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Meet our Board of Trustees

Learn about the Mary Rose Trust’s Board of Trustees.

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Nigel Purse


Nigel comes from a humble family in which his father was a postman and his mother a cleaner. He was awarded a Scholarship to Berkhamsted School and an Exhibition to St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he read Modern History. He has an MBA from City University Business School.

He has enjoyed a 39-year career in finance and investment, focusing on the funding and development of infrastructure and climate impact finance.

He was a member of the fundraising committee for the Mary Rose Museum and was one of the original Trustees of the Mary Rose Permanent Endowment Fund. Nigel became Chairman of the Mary Rose Trust on the 23rd of July 2021, and he wishes to preserve the Mary Rose’s heritage while ensuring its continued relevance. He chairs the Oxford University History Faculty Development Panel and is also the Chair of the National Paralympic Heritage Trust.

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Robert Bewley

Deputy Chairman

Robert was appointed a Trustee Director in 2014 and became Deputy Chairman on 23rd July 2021. He joined the Heritage Lottery Fund as Director of Operations in May 2007. Prior to this he worked as Regional Director for English Heritage in the Southwest, and before that as Head of Survey for English Heritage.

He trained as an archaeologist at Manchester and Cambridge Universities, securing BA, MPhil and PhDs. His research interests are all in periods of archaeology but in particular prehistory, landscape archaeology and the Middle East. He has worked in over a dozen European countries as well as Oman, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Jordan. From 2015-2020 he was the Director of the Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa Project (EAMENA) based in the University of Oxford.

Through his work in the heritage sector he has been recognised as an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Perth, Western Australia. He is currently the Director of Aerial Archaeology projects in Jordan and Oman and Research Associate at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford.

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Christopher Brandon

Trustee Director

Chris, an architect, began his career at Powell Moya. He went on to become a partner of Michaelis Brandon Architects and Solar Energy Developments, where he was involved in innovative, low-energy projects.

In 1986 he co-founded Pringle Brandon, now Perkins+Will, an award-winning international architectural firm. He retired in 2020 and now works as an architectural consultant and sculptor. Chris was the interior architect for the Mary Rose Museum.  He is a past chairman of the Nautical Archaeology Society, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and is on the Council of the Society for Nautical Research, Chairman of the Maritime Heritage Committee, and represents the SNR on the Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee.  He is a Co-Director of the Roman Maritime Concrete Study and co-author of the book Building for Eternity: The History and Technology of Roman Concrete Engineering in the Sea.

Chris was appointed a Trustee Director in 2013 and has been Chairman of  Mary Rose Archaeological Services Ltd from 2017.

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Rose Grey

Trustee Director

Rose Grey is a passionate historian, a practising solicitor, and a mother of three young boys. Rose studied history at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Cambridge University and the University of Pennsylvania.

After a formative year working to set up a sixth form college in East London, Rose then commenced her legal training at Slaughter and May. While at the Magic Circle law firm she was lucky enough to be seconded to the legal team of the British Museum. Walking past the Rosetta Stone on her way to the office remains a highlight of her career to date.

In 2016 Rose moved to Switzerland with her husband, where much mountaineering and rock climbing was to be had. In her spare time, she specialised in trust and charitable law.

Rose was appointed Trustee Director in November 2023.

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Adam Humphryes

Trustee Director

Adam Humphryes is a chartered accountant with an MBA from London Business School, who has held senior board positions in private sector companies. He is presently Vice-chairman of Crown Lodge Management Ltd, a property management company.

He was Chairman of CityWest Homes, a development and property management company in Westminster, managing twenty-two thousand properties. He was a Trustee of Work this Way, providing training, work experience, employment and mentoring for offenders at HM Prison Ford. Adam has also been Finance Director and a major shareholder in private equity backed Wightlink Ferries Ltd. With two partners, he started the first local television company in the UK, which was subsequently listed on AIM. He was also a Governor of Portsmouth University and a Board member of Drum Housing Association.

Adam was appointed Trustee Director in 2013 and is Chairman of the Trust’s Finance and Audit Committee.

