Trust Directors

Trust Council

Trust Council roles are organised to bring focus on completing the restoration of the canal corridor.

Time to spare and skills to share?

Trust Directors lead various working groups to support them in their various roles.

The working groups comprise of Trust members, and anyone else able to apply their skills, knowledge and experience to the restoration project.

If you feel you have such skills, knowledge and experience and wish to get involved then please get in touch with the relevant Trust Director.

Jim White

Trust Chair
Engineering Director

Jim White is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with a past career at all levels in the aerospace and defence industry. On retirement he became a part time skipper for eight years with the Willow Trust at Saul Junction. In 2011 he was appointed Engineering Director for the Cotswold Canals Trust.
His first project was the design of paddle gear, followed by canalside benches, landing stages and mechanisation of lock gates operating in confined sites. Ambition: To make all lock gates, paddle gear, moving bridges and other features on the Stroudwater Navigation and Thames & Severn Canal, safe & easy to operate; thus creating the UK’s most user friendly canal and towpath accessible for everyone.

John Newton

Vice Chair
Operations Director

John was first introduced to canals whilst at Birmingham University and became hooked on the whole concept, having several canal holidays and
eventually owning a 57’ semi-traditional narrowboat. After moving to Gloucestershire in 2011, rapidly became involved with CCT, bringing a background of environmental engineering and project management experience within major UK construction materials companies (Amey Roadstone & Rugby Cement) together with £multi-million profit responsibility at Director level. Volunteers are our most valuable asset and I look forward to assisting future restoration by encouraging and supporting volunteer teams whatever activities they are involved with.

Alan Jones

Vice Chair
Director & Trustee

Alan is a Mechanical engineer, retired from the diesel fuel injection industry and has a keen interest in hydraulics, industrial archaeology, building techniques and older vehicles, especially trucks. He is now Landing Stages/Piling team manager & Lead Advisor on Chainsaw Policy for CCT. Aspirations: Keen to mechanise the Trust’s physical work, with training, as far as possible to make the job easier and safer. Also eager to attract youth into the volunteer force, ‘using older heads to train younger ones’. Family: One son (electrical engineer based Newcastle), two daughters (both working in Berlin) and a very understanding wife.

Shelley Anderson

Company Secretary

Shelley Anderson is an Environmental Scientist from Australia who has spent most of her career in consulting environments.
Her experience covers environmental analysis, fieldwork (water, biological, soil and air), environmental assessment and, detailed studies for infrastructure projects across market segments (e.g. water and wastewater, food and beverage, airports and energy). Shelley’s vision for the Cotswold Canals Trust is to link up with local and regional environmental organisations operating in Stroud and Gloucestershire to optimise the benefits of our restoration projects and
realise gains for wildlife and people.

Chris Lambert

Honorary Treasurer

Chris Lambert had a wide-ranging career as IT Director and Consultant in Financial and Telecoms companies.
Since retiring early he has used these skills to support local charities. He has also had the opportunity to develop his personal interests in music and the waterways! Since joining the CCT Trustees in 2016 Chris has rationalised the finance & budgeting system, created an Intranet & initiated upgrades
of the Connect & Membership systems – as well as managing the financial affairs of the Trust and its Trading Company.
Chris’s ambition is to improve CCT’s systems & processes so that the Trust may make the best possible use of the administrators’ & volunteers’ time and energy.

Laurence Bryant

Health & Safety Director

Laurence lives in Coaley with his wife Jean. They have been members of the Cotswold Canals Trust since 2008.
A chartered electrical engineer and defence programmes manager, Laurence retired from Ministry of Defence Procurement in 2015.
In delivering weapons and aircraft projects his roles have had a significant emphasis on safety as well as engineering.
Now with time to spare and skills to share he is keen to use his knowledge helping the Cotswold Canals project.
A keen sailor and qualified small craft marine surveyor, Laurence sails his own boat from Topsham near Exmouth.

Bob Ambury

Western Division Construction Manager

Bob is a ‘time served commercial vehicle mechanic’. He worked at Dowty Rotol as an inspection engineer, company signatory and senior shop steward. Following retirement Bob became a Cotswold Canals Trust Volunteer and trained as a tug boat skipper. The completion of two government sponsored brick laying courses was of assistance when he became a team leader restoring Ham Mill Lock. Current projects include restoration of the retaining wall and spill weir culvert at Ham Mill Lock. Bob states that he enjoys working and laughing with the brilliant team at Western Depot; and that whilst construction work can be hard and dirty, it is nevertheless very rewarding. His ambition is to see boats navigating from Saul Junction to Brimscombe Port and beyond.

