Junior Warden is then elected. Members of Court may serve no more than two 4-year terms, except where he/she has served as Warden, in which case the period as Warden is counted in addition to these two terms. The Company Secretary holds the title of Clerk.
Warden – Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Andrew Tabor JP
Andrew was born in London and spent his early years following the flag round the World. After a 20 year career in the Army and a course at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Andrew and his family settled in the North Cotswolds. He now runs a predominantly arable farm with a strong focus on improving the environment to encourage farmland birds. A serving magistrate since 2004 he runs an annual mock trial competition for primary schools in the Cheltenham area, which not only teaches children about the criminal justice system but also gives them the opportunity to hone their public speaking skills. Since serving as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 2017/18 he has actively supported a number of local charities, predominantly those assisting vulnerable young people. He was President of the Gloucestershire Society in 2021 and is the current Chair of the Community Support Group.
Assistant Warden – Julie Kent MBE
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, in the Top 100 Women in West gaining the Most outstanding Woman in the Charitable Sector in the West and was awarded an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list in June 2021. Julie sits on the Court as the Communications Champion and Junior Warden.
Junior Warden – Michael Jones
Michael has a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of: -the Aeronautical Society, the British Institute of Management, the Institute of Directors, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the Institution of Production Engineers. An Honorary Fellow of the University of Gloucestershire, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Coach and Coach Harness Makers. A Life Patron of the Cheltenham Festivals.
Michael has had extensive experience in the aerospace and automotive sectors, with both mechanical and electronics-based companies. He has held Board appointments in both the private and public sectors, as a NED he Chaired the Audit Committee on behalf of the NAO (National Audit Office) for a MoD Trading Fund. Served on the Board of the University of Bath IMRC (Innovative Manufacturing Research Council).
Michael’s focus is business process re-engineering at corporate and operational levels, in both large and small business. He was one of the leaders of the UK’s Lean Aerospace Initiative. He has lived and worked in the USA. Michael has operated at VP and Managing Director Level in GE, Smiths Group, ML Holdings, BTR and BOC. While with GE he was responsible for creating a new state of the art Aviation facility in China.
Upon retirement he started his own consultancy business and has carried out client assignments for IBM and a number of SME’s.
Michael is married to Elizabeth and has two children Emma and Phillippa with three grandchildren Millie, Benjamin and Joshua, Michael and Elizabeth enjoy travel, skiing and tennis.
Warden Emeritus – Sir Henry Elwes KCVO
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.
Clerk – Colonel (Retd) Phil Robson
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.
Honorary Treasurer – Steve Wood
Steve had over 30 years experience as an actuary in the financial services industry, principally in the life and health insurance and reinsurance sectors.
He held positions of Finance Director and Appointed Actuary of a U.K. life insurance company and Appointed Actuary of a life and health reinsurance company and was successively UK Managing Director, Chief Operating Oﬃcer for Europe and the Middle East and Global Chief Marketing Oﬃcer for General Electric’s life and health reinsurance business. He had non-executive Board experience in the UK, Ireland, USA, Germany, Russia and Jordan.
Since retiring he has held several voluntary roles including Membership of the Alumni Fund Panel at the University of Bath, Trustee and Hon. Treasurer of the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (now GRCC) and Chairman of the Holst Birthplace Trust. He is currently a Trustee of LINC, a trustee and treasurer of the Southam Village Hall Management Committee and Chairman of the Cheltenham North Rotary Club Wine Festival Organising Committee.
He also supports Norwich City Football Club!
Almoner – The Reverend Canon Roger Grey
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
Nicola de longh
Nicola is passionate about social transformation, and in particular the systemic relationship between education, health and housing.
As Chair of Council at the University of Gloucestershire, she is an advocate for education as a means of transforming people’s lives so that they can make the world a better place, and for the civic role the University plays in our community.
Nicola sits on the Board of the Gloucestershire Health & Care Foundation Trust, and also serves as a Trustee of the Gloucestershire Counselling Service, a charity dedicated to improving mental health in the county. In addition, she is Senior Independent Director of Connexus Housing, a social landlord based in Shropshire & Herefordshire.
In the private sector, Nicola chairs the Reference Committee for the Premier Miton UK Responsible Investment Fund, with a remit to advise on the fund’s investment policy and scrutinise investment decisions from the perspective of sustainability and ethics.
Previously, Nicola worked in the financial services sector as a global change lead. She also spent several years working as a freelance management consultant majoring in complex, strategic change across different sectors, both in the UK and internationally.
Nicola has lived in Gloucestershire for 20 years with husband, two sons, two cats and a dog.
Ruth Dooley is a Partner at Hazlewoods LLP and is Chair of GFirst LEP.
She has been an accountant in Gloucestershire for over 30 years specialising in tax and expert witness work. She graduated from Oxford with a History degree and a Coxing Blue and worked for Mars before becoming an accountant. On qualification she moved to Grant Thornton LLP in Cheltenham where she progressed to partner before joining Hazlewoods LLP in 2009.
Ruth has been involved in various roles with GFirst LEP since 2009 becoming Chair in 2021. She has been a member of the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire since 2018 and was delighted to join Court in 2021.
Tom Frost DL
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.
Professor Chris Gaskell CBE
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.
Colonel Andy Hodson TD VR DL
Founder member and Chairman 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 retired as 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 of the Friends of the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. He was a churchwarden for 15 years and is currently Co-ordinator of his local Emergency Response Team.
His interests include aerobatics, skiing, things nautical and non-anthropogenic climate change.
Mark Hurrell DL
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.
Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller KBE
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.
Peter is a Serial Entrepreneur and is CEO and Founder of the Koze Group. He founded a national, leading and award winning, Sustainable Energy Company bringing together design, installation, finance and data including new ways to buy and save energy.
He was educated at The King’s School, Canterbury; University of Manchester; RMA Sandhurst, has an MBA from Cranfield and is a Fellow of the RSA. He served as an Officer in the The Royal Anglian Regiment. On leaving the Army he worked for Courtaulds. His entrepreneurial experience, starting in 1989, is international and covers, manufacturing recycled paper, building the largest introduction agency in the UK, Telecoms, Voicemail and Global Internet Service Provision. He now owns businesses in sustainable energy solutions including Solar, Batteries and Air Source Heat Pumps as well as financing sustainable energy. His experience is in founding, building and then selling or floating businesses.
He formerly Chaired and co-founded his local Village Community Stores, was the President of the local branch of the Royal British Legion, is an active member of YPO/WPO and is a Trustee of the Royal Anglian Regiment Museum. Peter is married to Karen, a Chartered Accountant, has 3 daughters and, for the last 20 years, has lived in Owlpen, Gloucestershire.
Michael has lived in Gloucestershire for most of his life and was educated at Kings School Gloucester. After school he was a student at Chelsea College of Aeronautical and Automobile Engineering. Shortly after graduation he returned to Gloucestershire where he developed his own franchise motor business. This is now known as the Warner Group which also has interests in food retailing and commercial property development. He now has 2 sons who operate the company.
Michael has always been involved in community organisations including the Everyman Theatre Board and Gloucester Rugby Club, where he was involved in the changeover from amateur to professional code. Michael is joint Chair of the Malvern Spring Garden Show and was Chair of the board of the Malvern Society for 10 years. He has also been a director of GFirst LEP for 6 years which gave him a insight into the relationship of business with Local Government.
He is an active supporter of youth development especially apprenticeships and the part sport can play in the development of the younger generation. He also believes economic growth and development should be very closely linked to environmental protection with much more understanding on both sides of each other’s objectives.