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Dominic Jones

Trustee Director and Chief Executive Officer

Dominic was recruited to the Mary Rose in 2019 as Chief Operating Officer and became CEO in 2021. He brings an outstanding background in commercial visitor attractions (Disney, Merlin) and creative visitor experience development.

During his time at the Mary Rose, Dominic has already driven commercial and operational performance and worked closely with previous Chief Executive to create the new Portsmouth Historic Dockyard joint venture with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which launched successfully in August 2020.

Dominic was appointed Trustee Director in 2021.

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Trevor Keeble

Trustee Director

Professor Trevor Keeble is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth. Having initially studied design, Trevor completed the Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art Masters programme in History of Design. His subsequent PhD, also at the RCA and V&A, focused on design and domesticity in Britain during the late nineteenth century. Prior to joining the University of Portsmouth in 2017, Trevor held a number of management and leadership roles at Kingston University, and the University for the Creative Arts.

During his career Trevor has worked on a range of collaborative research, innovation and knowledge exchange projects with other universities, museums, galleries, and businesses both in the UK and Europe. He has also supervised a number of PhD projects, including Arts & Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Awards in partnership with Hampton Court Palace (Historic Royal Palaces), and the Museum of the Home, London. He is a Trustee/Director of the Guildhall Trust and has recently completed his second term as a Trustee of Aspex Visual Arts Trust in Portsmouth.

Trevor was appointed Trustee Director in November 2023.

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Suzannah Lipscomb

Trustee Director

Suzannah is Professor Emerita of History at the University of Roehampton, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries, and a columnist for History Today.

Suzannah is the author of five books on the sixteenth century, including The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII (2015), 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII (2009) and A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England (2012).

She holds a double first MSt, and a DPhil in History from Lincoln and Balliol Colleges, Oxford, and her work in the heritage sector has won awards, including the National Trust’s recent exhibition, We Are Bess, for which she was Creative Director.

Suzannah has presented numerous mainstream TV programmes on the BBC, ITV, Channel Five, UKTV, and National Geographic, including Henry and Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History; Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder; Henry VIII and His Six Wives; Elizabeth I, and Walking Tudor England, and was a resident historian on BBC2’s comedy panel show Insert Name Here and Channel 4’s Time Team. She has a strong social media presence under the handle @sixteenthCgirl, with over 140,000 followers on Twitter, demonstrating her widespread appeal as a historian.

Suzannah was appointed Trustee Director in 2020.

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Andy Painting

Trustee Director

Andy was born in Portsmouth into a naval family and began his career in the Royal Navy as an artificer apprentice. Following this, he served for 23 years as a submariner working on systems that didn’t seem to be fully designed for maintenance. When questioned over his academic ‘competence’ to be classed as an engineer, he decided to take a degree, masters, and finally a doctorate in using artificial intelligence to predict catastrophic incidents (at the University of Portsmouth). After the Navy, he began his second career in engineering safety and through some strange quirk of fate, he went on to become the Chief Engineer of Portsmouth Naval Base.

Andy now runs his own engineering consultancy company, Attis, and has been engaged on numerous military and infrastructure projects both in the UK and abroad. He has also been involved in projects for HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, both of which form part of the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. He has co-authored two books on the application of safety in construction, design, and engineering: An Effective Strategy for Safe Design in Engineering and Construction, and Effectively Managing the Case for Safety. With a third book that examines the future of health and safety currently in the pipeline.

Andy is an active member of the Shaping Portsmouth group, a Chartered Engineer, and a Fellow of the Safety and Reliability Society.

Andy was appointed Trustee Director in November 2023.

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Aileen Peirce

Trustee Director

Aileen is Head of Interpretation & Design for Historic Royal Palaces, where she leads a team of interpretation specialists and designers responsible for the creative direction and delivery of exhibitions, interpretation of historic interiors and seasonal visit-driving displays across six sites. The team’s work covers projects as diverse as the redisplay of the Crown Jewels and ground-breaking co-curated exhibitions Permissible Beauty and The Indian Army at the Palace, to the re-presentation of Queen Victoria’s childhood rooms and annual seasonal installations such as Christmas at the Tower.

