Tutor Biographies

Jump to: Elizabeth BarberStephen Barnard, Eduardo Bell, Derek Blyth, Christopher Budd, Kate Burgess, Sarah Burles, Marina Burrell, Andy Cocks,  Barry Dackombe, Gregor Davey, Deborah Day, Gary Day, Suzy Drake, Jane Ducarreaux, Madeline Edmead, Gina Ferrari, Celia Hasan, Rosemary Hayes, Collette Hoefkens, Mark Hopkins, Abigail Huffer, Lloyd Laing, Tiffany Logan,Fiona Lucraft, Phil Madley, Jane Mailer, Mike Muncaster, Margaret NorwichFiona Pruden,  Louise Reed, Honor Ridout, Sheena Roberts, Mike Rollins, Anne Rowe, Elisabeth Rutt, Andrew Sankey, Chantelle Stephenson, Lucy Sugden, Wafa’ Tarnowska,  Sally Taylor, Tony Venezia, Vitali Vitaliev, Twigs Way, Emmeline Webb, Michael Williams, James Willis, Jill Winch, Chris Woolston

Helen Allen

I started my journey in cut flowers by feeling that there had to be a better way to put beautiful flowers in a vase. Over the years I have learnt many ways to achieve this! With my commercial event floristry I always try to create pieces with love and a personal flair. Teaching leisure and floral qualification courses allows me to share my love of flowers with many different people who often catch the flower bug. Published articles regularly appear in ‘Floral Design’ magazine
Awards:’Most supportive tutor’ NHC 20012/13; Floral Design magazine ‘ Top floristry school teachers ‘ January 2015;
Visit my website to learn more about what I do: http://www.verdila.co.uk

Lesley Ayres

Lesley Ayres studied Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton and then went on to gain her MSc in Occupational and Organisational Psychology from the University of East London. Later she gained her PGCE and is passionate about teaching Psychology as a subject for general interest. She has worked as a trainer and assessor and brings her experience in these areas to her courses at The Letchworth Settlement.

Elizabeth Barber

Elizabeth trained as a primary school teacher in the 1970s. After a long gap doing voluntary work, she returned to teaching as a supply teacher. She has always loved writing and has found going on writing courses a valuable way of learning about the craft. After some success writing stories for a comic, she moved on to writing fiction and non-fiction for county and national magazines. Since 2006 she has run ’Get Writing!’ at Letchworth Settlement. Elizabeth holds the Undergraduate Certificate in Creative Writing Part I (Fiction) and Part II (Non fiction) awarded by Cambridge Institute for Continuing Education.

Stephen Barnard

Stephen spent 21 years as a specialist writer with Reader’s Digest before going freelance in 1999. He has been writing and lecturing on broadcasting, film and popular music on a part-time basis for over 30 years. He has run courses for the WEA, De Montfort University, the City University and a number of Hertfordshire arts groups, and his five books include Studying Radio, the standard academic textbook on the subject.

Eduardo Bell

Eduardo spent 35 years teaching Spanish to the armed forces in Argentina plus also some time in Canada. He finally retired in 2003. His love of teaching Spanish tempted him out of retirement in 2011 when he came to the Settlement.

Derek Blyth

Derek studied music at the Universities of Aberdeen and Durham. He divides his time between rehearsing and conducting shows, playing accordion in the Stevenage Accordion Group and the London Accordion Orchestra, lecturing on Wagner, Opera and Entartete Musik and acting as a heated piece of furniture for his cat, Dillon. He attends opera performances in London, Paris, Berlin, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Cologne, Bayreuth Verona, Venice, Longborough and Glyndebourne.

