Trustees

The trust is governed by a Trust Board with the following composition:

6 Community / Independent Trustees

1 Trustee representing People Express

2 Trustees representing Magic Attic

South Derbyshire District Council also have a representative on the Trust Board who is not a Trustee.

The Trust is supported by employed staff and a wide and active range of volunteers.

A Service Level Agreement with South Derbyshire District Council is in place to ensure that the Trust continues to support a number of Council strategies including economic and environmental regeneration, town centre development, lifelong learning, e-government and, of course, leisure (including heritage).

As with all charities the Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust has governing documents in place that set out the charity’s aims and purpose, and rules for how we must operate, these can be obtained on the charities register.

Our governing documents inform our plans, decisions and the policies we have in place to maintain the safety of our building, collections, staff, volunteers and visitors and manage the site.

If you would like more information please contact us.

We are currently looking for new Trust Board members! Click here for further information!

Our Trustees

Maria Picken

Former Head of International Academy, Loughborough College, Maria is also into pottery and ceramics, both through archaeology and as a maker. After teaching English for more than 25 years, along with managing and supporting a team of College and University lecturers and international young adult students to become successful in British Council teaching of Academic English, worldwide, she retired in 2016 to train as a potter in Stoke on Trent.

After visiting Sharpe’s in 2016, an ‘obvious’ venue for pottery lessons, although there was none, she applied to become a trustee at Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust in 2019 because she believes the local community and beyond will benefit from the development of a working pottery within the area. As Chair of the trust, she is now working hard to develop provision for traditional pottery classes at Sharpe’s.

Ian Bottrill

Ian has been a self-employed consultant since 2014 after serving in local government across England and Wales for over 40 years. He started his journey as a humanities teacher in Coventry and went on to become the Leader of Warwickshire County Council in 1993, where he combined leading the council with teaching until 2000. Ian stood down as a councillor in 2005 to move with his wife Ann to Gwynedd where she opened an inn for outdoor pursuits enthusiasts, and he took on a new role as the Development Director and Operations Manager for ContinYou, a national Education Charity. In 2017 he moved back to the midlands where he began involving himself in community activities across Swadlincote including volunteering at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum.

Ian has a wide experience of organisational leadership, change leadership and management, community engagement and a longstanding interest in heritage and brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to the board.

Chris Beech

Chris trained as a visual artist and photographer, he was self-employed for 25 years, working on varied commissioned work for the BBC, BMW, The Arts Council and The National Forest Company.  His work was both commercial and practice based, focussing on heritage and culture, he has also combined business interests with teaching since 1994. He has experience of curating major exhibitions, extensive experience of participatory arts including management boards, and has since concentrated on full-time education. Chris’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he has delivered a diverse range of workshops and community-based programmes, he is currently Assistant Principal and Dean at Burton and South Derbyshire College, responsible for Higher Education with associated wider roles.

Chris moved from being an outsider observing to an enthusiastic ambassador and active trustee in 2019, where he has continually sought to address both new audiences and engage with its existing proud heritage. He is humbled to work with a team of like-minded individuals working towards a common goal. 

Will Whitaker

Will now works for a local company managing a privately owned residential and commercial property portfolio. Before moving back to Swadlincote in 2011, Will served in the Army and then went on to study at Edinburgh University.

When joining the board in 2017 his main aim as a trustee was to assist the organisation in relation to the management of its site and build on his late father James’ legacy who saved the buildings from ruin and was instrumental in placing them into public ownership so that their history could be preserved and enjoyed.

Julie Batten

Julie has been a Director of People Express since 1992. She discovered the world of ‘participatory and community arts’ at an inspirational conference in Dublin and has been passionate about and committed to the principles of community development and empowerment through the arts ever since. Julie’s career in the arts started when she was four years old, with a passion for ballet and dance. After gaining a BA Hons Degree in Creative Arts (Theatre and Contemporary Art) Julie went on to become a freelance lecturer for South East Derbyshire College, set up a small-scale touring theatre company that created and performed original work called Cloak and Dagger and worked as a freelance dance and drama practitioner.

In early 2015 Julie became a trustee of Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust to share her passion for arts within the heritage sector, along with her knowledge and experience of working at a senior level for a local Charity.

Martin Wroughton

Retired teacher and trustee of the “Magic Attic” with a keen interest in local history, especially the domestic potteries. Martin has been a long-standing valued volunteer at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum since 2005. He has used his passion for pots and local heritage to undertake all sorts of tasks, from meeting and greeting visitors, to helping to research and maintain the collections and building. Back in 2015 Martin was particularly enthused by a large Bretby pottery object that was bought in. He and a couple of other volunteers took each piece washed it and took photos prior to auctioning off surplus items.

As a trustee of the “Magic Attic” and respected volunteer he decided to take up the mantle of becoming a trustee of Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust in March 2020, to apply his research skills and transfer his wealth of knowledge of domestic potteries, to preserve the past of Sharpe’s Pottery along with South Derbyshire’s wider industrial heritage.