Trustees | The Mary Rose

Meet the Board of Trustees

Alan Lovell

Alan Lovell is Chair of the Consumer Council for Water and of Sepura PLC and non-executive Director of two renewable energy businesses.

He has held a number of roles as chairman, chief executive and finance director with a wide range of listed and private companies including Tamar Energy Limited, Infinis Limited, Jarvis plc, Dunlop Slazenger Group and Costain Group PLC. He qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse.

He became a Trustee of the Mary Rose Trust in 2007 and chaired the appeal for the new museum; he became Chairman in August 2015. Elsewhere in the not-for-profit world, he is Chairman of Hampshire Cultural Trust, Chair of Governors of the University of Winchester and a Trustee and Member of Council of Winchester Cathedral. He was High Sheriff of Hampshire in 2010/11.

David Palmer CBE
Vice Chairman

David retired from a 38 year career in newspapers and media in 2002.  He was chief executive of the Financial Times from 1990-1993, and chief executive of Independent Newspapers in Ireland from 1994 to 1999.  He has recently completed a 4 ½-year stint as Chairman of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office and has formerly held non-executive positions in printing companies, commercial radio stations and in the National Health Service.  He joined as a Trustee in 2003.

Bob Bewley

Bob was appointed a Trustee in 2014. 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 South West, and before that as Head of Survey for English Heritage.

He trained as an archaeologist (at Manchester and Cambridge Universities) BA, MPhil and PhD.  He worked for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (specialising in aerial archaeology). 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 Libya, Iraq, Iran and Jordan.

Holder of a UK Private Pilot's Licence (Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron, RAF. 1976-1978), and a Jordanian Private Pilot’s Licence (Issued October 2001).

Through his work in the heritage sector Robert 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.

His interests are flying, photography, wildlife and travel, shared with his wife and three children.

Helen Bonser-Wilton

Helen was born and raised in Lincolnshire and received an Honours degree in German and Spanish from Bradford University.

She started her career in Advertising Agencies as an Account Manager and moved into Brand and Marketing with Crown Paint. After a spell as Group Marketing Manager at Bernstein Kitchens, Helen relocated down to Devon and joined the National Trust as Marketing and Supporter Development Manager. Helen then moved to Somerset to be Project Director of Tyntesfield, a £17 million project that was, at the time, the National Trust’s biggest ever project. She became Operations Director for National Trust South West and also led the National Trust’s 2010 Change Programme as Programme Director. 

Helen became Chief Executive of Mary Rose in 2015 and headed up the 2016 relaunch of the Museum. 
Helen is married to Rob and has an 11-year old son Lorcan. 

Chris Brandon

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.  Chris was the interior architect for the Mary Rose museum.  He is a past chairman of the Nautical Archaeology Society, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and co-director of the Roman Maritime Concrete Study. 

Chris was appointed as a Trustee in 2013.

Professor Van Gore CBE

Van has been Vice-Chancellor of Southampton Solent University since August 2007, and was previously Deputy VC. He has an academic background, having moved to Southampton in 2001 from Sheffield Hallam University, where he lectured in modern European history and developed an interest in academic audit, quality and standards.  He worked as a consultant and Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Auditor (including the assessment of research and degree awarding powers) both in the UK and overseas.

Van is the Higher Education Member of Southampton Connect, which is a group of leaders of key public, private and voluntary organisations, working collaboratively to further the growth and success of Southampton. He is also on the Employment and Skills Board and the Local Growth Panel of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, and Chairman of the Solent Skills Development Zone, which he helped create. On the wider front, Van is an Executive member of GuildHE and is a director of Laser Learning Awards, formerly the Open College Learning Network, South East.  He was Chair of the Higher Education European Funding Services (HEEFS), 2009-11, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Van was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to Higher Education, in the 2014 New Year Honours.  He was appointed a Trustee in 2014.