Christopher Budd

Christopher Budd is a writer, teacher and musician, with a focus on music for film. His interests range from silent cinema to electronic music via Hollywood from the studio system to the experimental ’70s, and British and European film and music of the 1960s and 70s.
He studied film music at university (‘Music Composition for Film and Broadcast Media’), followed by a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education. He then worked at the Bishopsgate Institute in London managing the courses for adults programme there. Since 2012 he has been working freelance; he has written for several music magazines including Music Teacher (and contributes regularly to Shindig!).
Christopher works as a moderator and assessor for an international awarding body specialising in vocational music examinations, and in a freelance capacity for Cambridge International Examinations. He also teaches private instrumental lessons and records as a session musician.

Kate Burgess

After studying applied arts, I have enjoyed introducing my love of colour, and my themes of travel, landscape and the coast, to small groups and classes. I often use an artists work for creative inspiration, so that we can explore a particular way of working, usually using acrylic and mixed media.

Sarah Burles, MA (Cantab), MA

Art Historian, Museum Educator and founder of Cambridge Art Tours Sarah studied History of Art at Cambridge University, before completing a masters degree at the University of London in museum and gallery education. She has worked in museums and galleries for over 25 years, including at the Fitzwilliam Museum for 12 years. In 2012 she set up Cambridge Art Tours which offers courses and tours based around the museum’s collection. She has a passion to make art accessible and enjoyable to a wide audience and her t alks aim to be engaging, as well as intellectually stimulating.

Marina Burrell, MEd & PGCE

Brought up in the Soviet Union, worked in the Baltic States, Hungary, GDR, Holland, the USA, Kazakhstan and the UK. Teaching experience: the Russian Language and Culture at Anglia Ruskin University, the University of Essex; an examiner and Teacher Trainer with the University of Cambridge; WEA lecturer since 2015.

Andy Cocks, BA (Hons) MLA CMLI

Andy has hands-on experience as a landscape gardener in north London. He studied for four years at Capel Manor before gaining a Masters in Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh University in 2008. He has been a chartered member of the Landscape Institute since 2015.
Voluntary roles in the education sector include assessing the RHS Green Plan It projects and ambassador work at Form the Future in Cambridge. Andy is an experienced trainer in CAD and other IT software for designers.
Self-expression unleashes creativity. Andy’s vision is to create synergy by proactive dialogue and collaborative problem-solving. This builds confidence and facilitates rapid design development.

Dr Barry Dackombe

Dr Barry Dackombe is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University, where he has been teaching on history courses since 2007. Specialising in modern history, Barry has taught courses on the long nineteenth century, war and social change and imperialism and empire. He has a strong interest in the Society of Friends and those who dissent from ‘perceived wisdom’ in relation to international relations.

Gregor Davey

Dr Gregor Davey read History, English, and Law at the University of Sydney and took his doctorate at King’s College London. He has a wide range of historical interests including the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth, military, intelligence, and police history, and Baltic history.

Deborah Day

Deborah has spent many years teaching Classics in girls’ schools, covering the ‘holy trinity’ of 2 languages (Latin and Greek) and non-linguistic Classical Civilisation. She has particularly enjoyed teaching the Greek language and Greek Art and Architecture. Classics is such a broad-ranging discipline, as it encompasses the rigour of 2 ancient foreign languages, the literature of poets, politicians and philosophers, art which inspired Renaissance painters and sculptors and of course the origins of so many modern European languages: without a doubt she remains as keen as ever to pass this on to new minds.
She is currently relearning Russian, the third of the languages which she loves, and she also loves singing, beaded jewellery making, canal boating and growing all sorts of lovely things on her allotment.

Dr Gary Day

Gary Day was principal lecturer in English at De Montfort University where he taught courses on Tragedy and Comedy, Modernism and Contemporary Fiction.  He is the author of Re-reading Leavis: Culture and Literary Criticism (1996), Class (2001), Literary Criticism: A New History (2008) and Modernist Literature (2010). His latest book, The Story of Drama: Tragedy,  Comedy and Sacrifice: From the Greeks to the Present, was published by Methuen in 2016 and he has a chapter ‘Bunyan: Class and Englishness’ in the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook of John Bunyan, ed. Michael Davies and W. R. Owens. Gary  is also the editor of a dozen volumes ranging from a casebook on D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow and Women in Love to the  Wiley Encyclopaedia of British Eighteenth Century Literature. He also had a satirical column in the Times Higher for a number of years, which was followed by a TV one. He is a keen amateur actor.

