Who’s Who?

Trustees of Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust

Professor Philip Martin

Professor Philip MartinAppointed Trustee 28th February 2019, appointed Chair of the Board 13th July 2023

Philip is a retired academic and Professor Emeritus of Literature, Sheffield Hallam University, from where he retired as Pro Vice-Chancellor in 2014.  He worked as an academic in six British universities, and the second half of his career was spent in senior management and executive positions.  He also held roles on a number of national committees and policy bodies.

After retiring, he worked for a while as a consultant in the university sector, and also served as an independent governor on the Board of Bath Spa University.  An established scholar and writer, Philip has published widely in the field of literary studies, and currently undertakes historical research on the context of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Philip brings to the Board experience in governance and leadership generally.  He says, ‘Having completed the first vital stage of our mission to save the Martyrs’ legacy through the successful renovation of the Old Chapel, we move now to the second stage which is to preserve and encourage the sustainable use of the building as a distinctive heritage site and a local amenity with a strong identity and educational purpose.  We want people to be inspired by the history of this building, and we also want it to be used for the general benefit of the local community as well as visitors.’

Angela Herrera, Manager

Angela HerraraAppointed September 2022

Angela moved from Kingston upon Thames to Dorset in 2002 after gaining Bachelors and Masters degrees in Education at Kingston University and starting her teaching career in Sunbury on Thames and New Malden.  After teaching in Bridport as an Advanced Skills Teacher, she joined Dorset County Council’s School Improvement Team as a Teaching and Learning Consultant (Primary).  She then took on the Headship of two Primary Schools and subsequently returned to teach in Wareham.

Angela has used her wealth of experience and her love of crafts to develop and deliver a programme of events for the Old Chapel with a strong emphasis on traditional rural crafts. She is also responsible for the recruitment and training of volunteers, marketing the Old Chapel, and her valuable experience in education provides the expertise needed to develop and deliver formal learning programmes.

Angela says, ‘I have a love of local and social history and the Old Chapel provides a wonderful space for a wide range of community, cultural and historical activities and for the development of skills and experience of its volunteers.  I feel it is important for everyone to understand how the politics and conditions of the day affected ordinary people; to help us understand who we are and where we have come from and the Old Chapel provides these opportunities.’

Rob Brunt, Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust Secretary

Rob BruntRob is a professional ecologist working for the Dorset Wildlife Trust, currently providing technical advice on the management of the Trust’s nature reserve portfolio.
Rob graduated in biological sciences at Plymouth in 1980 and started his career studying the vegetation on various RSPB nature reserves in Orkney and the Somerset Levels. He then developed an interest in wildlife habitat management, working for the Nature Conservancy Council (now Natural England) at Yarner Woods and Martin Down National Nature Reserves. Extending his knowledge and experience with positions in Gloucestershire, Devon, Essex and Hampshire, it was in 1989 that he then took on the responsibility for the development and management of Dorset Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves. By 2019, Rob led a team of 12 wardens that managed over 40 nature reserves covering around 1,500 hectares.

Rob, with his wife Nicki, settled in Tolpuddle in 1992, have a son and a daughter, and have just become proud grandparents. Both Rob and Nicki have a strong sense of the importance of voluntary involvement in the local community. Rob has had past membership of the village hall committee and Parish Council, was instrumental in the establishment and ongoing management of Tolpuddle’s ‘Orchard Meadow’ open space, and in the setting up and development of Puddletown Mini-Soccer Club to achieve the FA’s Charter Standard. With an amateur interest in rural vernacular buildings, he is a founding Trustee of Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust and is currently TOCT’s secretary.  

Colin Huckle, TOCT Honorary Treasurer

Colin HuckleUntil moving to Weymouth in 2005 Colin lived on the Essex/East London Border. He obtained a Diploma in Management Studies and before he retired he was employed in a Senior Administrative role in the management of a major public open space. He has been a Trustee of three different charities as well as a Councillor for 18 years (1984 -2002) and a Non Executive Director in the National Health Service for 6 years, both offices held in Essex.

Colin was elected as a Borough Councillor for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council in May 2016 for a term of four years.

Frances Cambrook

Frances CambrookAppointed 15th June 2023

Frances has lived and worked in Dorset for over thirty years, settling in Tolpuddle in 2004. After a varied career in mainstream higher education including Bournemouth University and Foundation Degree Forward, she started her own business as a higher education consultant in 2011, specialising in work-based education and training.

Frances has worked with clients across many business sectors, but found her niche working to support a partnership of Anglican cathedrals in developing specialist in-house training for cathedral stonemasons. This aligned perfectly with her interest in the built heritage, conservation and the preservation of traditional craft skills, and what started as a short project with an informal group has now grown into an education charity funding and delivering training to thirteen English cathedrals including St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey.