Rupert Grey

Rupert is a partner at Swan Turton Solicitors where he is a member of the media team. He specialises in libel and copyright law and has been involved in many leading cases in the field of media law. His clients include national and provincial papers, leading magazine houses, politicians, authors and academics. He also advices photographers, book publishers and syndication agencies on all aspects of copyright law. He regularly lectures, writes and gives seminars on media law. In his spare time he is also a Trustee for the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and the Kobel Foundation, and until recently was a Trustee for the Born Free Foundation. Rupert is also a member of the Royal Geographical Society.  He was appointed a Trustee in 2010.

Vice Admiral Peter Hudson CB CBE

Peter was appointed a trustee in 2016.  He joined the Royal Navy directly from school in 1980, specialising as a Warfare Officer and commanding three warships including the frigate HMS NORFOLK in 1996 and the assault ship HMS ALBION in 2002. 

After spells heading Naval Strategic Planning in the MoD and the Personnel directorate in the Fleet HQ, he returned to sea in 2008 to Command the UK’s Amphibious Task Group based in Plymouth and led major task group deployments to the Persian Gulf and the Far East. 

He was promoted Rear Admiral in 2009 and became the UK’s Commander of Maritime Forces during which time he also served as the operational commander for all EU forces combatting piracy in the Indian Ocean.  He returned to the Fleet HQ in 2011 and, after a spell overseeing support activity for the operational fleet and defining the RN’s future equipment requirements, was promoted to Vice Admiral in 2013 and appointed to lead NATO’s sole Maritime Command from Northwood in Middlesex. He served on the Navy Board for 3 years before retiring from the Service in Feb 2016.

Resident in Chichester; he is a Freeman of the City of London, a Younger Brother of Trinity House and is passionate about cricket and fly fishing.  He joined as a trustee in 2016.

Adam Humphryes

Adam Humphryes is a chartered accountant, who has held senior board positions in private sector companies. He is Chairman of CityWest Homes, a property management and development company in Westminster, managing twenty-two thousand properties.  Until recently, he was a Trustee of Work this Way, providing training, work experience, employment and mentoring for offenders, at Ford Open prison and is a director of two property companies. Adam was Finance Director and a major shareholder in private equity backed Wightlink Ferries Ltd and with two partners, started the first local Television company in the UK, which was subsequently listed on AIM. He was also previously a Governor of Portsmouth University and a Board member of Drum Housing Association. Adam joined the Mary Rose Board of Trustees in 2013 and is the Chairman of the Trust’s Finance and Audit Committee.

Dr Janet Owen

Following on from a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge (Newnham College), Janet has spent the last twenty years as a cultural professional, during which time she was awarded a PhD from the University of Durham for her work in the history of archaeology and science. Janet has a strong curatorial, operational and strategic management background in the arts and museums sector, and is presently Chief Executive Officer for Hampshire Cultural Trust.

She has previously worked as Head of Curatorial Group at the National Maritime Museum, Arts and Heritage Manager at Southampton City Council, Manager at Nottingham Castle and Head of Arts and Museums at Hampshire County Council.. Janet is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. She continues her research and writing interests, having recently published Darwin’s Apprentice: an archaeological biography of John Lubbock.  Janet was appointed a Trustee in 2011, having been nominated by Hampshire County Council.

Tim Rusby

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 & 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 organisation and environments.

Sophia Mason

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 joined the Mary Rose Trust Board in 2017 and is a member of the Development Board for the National Portrait Gallery.  She is married to Charles Mason and has three children.


Dr David Starkey CBE

One of Britain’s leading Tudor historians, David joined as a Trustee in 2008.  He has authored many best-selling books on the monarchy, his latest being Henry: Virtuous Prince, and has televised documentaries on Elizabeth I, the Six Wives of Henry VIII, the Monarchy, and more recently the Virtuous Prince.  He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Barbers, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society, Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and has honorary degrees from the Universities of Lancaster and Kent.  He was awarded the CBE in 2007.