The Brockenhurst Village Trust (BVT) and Trustees

The Brockenhurst Village Trust is a registered charity which provides educational, recreational and social facilities for the people of Brockenhurst. It is responsible for all the buildings and facilities on the Highwood Road site. The Trust is independent and receives no regular income from the Council Tax or Parish precept. The Trust runs the Village Hall through its Village Hall Management Committee which is chaired by a director/trustee of the Board.

The BVT was incorporated in November 2000 and is a registered company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital; the company number is 4108622. It was registered as a charity in March 2001 with the number 1085825. The Trust is therefore subject to the requirements of the Companies Acts and the Charity Commission.

The objects of the Trust are to provide educational, recreational and other community facilities for the benefit and social welfare of the people of the Civil Parish of Brockenhurst in Hampshire (“the area of benefit”) by charitable means. In furtherance of these objects the Company has a variety of powers laid down in the Memorandum of Association.

Originally the Highwood Road site was the property of Hampshire County Council and for many years was occupied by Brockenhurst’s Priestlands School Annexe (and before that was the Grammar School, and even earlier the County High School) before it closed in 1969/70.

The Village Hall was originally built on part of this site, and prior to the year 2000, the hall, the car park in front of the building and the area occupied by the playground were the property of the Village Hall, and subsequently the Trust, from 1983. The hall has been extended several times over the years.

The original Hall was made possible by a number of voluntary contributions and has been the beneficiary of many local residents wishing to see the creation of a community facility for Brockenhurst. The remainder of the Highwood Road site was retained by Hampshire County Council and purchased more recently. The Trust was created in order to acquire ownership of this remainder of the site which now houses the Scout Building and a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) as well currently vacant land extending to the Doctors’ car park.

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Board of Trustees (Company Directors) are responsible for the management of the Company/Trust, the maximum number of trustees being eleven, two nominated by the Brockenhurst Parish Council, two representing user organisations and seven nominated by members of the general public within the area of benefit. The powers and responsibilities of the Board are laid down in the Articles of Association which can be made available on request along with the Memorandum of Association. Currently the Board meets at least quarterly with the Annual General Meeting in July being held as a General Meeting open to any members or others wishing to attend.

The Trustees are (current as of October 2019, please click on a name for further information):

Sue Hunter (Chairman)
Bruce Read (Vice-Chairman)
David Bennett
Robert Coombs (Retiring from January 2020)
Tony Fessler
Henry Mellor
Jane Milone
Kevin Plummer
John Wingham

Sue Hunter (Chairman)

Sue Hunter
Sue Hunter

After studying Economics and Social Anthropology at Manchester University I joined the (Womens) Royal Air Force as an officer on a short service commission. On leaving I went into Personnel Management (as it then was!) and then managed various vocational training programmes. More latterly I’ve been a business advisor with the Prince’s Trust and run projects for unemployed young people.

I have served as a Governor and Chair of Governors at Priestlands School, have been a Brockenhurst Parish Councillor and in 2017 became a member of the Highwood Rd. MUGA project. I am married to David, who has retired recently from British Airways and we have two grown up sons, both involved in Music and Drama in London. We holiday regularly in Scotland and my hobbies include writing fiction (well, trying), walking our beagle dog, playing 9-hole golf and watching cricket.

As a member of the BVT I am keen to ensure that the facilities cater for the interests and leisure needs of residents and that we involve the local community in our decision making.

Bruce Read (Vice-Chairman)

Bruce Read

I am a retired chartered surveyor. The majority of my working life was based in Bournemouth, where I became the chairman and CEO of a firm of surveyors and estate agents.

I have lived in Brockenhurst for almost 25 years, but known the village since childhood and have long family connections here.

My interests include sailing at Lymington, tennis, skiing, music and photography.

I has served as a trustee, and until recently as chairman, of the Village Trust for the past 9 years.

David Bennett

David Bennett

I was a journalist (local newspapers in the New Forest, and later regional/national BBC after University) before spending 10 years in Local Government as Head of Communications at Dorset County Council and Southampton City Council until 2006.

I then started my own media company, working around the world to provide ‘simulated’ media to organisations wanting to develop their skills and understanding, from NATO to the UK’s Search and Rescue helicopter teams, before retiring in 2019.

I have lived in Brockenhurst with my family since 1998 often enjoying events at the Village Hall as we are among its closest neighbours. Both of our children went to the village school before Priestland’s and onwards. My main hobby is gardening, both in and out of the greenhouse, and on an allotment, I share with fellow Trustee Kevin. I am also a local Royal British Legion board member, a board member of the New Forest Dog Owners’ Group, and Chair of the Friends of Brockenhurst Station.