Suzy Drake

Drawing has always been part of my life from childhood onwards, as has the natural world and drawing has enabled me to really see the world around me. All of which has led to a degree in Scientific Illustration which has given me the skills to accurately describe this world. I have always wanted to share these skills which led me to teaching whilst continuing with my art. I have taught in adult education, taught adults with addiction, adults with learning difficulties, family learning and children. I teach different art subjects, not just drawing, to different ages and abilities throughout Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Jane Ducarreaux

Jane’s passion for glass has been a lifelong one, having been surrounded by glass since birth. Both parents worked in the glass industry – her father as a master glass blower, her mother as a glass finisher. Having tried many crafts before finally finding fused or kiln-formed glass, Jane is passionate about the versatility of glass and the uplifting nature of what can be produced.

Madeline Edmead

Madeline Edmead is an Art Historian who specialises in 18th and 19th century topics and relating the history of art and architecture to wider historical issues. In addition to teaching at ICE, Madeline is currently lecturing adult classes at WEA and other providers of continuing education. Born in Manchester, Madeline moved to Herfordshire aged eight, and, several years later, was awarded her BA Hons from Bristol and an MA from the Courtauld Institite, specialising in architectural history and focusing on the early 18th century. She has contributed to a catalogue of Catherine the Great’s Wedgewood Dinner Service and to the Exhibition Catalogue on William Kent Hull (1985). In 2008 Madeline won one of the Birkbeck ‘Distinguished Lecturer’ awards.

Gina Ferrari

Gina is an experienced teacher and adult education tutor with several years experience in machine embroidery, including City & Guilds. She exhibits and sells her own work and is a participant in the Cambridge Open Studios.

Celia Hasan LCGI Cert.Ed. MIFL

My interest in cookery began when I was four years old, and at the age of sixteen I gained a scholarship to attend a course in Home Economics at what is now The University of North London. After graduating, I went to work in a prestigious bakery, The Aerated Bread Company, and very soon became senior cake decorator and supervisor in their wedding cake department, with commissions that included: a cake for Premier Winston Churchill; the cake for the Debutantes’ Ball; work for Fortnum and Masons and the wedding cake boutique in South Audley Street.
I have been lecturing, and developing coursework material, for over forty years. This has included the teaching of accredited courses of City and Guilds and ABC, in both cake decorating and professional cooking. I gained the Certificate in Education, was awarded the Licentiateship of City and Guilds and was appointed as an External Verifier for Cake Decorating and Sugar Flowers for the Eastern Region. This post was demanding but very rewarding.
I have trained and entered many college students for national competitions. They achieved much recognition, including the attainment of gold and silver medals. My wide range of experience includes: the teaching of, and development of accredited units for, people with special needs; the mentoring of trainee teachers and also judging at local events. I founded, and also chair, the Letchworth Sugarcraft Club
The highlight of my career so far, was when I was selected to deliver a mini lesson in sugar craft, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II came to open the new site at North Hertfordshire College in Stevenage.

Rosemary Hayes

Rosemary has written numerous books for children for a variety of age groups and in a variety of genres including fantasy and historical and contemporary fiction.
She has a background in publishing, is a reader for a well known authors’ advisory service and also runs creative writing workshops for both children and adults.
 For more information visit her website: www.rosemaryhayes.co.uk

Collette Hoefkens ASEA

Collette Hoefkens is a professional artist and gallery proprietor. She was taught Fine Art to A’level and Foundation level. She is a qualified FE tutor.
Collette studied fine art at the Hertfordshire College of Art and Design; under head tutor Jeff Stultiens RP. She has been a professional artist for over twenty-five years, working mostly on commissioned portraits, of both the animal and human kind! She is an associate member of the Society of Equestrian Artists, where she is the judge and sponsor for their annual drawing award.
Collette exhibits with the Wren Gallery, Burford, Marylebone Fine Arts, London and in her own gallery, Norton Way Gallery, Letchworth Garden City.

