The Trustees of the Wantage (not just) Betjeman Literary Festival
The Festival is a registered charity and its Trustees meet four times a year to review the work of the Festival Team.
Qualified as a solicitor in England and Australia, David has more than 30 years experience in legal, governance and regulatory matters. He is currently a senior consultant whose brief includes disputes and financial crime in the UK and internationally. He enjoys theatre and literature, particularly contemporary novels and those with a historic theme. He says he is also passionate about promoting culture in the community, ‘especially in an age of invasive and overpowering techno gadgets’.
Ben Dreyer (Chair):
A keen supporter of Wantage (Not Just) Betjeman Literary Festival with his wife, the poet Cathy Dreyer. Ben has also been operations and IT director at British clothing firm Boden for many years.
Nicola Cornick (Vice Chair):
An international award-winning author of historical fiction and vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Nicola is also a historian who works at Ashdown House, the National Trust’s 17th century hunting lodge, near Lambourn. Her latest novel, House of Shadows, is based on the history of Ashdown .
Geoff is a retired motor industry executive but has a great deal of experience as a chairman, treasurer and committee member for various voluntary groups. He is currently chairman of Wantage Art Group and a member of Wantage Choral Society and Betjeman Society.
A founder member of the Wantage Festival of Arts and the town’s Dickensian evening, Jenny is also a member of the Wantage branch of the Betjeman Society and has been involved with the literary festival for the past five years. Jenny is a local businesswoman but is best known as a Wantage, District and County councillor.
The 2016 Festival Team
Dorothy Burrows (Chair of the Programming Team):
A former drama teacher with a passion for storytelling, theatre and writing, Dorothy has been involved in local community events for many years. She directed a sell-out promenade production of ‘Lark Rise’ for the town’s first Summer Festival in 1995 and has been part of the Literary Festival Team for the past five years. Before her retirement, Dorothy was the community coordinator at the local museum where she organised events, education and art exhibitions. Earlier this year, she was a member of the judging panel for The Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2016. In her spare time, she is an active member of two local book groups.
Jenny Hannaby (Chair of the Marketing and Fund Raising Team):
A founder member of the Wantage Festival of Arts and the town’s Dickensian evening, Jenny is also a member of the Wantage branch of the Betjeman Society and has been involved with the Literary Festival for the past five years. Jenny is a local businesswoman but is best known as a Wantage, District and County councillor.
Katherine Hannaby (Festival Treasurer and Chair of the Administration Team):
A Wantage resident all her life, Katherine is looking forward to ensuring that this year’s Festival is a great success and attracts visitors to the town. A bank manager for many years, Katherine has undertaken various roles locally and nationally, most recently specialising in Change Management. Katherine joined the Festival Administration Team last year and is the 2016 Treasurer.
Francesca Hexter (Marketing and Fund Raising):
Victoria Luker (Marketing and Fund Raising):
Following a successful career in banking, Victoria now divides her time between her family and various charitable causes. It is her aim to bring to the 2016 Festival her combined commercial and banking expertise, fused with her love of books.
Jane Pepler (Programming and Social Media):
Jane has a degree in Librarianship and works in a Wantage primary school and at Wantage Library. She is an avid reader, writes book reviews and has belonged to several bookgroups in the local area. She joined the Festival Team this year.
Peter Rolfe ( Festival Secretary and Programming):
Peter served in the RAF for 16 years before pursuing a career as a commercial pilot until his retirement. He and his wife moved to Wantage some 2 years ago, mainly to help his daughter manage 4 young growing boys! Before that they lived in a village West of Bristol where he was heavily involved in organising and managing many local clubs and activities over a number of years. Impressed by what he saw of the Wantage Literary Festival scene, he volunteered to join the 2016 team.
Jackie White (Marketing and Fund Raising):
A long-term Wantage resident, Jackie has been involved on and off with the Festival since the early years. An avid reader, she is interested in making sure that the Festival appeals to as many local people as possible.
Mike White (Programming, Marketing and Technical Support):
Prize-winning novelist, renowned public speaker and blogger extraordinaire; Mike is none of these things but is happy to hang out with those who are! He has a life-time’s experience working in IT and this is his third time on the Festival Team. He has recently written a book about local ghosts and will be leading the Wantage Ghost Walk during the town’s summer festival.
Geoff Williams (Administration):
Geoff has a great deal of experience as a chairman, treasurer and committee member for various voluntary groups. He is currently chairman of Wantage Art Group and a member of Wantage Choral Society and Betjeman Society. He was the treasurer for the 2015 Festival.