Peter Best

Director & Trustee
Stroud Valleys Canal Company Liaison

Peter Best is the Chairman of the Stroud Valleys Canal Company (SVCC). SVCC is the charity set up by the canal owners to be the navigation authority as well as being responsible for the management and maintenance of the canal from Whitminster to Bourne Locks. SVCC works very closely with the volunteers from CCT and SDC to deliver a clean, functioning and expanding environment for all canal users by using its limited resources to buy plant and equipment, and by organising the necessary maintenance. Peter is a past Chairman of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway PLC and is semi-retired from business, concentrating much time restoring his steam locomotives.

John Allan

Development Director
Eastern Thames and Severn

John Allan is a chartered mechanical engineer who worked in the automotive and oil industries until retiring in 2011. He joined the Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) shortly afterwards. John has held a variety of technical, marketing and strategic planning roles up to senior management level in the UK, Europe and the US. John is passionate about the natural environment and our industrial heritage, and sees CCT as an obvious organisation in which to devote his spare time to make a lasting contribution towards their preservation locally. He looks forward to seeing the completed restoration with the leisure and employment benefits it will bring, especially in the more rural eastern section.

Leonie Asquith

Fundraising Director

Leonie is a facilitator with a BSc in Chemistry and an MBA. She has practical experience of most areas of business management and works across boundaries. An early safety assessor, she moved to university administration, project management and internal consultancy. Her experience in Strategic Partnerships (Yorkshire Electricity Group) has brought a different perspective to Fundraising. She is passionate about involving members, the wider community and business, in ways which give them tangible benefits when supporting the Trust. Leonie is inspired by the remarkable, positive changes the canal restoration has already brought and is looking forward to seeing the whole revitalised canal – by boat!

 Lois Francis

Director & Trustee
Education and Communities

Lois enjoyed a twenty-five year career as a teacher and primary head teacher working in Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire.
Before becoming a head teacher she was an advisory teacher for science in Gloucestershire. On retirement in 2008 Lois became an education volunteer for Cotswold Canals Knowledge. Lois is passionate about helping the local community understand the history of the Stroud Valleys and how the unique waterways can enhance all our lives through improved health, improved economic capability and free fun.

Robin Payne

Director & Trustee

Robin has a background in IT Project Management and Project Governance. He is a qualified Project Manager and Certified Health & Safety Practitioner.
He once worked as trip boat skipper at the Waterways Museum in Gloucester and is also a qualified Cotswold Canals Trust Dredging Instructor.
Robin became a Cotswold Trust member in August 1978 and was soon on his first work party at Blunder Lock in September that year.
A narrowboat owner for 30 years, Robin ‘loves the Inland Waterways’ and goes boating at every opportunity.
His aspiration is to live long enough to navigate his boat from end to end of the Cotswold Canals.

Steve Pickover

Director & Trustee

Steve Pickover joined the Cotswold Canals Trust in 2007 bringing with him an extensive background of procurement in the construction industry.
Such experience has assisted Steve in the initiation and implementation of restoration projects including flood defence & protection, dredging and the supervision of tree felling operations carried out by Waterway Recovery Group (Forestry) volunteers.
Following his appointment to Trust Council in 2010 Steve has played a leading role in the organisation of training and certification of volunteer operators of chainsaws, dumpers, excavators and backpack sprayers. Steve also introduced the concept of dedicated Working Groups in order to reach properly researched and considered views and conclusions to place before Trust Council in order to enable informed decision making.

 Ken Burgin

Chief Executive Officer

Ken Burgin is a qualified Electronics Engineer with a career in silicon chip design and technical management.
He managed a high tech company from its formation to a full listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Ken been involved in the Cotswold Canals project since 1976 and has played a key role in many initiatives, i.e. practical restoration projects, securing funding and the political promotion of the project. This has resulted in the transition from the restoration of the Cotswold Canals being described, by some in authority, as ‘pie in the sky’ to, what is arguably the premier canal restoration project in the country. Although the canals represent the state of engineering some 250 years ago, Ken believes strongly that innovation has a major role to play in their restoration. The Dudbridge Hydro Scheme and the Goughs Orchard Siphon Feeder are examples of this. A Director & Trustee of Stroud Valleys Canal Company Ken is also a Director of the Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation. He is married with two grown up children and lives next to Pike Lock, Eastington. He is involved with Eastington Methodist Church.

Trustee Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of:
Trust Chair — Jim White
Trust Vice Chair — John Newton
Trust Vice Chair — Alan Jones
Trust Treasurer — Chris Lambert
Company Secretary — Shelley Anderson

Trust Chief Executive Ken Burgin attends in a non voting role