Mark Hopkins

Mark (Ginge) Hopkins is an experienced drama practitioner and a graduate of both the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Drama Studio London. He has worked within the world of performing arts since the 1980s in a variety of areas including acting in film, TV and theatre. He has a host of directing experience and has taught drama and theatre studies professionally for over 20yrs. He also holds a Bachelor degree with honours in Performing Arts from the University of Hertfordshire. He is looking forward to teaching in his home town of Letchworth once again.

Abigail Huffer

A love of languages is what caused Abigail to become a teacher of Foreign Languages. Having lived in both Germany and Italy as part of her language degree, she completed a PGCE in Secondary Modern Language teaching at the Institute of Education, she made the switch to teaching adults 5 years ago. She now has experience teaching individuals aged from 4 up to 84! Abigail’s passion for languages, history and culture is what motivates her most to teach others.

Lloyd Laing

Dr Lloyd Laing prior to his retirement was a professor of archaeology at the University of Nottingham, having previously been among other appointments director of the Centre for the History of Art at the University of Liverpool. He has written over 30 books singly or jointly with his wife, including several on Celtic and other branches of ancient and medieval art, and has lectured widely to the general public.

Tiffany Logan

I enjoyed teaching art in schools for fifteen years in Sussex, North London and Essex, and then after a life adjustment I became a full-time artist and now teach art workshops to adults.
I am drawn to anything worn and weathered such as an old door with peeling paint, or any interesting surfaces created by natural means. In my paintings I use a range of media including acrylic paint, gold leaf and pages from old books. I love the sense of freedom while painting – I like to start off with chaos and then gradually bring in order to my work. I have always adored children’s drawings – that stage before self-doubt creeps in which is probably why I am such a fan of the “blind contour” drawing method as it takes some of the control out of my work.

Fiona Lucraft

Fiona is a literature tutor and food historian. She has been teaching for the WEA and other adult education providers for over 10 years in Cambridgeshire and recently taught literature classes at Ashwell and Guilden Morden. Her publications include papers for the Oxford and Leeds Symposia of Food History and several entries for the New Dictionary of National Biography.

Phil Madley

Phil is a professional artist and teacher, specialising in encaustic wax painting for over 18 years.
He has demonstrated to over eighty art societies throughout England and has run workshops at schools, colleges and Missenden Abbey.
Phil paints using coloured encaustic wax and various heating implements but principally an iron, earning his nickname “The Iron Man”.
His paintings can be bold and bright or soft and sensuous, demanding attention and challenging the viewer on a visual or emotional level to experience more. His work is innovative, exciting and contemporary and his teaching style is lively and informative, and always encouraging.

Jane Mailer

When my son started school in 1997 I decided to update my skills with a view to returning to work, this was a journey that was to take me through several City and Guilds computer qualifications, Microsoft Certification, an Adult Teaching Certificate, and a leap from being employed to becoming freelance. All a bit of a surprise for someone who thought they were a bit dim!
I didn’t take to IT easily, I thought it was for boffins and geeks, and not for ladies of a certain age who loves her garden and her cats (5 at the last count!), so believe me if I can do it anyone can. With this in mind, it makes me really sad, that as IT becomes more widely used, so many people have found themselves excluded from employment and an increasing number of everyday activities.
My philosophy when I am working is very simple. When I work with employers, my objective is to provide training that will give delegates the skills, knowledge and understanding to do their job better, and so hopefully gain more satisfaction from it. When working with social groups I try to provide the knowledge and understanding that will allow these groups to use their chosen technology with confidence. I’m not sure I always get it right, but it’s not for want of trying…..

