Belford Village Northumberland Belford Community Group

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Belford Community Group Trustees



Phil Nicholson

Phil was born in County Durham and educated in Darlington, completing his teacher training in Kingston upon Hull. He lived and worked in Kent for over 30 years, during which time he met and married Lindsey, eventually taking early retirement from his last post as Deputy Head of a large special needs school in 2007.

On moving to Belford he worked firstly at Alnwick Castle and then for Northumberland County Council helping people with special needs, before finally retiring 'properly'! Chairman of the Group, Phil has taken an active role in Belford since his arrival and is keen to see the village and community thrive.



Lindsey Nicholson

Lindsey was born and educated in Kent. A keen and capable musician, her career was primarily in musical education in special and faith schools. Her path crossed with Phil's in 1993 and they married in 1995, remaining in Kent until Phil's retirement in 2007.

On moving to Belford, Lindsey worked at Bamburgh Castle for a season before opening the Well House as a B&B in 2009, which has proved a successful and enjoyable venture. Lindsey has a deep feeling for Belford and its residents and has been a driving force behind many activities of the Group.



Eric Gassner

Eric was born at Chester Hill, near Belford where he went to school initially. He moved away to follow a career in teaching before moving back to Belford in 1987. A well-known face around the village, he is heavily involved with its activities, particularly with music as Vice Chair of the Belford Music Association, and he also runs the Community Orchestra and instrumental scheme. He is an organist, primarily for St Mary's Church in the village but also for other local churches.

Eric is an avid fly fisherman and is the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the oldest fishing club in the world, dating back to 1829 (although he won't admit to being a founder member!) He has been very much involved with the activities of the Group since its inception and has helped spearhead many projects in the village.



Kevan Shiell

Kevan was born and educated in Newcastle and spent many years in education provision before eventually moving to Belford in 1987. He regularly rescues those of us who have succumbed to the vagaries of unpredictable computer behaviour, being something of a computer wizard, and like Eric, he is very much involved with many activities locally.

He is a member of the Community Orchestra and always plays a major role in the Belford Players, as well as helping to set up the Christmas Lights display and supporting local school productions backstage. He too is an extremely valuable member of the Group.



Judith Thurland

Judith was born in London and educated in Surrey and Northants. She is a riding instructor and show stand manager as well as having been the proprietor of a Bed and Breakfast establishment for many years.

She came to Belford where she continues to teach horse riding and manage show stands, and is a keen horse rider and walker in what spare time she has, although one of her charity-raising treks resulted in a broken leg miles from anywhere! She came through it all smiling, however, and is a regular volunteer in the shop and a respected contributor to meetings and to the work of the Group.



Pauline Tucker

Pauline was born and educated in South Wales before moving to London where her career for the next 15 years involved working for Nat West and Den Norske Creditbank. She later worked as a Receptionist/Administrator at a school in Essex, but having been a regular visitor to Belford for over 30 years she and her husband decided that the time had come to relocate to the village permanently, which they did in 2012.

Since her arrival, she has worked as a volunteer in the charity shop and has now joined the Group's committee where she holds the position of Secretary.



Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson is a young local lad who went to both Belford schools then took his A levels at the Duchess's High School in Alnwick. During his youth he became a proficient saxophonist ending up with a performance diploma whilst still at school. He completed his degree at Stirling University, now works locally and is our treasurer. Keep on keeping himself in trim at the Community Gym, Neil also lends his hand in practical ways such as clearing the woodland and putting up the marquee for the markets.



Les Carr

Les Carr has been a stalwart of village life for the past 31 years, caretaker of the Middle School, Site Manager of the Community Gym, Les has lent his experience to the Group in many practical ways.

He is to manage the Community Greenhouse and looks after the strimming of the woodland areas.



Ruth Dodd

Phil and Ruth Dodd have moved to the area and have become heavily involved in local activities and events. Both maths teachers, they have taken on responsibility for the Belford Community markets, have acted in all of Belford Players recent productions and have become a real asset to the Community Group.



Phil Dodd

Phil and Ruth Dodd have moved to the area and have become heavily involved in local activities and events. Both maths teachers, they have taken on responsibility for the Belford Community markets, have acted in all of Belford Players recent productions and have become a real asset to the Community Group.



Lord Walton of Detchant is our President and William McLaren is vice President.

Dennis Cromarty and Doug Renton are in charge of the Belford Woodlands project.

Eileen Oliver, together with Gill Quinn, Barbara O'Connell and Lindsey Nicholson lead an active group of Community Shop volunteers. The shop has raised a large sum of money since its inception.



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