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 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.

Kathy 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 councillor 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

Mark Armstrong is a Chartered Surveyor (FRICS) and has practised in the public, private and charitable sectors since 1979. During that time he has worked with all aspects of asset management and the heritage industry, leading the direction and operation of 8 historic properties, gardens and estates for the National Trust in the West Midlands region. Mark has been a Trustee of Avoncroft Museum since 2012 and is currently working as a Heritage Management Consultant to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, National Museum of the Royal Navy and has recently been appointed as a mentor to the National Heritage Memorial Fund resilience funding programme.

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 Enterprises Ltd Directors

Chris Gupwell – Chair

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.  His interests are architectural history, the history of the domestic interior and searching car boot sales for hidden gems.

Kathy Gee

See above.

Janet Wilson

See above.

Michael Woolley

See above.

Avoncroft AGM 2017

Our AGM will take place on Sunday 16th July 2017 in the New Guesten Hall at the Museum.  All members are welcome.

There will be tea and coffee available on arrival, and following the business meeting there will be a presentation by the Museum’s Director, Simon Carter, about current projects and future plans.

The Agenda for the meeting is here.

The Minutes of the 2016 AGM are here.

The Museum’s accounts for 2016 are here.

The 2016 Annual Report is here.

The proposed new members of the Museum Council’s details are here.

The 20-year Vision proposed for adoption at the meeting is here.


Previous Years’ Annual Reports

2015 Annual Report is available here.

Avoncroft’s Future Plans Presentation

Presentation given by Museum Director, Simon Carter at the 2016 AGM.

Avoncrofts future plans – 2016 presentation