I was born and raised in Workington and am proud to be called a Workingtonian. I attended St. John’s Infant and Junior Schools, which later made way for the new shopping precinct, before moving on to the then Workington Grammar School, now the Workington Academy. In my formative years I was a regular attendee at the Reds and Town matches and played football and rugby for the Steels and Zebras, as well as competing at District and County level in athletics.
I studied at Loughborough University where I gained an Honours Degree in Business Administration with German and a Diploma in Industrial Studies. During my time in Higher Education I had spells working at the Workington steelworks in my vacations, as well as completing a one year’s placement at the Distington Engineering Company. After graduating I worked for British Steel in Sheffield before returning to Workington to work in Track Products Sales. After a number of years I returned to Higher Education to complete a PGCE in German and PE and spent 34 years teaching in Maryport and Whitehaven before retiring early to help look after family members. During my career in education I held a variety of positions at senior level, including Head of Languages, Director of Vocational Studies and Assistant Headteacher, and also gainied my Headteacher qualification . I ran the West Cumbria Schools’ German Exchange programme before becoming involved in the Workington and District Twinning Association where I currently serve on the Executive.
My association with the Carnegie goes back a very long way, beginning when, as a child, I used to visit the children’s library there. A little later I became a weekly visitor as a member of the Carnegie Singers, something which I still do to this day, pursuing my love of music in general and singing in particular. And then, of course, there are the shows! It has been great to see the transformation of the building in recent years and witness the vibrancy in the café area during the daytime and the whole building at nights when it is show-time. I feel honoured to have been appointed to the Board of Trustees and very much look forward to serving the Trust and the wider community to the best of my ability. I bring to the role a wide range of experience and skills – organisational, managerial, resource management, planning, change management, and inter-personal relationships, gained through my working life, initially in industry with British Steel and, for the majority of time, in education, predominantly at senior level. Serving as Chair of various local organisations – Seaton Junior School Governors, the Workington and District Twinning Association, the Carnegie Singers and the Seaton Response Group – has also provided me with an insight into the workings of committees and their impact and influence upon their respective organisations. The Carnegie Theatre and Arts centre is a jewel in the crown of Workington and, as a proud Workingtonian, I will strive to do what I can to ensure it retains its place in the heart of the community and goes from strength to strength.