Following a degree in Medieval History and Art History at University of St Andrews, Aileen spent nine years working as a fund manager and equity analyst before deciding to make a career out of her passion for history. After an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies at University College London, she joined Historic Royal Palaces in 2005 as Interpretation Manager at the Tower of London. She has been a member of the Exeter Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee since September 2016.

Aileen was appointed Trustee Director in November 2023.

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Tim Rusby

Trustee Director

Tim is the Managing Director of The Visitor Attraction Company. For well over thirty years Tim has led the planning, design, construction, launch and operation of commercially led visitor attraction development projects.

Having worked on all sides of the leisure and attraction project table; as a client and a developer, attraction owner and operator, delivery contractor and development consultant, Tim has a uniquely rounded knowledge of what makes attractions and leisure destinations tick, especially in complex, multi-stakeholder organisations and environments.

Tim works with private sector operators, developers and investors, brand and IP owners, local authorities, national governments, and a wide range of not-for-profit organisations, charities and trusts.

Tim has uniquely diverse experience of museums and heritage centres, historic properties, theme and amusement parks, zoos and aquariums, retail destinations, mixed use developments, sports and adventure amenities and parklands and public realm projects.

Tim now specialises in heading up place-making initiatives – leading projects through the planning, design, creation, and management of compelling places for people to visit. This includes developing locations into popular destinations that promoting visitors’ enjoyment and enrichment while assessing the site’s usage and improving sites to enhance their popularity or profitability.

Outside of his ‘day job’ Tim serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Portsmouth D-Day Museum Trust.

Tim was appointed Trustee Director in 2018 and is also a director of Mary Rose Trading Ltd.

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Terry Stevens

Trustee Director

Originally from East Coker in Somerset, Terry now lives in Swansea. His mother and father served in the Royal Navy as did both grandfathers. Terry is the founder of the multi-award-winning international tourism consultancy, Stevens & Associates and has now worked in over 50 countries. His clients include regional tourism organisations and international development agencies, as well as many private sector businesses. He has held professorial posts at a number of universities and is currently engaged on strategic projects in Norway, Slovenia, Ireland and Scotland. He has over 350 publications to his name and numerous books on tourism including Wish You Were Here: The Stories Behind 50 of the World’s Great Destinations, Wish You Were Here Europe, and Tourism Facing the Pandemic.

The villages of East Coker and West Coker have a strong heritage associated with the sea. For over 400 years these two communities produced the best sailcloth in the world – the canvas of choice of Lord Nelson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Sir Thomas Lipton when he became involved with the America’s Cup. As a Trustee of the Coker Rope and Canvas Trust, he has been part of the team that has restored the Dawes Twine and Ropeworks in West Coker – the winner of the Association for Industrial Archaeology 2022 Community Engagement Award.

Terry has completed a book telling the story of Coker Canvas and its links to the America’s Cup, to be published in June 2024 and launched at the start of the America’s Cup in Barcelona.

Terry was appointed Trustee Director in November 2022 and is also a Director of Mary Rose Trading Ltd.

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Kirsten Suenson-Taylor

Trustee Director

Kirsten is an accredited Archaeological Conservator, with particular interest in the conservation of waterlogged archaeological organic materials. She trained at UCL before a career in both museums and commercial archaeology. She also has many years of experience of working with arts and heritage charities at board level. This has focused both on the long-term care of collections and collections development as well as sound management, financial and cultural sustainability, and improved visitor experience and engagement.

Kirsten has seen the Mary Rose Trust grow and develop over many years. As a teenager, she was first involved as a volunteer diver for two seasons in 1980 & 1981 and was a member of the Shore Team in 1982, combining her experience at the Mary Rose with studying for an archaeology degree. She has remained connected with the Trust throughout her professional career.

Kirsten has been a director of Mary Rose Archaeological Services since 2019 and was appointed as a Trustee Director of the Mary Rose Trust in November 2023.

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Sophia Weston

Trustee Director

Educated at Durham University, Sophia has worked in publishing and journalism in addition to over 25 years’ experience in transformational grant making.

Sophia managed The Garfield Weston Foundation during the latter years of her father Garry Weston’s chairmanship before she became a Trustee in 1994. Sophia is a member of the Development Board for the National Portrait Gallery.

Sophia was appointed as a Trustee Director in 2016.

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