Her interest in supporting the work of TOCT revolves around the element that unites the restored chapel and cathedrals, namely traditional building craft skills. Frances says, ‘the village is so fortunate to have such a unique building in its midst, but it couldn’t have been conserved and restored as it is has been without the traditional skills of the masons and other craftspeople who worked on it, and their understanding of the techniques and materials used by the Dorset labourers who originally built it. It is vital that these skills are retained, and it is a privilege to be able to play a part in the revival of the Tolpuddle Old Chapel which is both a national and international asset.’ 

Tobias Carleton-Prangnell

Tobias Carleton-PrangnellAppointed 9th July 2023

Tobias has worked as a senior consultant, practitioner, and lecturer in Historic Earthen Architecture Conservation for more than 20 years and is the founder of HEACON Research Group, which specialises in the international conservation of historic earthen buildings, structures, and monuments. Tobias is also a course author, leader and lecturer at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation on the Building Conservation Masterclass programme, is an active expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH), Trustee at Earth Building UK and Ireland (EBUKI) and is actively engaged in a global portfolio of earthen-related building conservation projects. Tobias also works for Dorset Council as a Conservation Officer.

Based on his experience and involvement with both national and international building conservation organisations, Tobias is keen to promote Tolpuddle Chapel as a nationally recognised learning centre for historic building conservation and earthen architecture study.

He says, ‘Tolpuddle Old Chapel can without doubt be considered a building of remarkable historical significance not only by way of its link with the Martyrs, but also because it is a building of unique material presentation which can immediately be appreciated within the local context of its setting as a very rare and precious national heritage asset.’ 

Hannah Jefferson

Hannah JeffersonAppointed 15th June 2023

Hannah brings with her over 15 years’ experience in the heritage sector, having worked with the National Trust in a variety of roles including Youth Volunteering, Visitor Experience and in her current role of General Manager running a dispersed team who care for 37 NT sites in Dorset.

Her commercial experience began at Intel where she looked after major corporate clients and more recently with her husband with the establishment of a successful farming, farm shop and campsite business which they run day to day.

Hannah says, ‘I am passionate about small and unique buildings and the big stories they have to tell. With the completion of the Old Chapel restoration, following many years of committed hard work from so many, I am absolutely delighted to be joining the team of trustees and volunteers to help Tolpuddle Old Chapel put down strong financial roots and develop its potential as both a bookable venue, but also as a pivotal part in the story of Tolpuddle Labourers.’ 

Lorraine Tillbrook

Lorraine TillbrookAppointed 1st September, 2023 

Lorraine Tillbrook has lived in Dorset for fifty years, bringing up a family of three children with her husband. For the past 11 years they have lived in the heart of Tolpuddle.

Lorraine worked as primary school teacher for over sixteen years in Dorset schools, including special education. She has also worked as a horticulturist, setting up her own plant nursery and specialising in hardy geraniums and heritage plants. Currently, she works for Mencap, combining her educational and horticultural skills in working with students on garden design and horticultural courses using the Asdan syllabus. She has seven years’ experience as a Parish Clerk, and has an extensive record of fund-raising for a wide range of charities.

Lorraine is an accomplished musician and fiddler, specialising in English folk music, and known for her work in the music groups, Rainbarrow, and Claude and the Cats. She has a particular interest in the dance tunes of the Hardy family manuscript collection, and she also arranges and composes. In July 2020 during the pandemic, Lorraine led the token TUC Festival march through the main street as part of the ‘Digital Tolpuddle Festival’, which inspired the folk-singer, Rob Johnson, to write the song, ‘Fiddler in the Rain’.

She has nurtured an enthusiastic love of heritage buildings, archaeology and wildlife. She looks forward to greeting visitors to the Old Chapel as well as working through music to tell the story of the building and the Tolpuddle Labourers who built it.

Andrew McCarthy – Founder Chairman of Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust 2014 -2023

Heritage Ambassador for TOCTAndrew McCarthy

Andrew grew up and was educated in St Albans. In the seventies and eighties he taught Environmental Science in Hertfordshire. Following educational research at The University of East Anglia he spent the last 15 years of his career as Head of Science at a secondary school for children with special educational needs in Stevenage.

In 2006 Andrew and his wife moved to Tolpuddle and he became interested in the former Methodist chapel after reading a letter in the Blackmore Vale magazine. For over nine years, Andrew guided the trustees and volunteers through the complex and challenging process of founding Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust as a registered charity/Building Preservation Society and then purchasing the building and site.

He coordinated two community surveys, the recruitment of new trustee and volunteers, the appointment of the architect, the preparation of our planning application, sourcing the required funding and working with two project managers and our contractors to see the Old Chapel finally renovated and open to the public. Andrew retired as Chair in July 2023 and now works as ‘Heritage Ambassador’ for the Trust.