Trustees and governance

Avoncroft Museum is an independent charitable museum. Founded in 1963 as a company limited by guarantee it is governed by its Memoranda and Articles. It is a registered charity, number 241644. The Museum is owned by its membership that appoints a body of Trustees to act as the Museum’s Council of Management each year at the annual general meeting (AGM). Trustees serve in a voluntary capacity for three years when they must seek re-election. The Trustees appoint a paid Director, who manages the Museum and appoints the paid staff body.


Organisational Structure

Museum Members

  • Pay a subscription to join
  • Meet yearly at the AGM
  • Elect members of the Council of Management on rotational 3 yearly basis
  • Appoint the Museum’s Auditors

Council of Management (Trustees)

  • Appointed for 3 year periods by AGM
  • Meet bi-monthly
  • Elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Secretary
  • Co-opts new Trustees as needed in between AGMs
  • Appoint a Museum Director to run the Museum
  • Makes decisions on Museum’s significant policies and direction

Museum Director

  • Appoints staff
  • Reports to Museum Council
  • Manages Museum
  • Proposes future projects and Museum direction

Board of Avoncroft Enterprises Ltd

  • Meets bi-monthly
  • Oversees performance
  • Delegates Management to Director

Avoncroft Museum Development Trust

  • Elects its own Trustees
  • Meets bi-monthly
  • Oversees fundraising for major projects
  • Delegates day-to-day fundraising to Director and staff

Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings Council of Management (Trustee body)

Michael Woolley – Chair

Michael Woolley has been a Trustee of the Museum since 1987 with a break from 1995-2001 whilst working in London. He has lived in Bromsgrove since 1975 and is very active in the local community – a magistrate since 1980, District Councillor 1987-1995. He is now retired after a career in training youth workers, community workers, teachers, social workers, magistrates, members of Tribunals and Judges.

Kathryn Gee, MBE – Vice Chair

Kathy is a museums consultant and Director of Volition Associates.   An archaeologist and curator by training,   after five years working in the independent museum sector, she became CEO of the West Midlands Regional Museums Council in 1990 and then MLA West Midlands until 2006.  In 2006 she received the Museums & Heritage ‘Outstanding Contribution’ Awards for Excellence. Kathy is a Trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund, Deputy Chair of Governors at the University of Wolverhampton.  In 2011 she was one of the panel of judges for the Art Fund Prize.

Janet Wilson – Hon. Treasurer

Janet Wilson was brought up and educated in Croydon, Surrey and trained as a Metallugist working for a large engineering concern.  She has lived in various parts of the UK and moved to Worcester from Scotland in 1983 where she re-trained and joined the accounts department of a Polythene Packaging Company.  She retired as Company Accountant in 2004 but remains a Trustee of the Group Pension Scheme.

Nick Psirides – Hon. Secretary

Nick Psirides graduated from Sheffield University in the late sixties with an honours degree in Economics and Business Studies. He came to the Midlands to join the then BMC car factory at Longbridge where he made his contribution in finance, accounts and purchasing. He has served the local community as a district councilor for nearly thirty years and as a magistrate on the Birmingham Bench for more than twenty years. Since taking early retirement he has set up a small but successful property letting business running a number of properties in south Birmingham. He is a relatively recent recruit to Avoncroft Museum’s Board of Trustees – a job he enjoys immensely.

Mark Armstrong

Biography to follow

Rex Carson

Rex Carson has worked in the environment and heritage sector for over 25 years. Originally qualified as a chartered surveyor, he now runs a consultancy advising on project management, historic building conservation, regeneration and business planning.

Andrew Hurley

A Mancunian by birth Andrew has lived in London, Cardiff, Cheltenham and Gloucester. His formal education started at Stretford Junior Technical School and finished at Salford University graduating with a Honours Degree in Electrical Engineering.  His working career started with the GPO as Telephone Engineering Trainee and finished with BT as a Senior Manager.  Andrew undertook his National Service with the Royal Signals serving both in the UK and Germany. His role at Avoncroft is to coordinate the activities associated with the National Telephone Kiosk Collection – as he puts it “I came in 1993 with the kiosk collection and have yet to escape!”

Ian Jenkins

Ian Jenkins undertook his National Service from 1957-1959 before joining Cadburys as clerk in their distribution depot in Cambridge.  He became office manager and assistant area distribution manager until depot closed down in 1970 (following the merger with Schweppes).  In September 1970 he moved to Bromsgrove to do teaching degree at Bromsgrove New College and visited Avoncroft in 1971 and subsequently joined as a volunteer in 1972.  He was elected a Trustee in 1982 and has undertaken guiding, interpretation, library and archives roles.


Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings Development Trust Trustees

Chris Gupwell – Chair

Biography to follow.

Rex Carson

See above.

Hugh Carslake

Hugh is a legal director in the private capital group at SGH Martineau, the Registrar for the Diocese of Birmingham and a Notary Public. Organisations Hugh is a member of include; Notaries Society, Ecclesiastical Law Association, Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and Historic Houses Association.

Hugh is also Chairman of the Trustees of the Barber Institute (Birmingham University), Chairman of the Governors at the King’s School Worcester, President of the City of Birmingham Choir and a trustee of several charitable trusts.

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas was Director of Avoncroft Museum from 1969 to 1996 and has been a Trustee of the Museum’s Development Trust since then.

Michael Woolley

See above.


Avoncroft Enterprises Ltd Directors

Chris Gupwell – Chair

See above.

Michael Diamond, OBE

Michael Diamond studied for a degree in Art History before working at Sheffield City Art Galleries from 1965–1976.  He was subsequently Director of Bradford Art Galleries and Museums from 1976 to 1980 and Director of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery from 1980–1995.  Michael has been a part-time consultant in the arts and heritage sector since then.  He is a Trustee of the Worcester Porcelain Museum and of the Ironbridge Open Air Museum of Steel Sculpture as well as being a Member of the Fabric Advisory Committee of Lichfield Cathedral and of the Advisory Committee for the Birmingham Back-to-Backs.

Michael Woolley

See above.

Simon Carter

Simon Carter has been Avoncroft’s Director since February 2007.  Aged 10 he joined the committee of his town’s historical society in Leicestershire and volunteered at the local rural museum before studying History of Art at the University of Sussex.  Following further voluntary work at Wigston Framework Knitters’ Museum he moved to London in 1994 to take up his first paid curatorial post at the Geffrye Museum.  In 2000 he became assistant, and subsequently deputy curator of the Palace of Westminster Works of Art Collection owned by the House of Lords and House of Commons.  He interests are architectural history, the history of the domestic interior and searching car boot sales for hidden gems.

Janet Wilson

See above.