Mike Muncaster

I am a keen research historian and lecturer who has taught History at every level from Year 6 to first year undergraduates. After 24 years as Head of History at Bedford Modern School I spent 15 years as a WEA Tutor.
My historical interests include the American Civil War, The History of Medicine, British Agriculture and the Landscape, Gilbert and Sullivan, 16th century Spain and Elizabethan England.
At present I am transcribing an edition of the diary of a mid-19th century doctor’s wife with a view to publication.
In my presentations I use a combination of exposition, together with photographic illustrations, documentary and re-created film, primary sources including literature, music, oral testimony and art to provide a varied and stimulating way of studying the past.

Margaret Norwich

Margaret Norwich studied liberal arts at Vassar College, New York and read English at Girton College, Cambridge. She has worked in publishing, higher education and the voluntary sector. For many years she lectured in English Language & Literature at Bedford College/DeMontfort University and was Tutor/Organiser for the WEA in Bedfordshire. She aims to make her classes informative, challenging and fun.

Fiona Pruden

With an interesting career behind her ranging from managing entertainments venues to qualifying as an accountant, Fiona came across watercolour painting almost accidentally but immediately loved it. Taking redundancy after maternity leave provided the opportunity to change direction and build a new career working with her new passion and becoming a watercolour specialist. She has been writing ‘ARTicles’ for a local magazine for five years which has provided the opportunity for her to research manufacturing and production methods of art materials.
Her classes are designed to help students at all levels learn to understand and work with the attributes of this transparent medium, painting with confidence and the developing the skills needed. Combining discussion and demonstration, each class combines some theory with plenty of practical work, including some experimenting to find the best methods and learn new techniques. Much of her focus is helping students ‘see’ the world differently and interpret that vision loosely and freely into their watercolour painting.
With a wide range of subjects to tackle each term, Fiona shares her extensive knowledge with flair, enthusiasm and energy.

Louise Reed

Louise Reed trained as a teacher and then went on to Manchester University to qualify as a teacher of the deaf. She worked in schools for the deaf, specialising in working with children with additional handicaps. She then worked at Addenbrookes Hospital working with children in the psychiatry ward.
After her children were born she began to work part time- teaching deafened and partially hearing adults to lipread. She has been doing this for many years- her children are now adults! – and so she has a great deal of experience in helping people cope with being hard of hearing.

Honor Ridout

I never quite left Cambridge after studying there, and further developed my knowledge of the City and University by becoming a Tour Guide. I have worked for both the City and the University. At the same time, I have enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for local and social history with adult students through WEA and The Settlement. I am also currently Chair of the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History.

Sheena Roberts

Sheena is a quilt artist currently residing in Hertfordshire. Her initial interest in quilts came from the Laura Ashley patchwork packs from the 1980s but she began to make quilts seriously in 1995 after she first attended a workshop taught by Judith Wilson. She then attended a number of courses taught by Judith and other tutors over the next few years, and following on from these she successfully embarked upon the City & Guilds Certificate in Craft and Design (Patchwork & Quilting) at Missenden Abbey taught by Barbara Weeks.
Sheena has been influenced by the quilts exhibited at The American Museum, Bath and the V&A; and by many different quilters. Her inspiration comes from the natural world, folk traditions, story and music.
Sheena has been teaching for a number of years, particularly enjoying helping people with little experience and less confidence become proficient lovers of this craft.
She is a qualified teacher and member of the Quilters Guild of the UK and Contemporary Quilt.

Mike Rollins

Mike is a local painter of rural and urban landscapes. His style is a mixture of traditional and experimental techniques in a variety of mediums, but predominantly acrylic paint.
He originally grew up in West Yorkshire and graduated with a BA(Hons) in Theatre Design at UCE Birmingham. During his subsequent career designing visitor attractions, Mike painted both for work and for pleasure holding several solo exhibitions in West London and Hertfordshire.
Now preferring to work in two- dimensions, Mike is concentrating on his career as a fine artist and tutor. He has taken part in exhibitions throughout North Hertfordshire, including Herts Open Studios, and is a member of Herts Visual Arts and Society of All Artists.