I work towards the Trust’s aims of social welfare, community well-being and engagement, especially by creating and promoting events for local people as well as encouraging visitors to enjoy being in our lovely village.

Tony Fessler

Tony Fessler

I was born in Belfast in 1940 into an Austrian émigré family. I was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Lincoln College Oxford (PPE) and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Secretary. I have worked as Finance Director of Mannesmann Kienzle UK Ltd (a computer supplier), and subsequently as General Secretary of the Anglo-Austrian Society, a cultural and educational charity.

Following retirement in 2000, and our move to Brockenhurst, I have been Treasurer of the Hampshire branch of CPRE, and since 2014 Treasurer of the Brockenhurst Village Trust.

We moved to Brockenhurst because this is where our son and grandchildren live; we also have a daughter in London. We have a boat at Bucklers Hard, and enjoy walking in the New Forest, concerts, opera and drama, and travel in the wider world.

Henry Mellor

Henry Mellor

I was born in Croydon and grew up on a croft in the West Highlands. I have been a resident in Brockenhurst with my wife, Anna, since 2012. I have two sons, a step-son and five granddaughters. I
served as a Green Party member on Brockenhurst Parish Council from 2015-19. 

As a young man, I trained and worked as a Chartered Agricultural Surveyor in Scotland, later on in life formed my own valuation & building design practice on the Isle of Arran (18 years).  I re-trained and qualified as a Social Worker, working in Glasgow, Manchester and London (15 years).  I completed my final five years in social work as Practice Manager with a specialist team in the London Borough of Southwark providing support services for children and families living with severe or profound disability. 

Additionally, I have been a self employed craftsman / basket maker for five years. I hold a BA hons. in Theology from Kings College, London; a post graduate certificate in Health & Social Care Management (University of Westminster) and trained and worked as Regional Makaton Tutor. 

I am the Disabilities Representative on the New Forest National Park Authority Access Forum, an active member of St Anne’s Church, an active supporter of local initiatives for environmental renewal and an active member of New Forest Cycling Club.

Jane Milone

Jane Milone

I was born and raised in Hampshire (just outside Southampton), before leaving at 18 to study Psychology at Bristol University and then for a diploma in Personnel Management at Portsmouth Polytechnic (as it was then). 

After marrying Clive in 1985, we came to live in Brockenhurst in 1988.  Our two children attended the village primary school, Priestlands, and Brockenhurst College before leaving for university.  They are both now settled in careers in Bristol and Birmingham. Brockenhurst was a lovely environment in which to bring up our children, and we continue to count our blessings to be able to live somewhere so special. 

I spent the great majority of my working life as a human resources manager in local government – in Surrey, Hampshire, Southampton and West Berkshire Councils – supporting managers in getting the best out of their staff.  I took the decision to retire in April 2019 and am enjoying my new-found leisure time – getting fit at the local recreation centre, spending more time on holiday in France, walking, reading, doing cryptic crosswords, and finally getting around to doing some gardening!

In the past I was a governor at the village primary school, for four years, and I have been a governor at Brockenhurst College since 2010.  

Kevin Plummer

Kevin Plummer

I spent all my working life as an Environmental Health Officer for London councils, managing teams involved in pollution, health & safety, licensing and food safety enforcement. I have been a Magistrate for over 25 years sitting throughout London.

I retired 6 years ago and moved from Surrey to Brockenhurst. I am married (my wife still works as a secondary school teacher) with 2 grown up children who are living in London.

I have been a governor at Brockenhurst Church of England Primary School for the past five years. I share an allotment with fellow Trustee David, enjoy cooking and DIY. As a member of the Brockenhurst Village Trust I have a particular interest in the safety and security of all staff, members, volunteers of the hall and the public.

John Wingham

John Wingham

I am a retired Telecoms Consultant specialising in Radio and Television transmission. I was trained at the BBC Engineering College in Evesham and also at Plymouth Polytechnic. I have lived in Hampshire since 1971 and Brockenhurst since 1987.  I took voluntary redundancy in 2002 and then undertook charity work with a parallel organisation to the Prince’s Trust helping adults return to work through self-employment. In 2005 with a national need to undertake the Digital Switchover of Radio and TV transmission I returned to the broadcast industry where I lead the design and implementation of many projects. I retired for the last time in 2013!

I am a director appointed by Brockenhurst Parish Council where I have served since 2004. I also work with other groups such as the Friends of Brockenhurst Station, of which I am the Secretary.

I am married to Liz formally a Senior Operations Manager in both the public and private health services. Our two daughters both attended Brockenhurst Primary School, Highcliffe School and Brockenhurst College before going to university.