Anne Rowe

Anne is a freelance landscape historian who has coordinated the research work of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust since 1998 and teaches courses in landscape and garden history. She has edited and co-authored two books about Hertfordshire’s Garden History, has written a book on the medieval parks of Hertfordshire and contributed several chapters to the Historical Atlas of Hertfordshire. Her most recent work – Hertfordshire: A landscape history – was written in collaboration with Professor Tom Williamson.

Elisabeth Rutt

I trained in fine art at Goldsmiths college, university of London but have been fascinated by fabric and thread since childhood. These two areas of experience come together and my work falls somewhere between painting and embroidery. I make work for exhibitions, and to commission and I teach textile classes by invitation to groups and A level students. My particular interest is hand stitch which I combine with a variety of other textile techniques. I am very interested in pattern and colour and I make wall hung pieces and occasional, experimental sculptural pieces.
Please visit my website: www.elisabethrutt.co.uk

Andrew Sankey

Ex Graphic Design teacher at schools in Kent and Surrey becoming Head of Dept. Garden designer & landscaper in cottage garden style. When based in Lincolnshire ran a small specialist nursery selling dry sun/dry shade plants and opened garden under the NGS for 16yrs. Chairman of Lincolnshire Cottage Garden Society for 15 yrs. Lectured throughout the UK and USA on cottage gardens & garden history topics.
Written three booklets: Cottage Favourites, Cottage Sayings & Superstitions & Companion Planting. Working on book on Shakespeare`s Flowers

Chantelle Stephenson

Chantelle Stephenson is a practising artist and educator that graduated from the Cambridge School of Art in 2007. During and since then she has tutored Fine Art on the Foundation Art and Design course at Hitchin College, Hertfordshire. In 2016 she was invited to run workshops at the Camden Arts Centre and The South London Gallery, London. She is currently running courses in Sculpture and Oil Painting at Milton Keynes Arts Centre.
Chantelle has a diverse range of technical disciplines including Oil painting, Abstract Painting, Alternative Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture. In 2016 she was commissioned to make an art piece in response to the early Letchworth Garden City which was displayed at the Broadway Gallery. Chantelle has taught at The Settlement since 2014.

Lucy Sugden

I graduated from Middlesex University in 1997 with a degree in Constructed Textiles. I make woven tapestries using traditional techniques using alternative materials along with traditional wool and cotton.
I have been developing and running art education and workshops for schools, colleges and community groups since 1998. Taking a break in 2009 to bring up my family I returned to my art in 2016 and have since exhibited and run workshops. To find out more about me and my work visit https://lucysugden.co.uk

Wafa’ Tarnowska

Wafa’ Tarnowska was born and educated in Lebanon, but has worked and lived in Australia, India, Poland, Cyprus, the UAE and the UK. In addition to being a French, Arabic and English as a Second Language teacher, Wafa’ is a writer, translator and story teller. She has written 5 children’s books and has translated children’s stories from English into Arabic in addition to TV documentaries from Arabic to English. She loves travelling, visiting art galleries and museums, going to the opera and ballet, walking in nature, practicing yoga, swimming and dancing. www.wafatarnowska.co.uk

Sally Taylor

Sally graduated from Central School of Art & Design in 1979 with a BA (Hons) in Textile Design. She has since worked in a variety of roles, but always with design at the heart. Becoming a freelance artist and illustrator a couple of years ago, Sally has shown her work at a variety of exhibitions around Hertfordshire including Open Studios using Brusho Crystal Pigments to create landscapes, pet portraits and floral compositions. Sally is a member of Herts Visual Arts and the Society of Art for All Artists and is now studying for an MA in Illustration through the University of Hertfordshire. www.sallyanndesigns.co.uk

Tony Venezia

Dr Tony Venezia completed a PhD on contemporary literary and cultural studies at Birkbeck, University of London in 2013. He has taught at Birkbeck, London South Bank University, and Middlesex University. As well as the contemporary, his research interests extend to visual and popular cultures, genre fiction, and media history.

Vitali Vitaliev

Vitali Vitaliev was born and grew up in Ukraine and Russia. He is a University-educated (PhD) linguist and teacher of languages as well as a multi-awаrd-winning British author (15 books, written in English and translated into a number of languages), editor, columnist (formerly for the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, The European) and broadcaster (Have I Got News for You, QI, Radio 4, etc.). Presently – Features and Columns editor of E&T magazine, distributed in 129 countries. Vitali lives in Letchworth.

Twigs Way

My career in historic landscapes consists of lecturing, research, writing, publishing, crafting landscape management plans, visiting historic sites, and indulging my enduring fascination with the history of female gardeners and artists, and also exploring the quirkier aspects of garden history. I relax by weeding my own garden, sometimes with a mattock. In 2016 I was featured in Gardens Illustrated. Visit my website to learn more about what I do: www.twigsway.com

Emmeline Webb

Emmeline’s passion for textiles and surface design is evident in her work. She uses a range of media to construct and build her paintings in many layers. Usually highly decorative and finished with gold, silver or copper leaf and inks.
She is also owner of The Art Nest Gallery established since 2011 where she regularly teaches.
Along with painting, Emmeline also works as a greetings card designer, with a portfolio of images in the hundreds. In 2011 & 2013 she was shortlisted for the UK greetings cards prestigious ‘Henries Awards’, winning in 2013.

Michael Williams

Michael has an undergraduate degree in History and an MSc in Politics. He’s the author of a book on Modern British Politics. Michael spent 21 years working in Whitehall an adviser to Ministers before leaving the civil service for academic life in 1995. Since then he has taught a great variety of courses in different universities covering Politics and History with a bit of Sociology as well. Now he concentrates on international politics and modern global history.

James Willis

James is a highly motivated artist and arts educator with over 20 years of teaching and management experience. He has taught fine art and art history at all levels from GNVQ1 to final year BA degree.
He founded the Letchworth Arts Centre and is currently Resident Artist and adult learning consultant and tutor at Sir John Soane’s Museum.
His areas of special interest and study include Fine Art and the Academic Tradition, Painting techniques and concepts, Georgian Architectural Drawing and its Historical Context, the Development of British Art in the 18th Century and the Art and Social Context of Renaissance Venice as well as contemporary approaches to traditional subject matter.

Jill Winch

Jill Winch initially trained as a Graphic Artist but in later years studied Botanical Painting. She attended the Chelsea Physic Garden where she gained her Diploma in Botanical Painting.
Jill is a member of the Society of Botanical Artists and was recently made a Fellow of the Society. In 2012 Jill was awarded the Daler Rowney choice award for her painting of the Medinilla-Magnifica.
Jill has held painting holidays in Tuscany and Galway. She regularly tutors for Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire which offers weekend and summer school programmes, and at different Art Societies.
She also holds courses from her studio at home on the borders of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
In 2013 Jill was asked to illustrate and write a book on Drawing Flowers.
The book was published in 2014. This book was followed by her second book Painting Flowers. web site: www.jillwinch.com

Christopher Woolston

Chris Woolston is a highly qualified scientist with a great love of science and natural history. After graduating in 1970 he began a school teaching career which lasted 40 years, and during which time he taught both Chemistry and Physics to ‘A’ level, was Head of Faculty, and completed his doctorate in Organic Analytical Chemistry. He is both a Chartered Chemist and a Chartered Scientist and is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Geographical Society. After retiring from school teaching in 2010, he has taught a variety of science courses for both the WEA and the Letchworth Settlement, delivered a range of public science lectures, and carried out technical reviews of science texts for Harper-Collins publishers.