Who We Are

 

Our Committee...

The Beaconsfield Society and Beaconsfield Old Town Residents Association (BOTRA) merged formally at the AGM of The Beaconsfield Society in November 2016, after the BOTRA AGM and a Special General Meeting of The Beaconsfield Society gave unanimous approval for the merger.  A new Constitution was created based on the original Beaconsfield Society Constitution, updated to reflect current practice and to incorporate certain elements of that from BOTRA.

A new Executive Committee was formed from members from both previous committees and is responsible for the management and administration of the Society.  It consists of the Officers and the chairs of Subcommittees responsible for the different activities of the Society plus one other elected member, all of whom are subject to annual election.  The Officers consist of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer who are eligible for re-election at the Annual General Meeting for a maximum period of five years.

The Committee is delighted to welcome Dominic Grieve QC MP, Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield as our Patron and it also has the benefit of  advice from two former Chairmen, Les Davies  our President and Sandy Saunders, our Vice-President.

The current Committee consists of the following members...

Alison Wheelhouse - Chair

After reading law at King’s College London, I practised as a solicitor in the City of London for many years before moving to Beaconsfield where I have lived for the past 20 years. I have more recently worked in Maidenhead as a solicitor specialising in all aspects of property work, both residential and commercial.

I have actively opposed planning applications affecting Beaconsfield on the policy grounds set out in the current Local Plan and am a member of the Local Plan Watch which has been established to monitor the progress of the emerging Local Plan. The proposed Local Plan will affect the town for many years to come and it is important for residents to be informed about it, express opinions and play a part in the process of bringing the new Local Plan into being.

I have 2 sons and I am currently a carer for my elderly father. In my spare time I am a keen rugby supporter and cinema goer and enjoy exploring our beautiful countryside.

 

 Rachel Ferguson, Secretary

I’m a relative newcomer to Beaconsfield, having lived and worked in London for nearly 20 years before moving out here a couple of years ago with my husband and two young daughters. We were drawn to Beaconsfield’s history, beautiful countryside and sense of community, and after getting involved in the Vision for Beaconsfield project I joined the Beaconsfield Society committee to continue to support and preserve the things I love about living here. I am a strong advocate of volunteering and community engagement, both personally and through my career in HR and business management, and am keen to help in promoting these through the Society.

   

Kate McLeod, Treasurer 

I first came to Beaconsfield 40 years ago, when my father was posted to Wilton Park.  My parents settled in the area, but I only returned to live here 10 years ago, after many years in London.   Beaconsfield has always felt like home and I am very happy that I am able to live in this beautiful part of the country.  I joined the Beaconsfield Society as I am concerned about the proposed changes to the Green Belt land. Whilst all towns need to evolve over time, we also need to take care that we protect the natural landscape and ensure growth is measured and manageable.

I recently retired as Chief Financial Officer of the Royal Mencap Society, where my responsibilities covered property and IT as well as Finance.  Prior to that, my career was spent working in various finance roles in Investment Management firms. I now sit as a board member for a local housing association and on 2 other Risk, Audit and Finance committees of Not for Profit organisations.                         

Peter Foster  

Peter Foster looks after the communications work of the Society, he has lived in the town for 28 years raised two kids here.  He runs two businesses from the town. Peter was a member of the BOTRA Committee for 7 years and transferred in to the Society when BOTRA merged with the Society. Peter takes an active interest in town events and the future development of the town. He brings considerable commercial and volunteering experience to his work with The Society.                          

 

Jeannette Buckle

I have lived in Beaconsfield for 13 years now along with my Husband and daughter having previously lived either abroad in various countries or in Hampshire. As well as being a full time working mum, I was also on the Friends of Beaconsfield High School committee with my main role being the organizing of the Christmas Fair to raise substantial funds for the school. I have worked in the environmental sector for over 25 years predominantly for a multinational company and am now self-employed as a consultant providing communications and engagement strategies and facilitating them for a variety of businesses in the environmental sector. I am an author having published my first book in 2016 titled ‘Save Pounds and the Planet’ and say with some pride that my book is also for sale by the world famous Eden Project, Cornwall. In November 2016 I also sat on the panel of experts at the High Wycombe Climate change conference ‘Can Women Cool it?’ and I constantly strive for less impact on the environment in my work and at home.

I have been a Master Composter since 2007 and am an Energy Champion, volunteering in Buckinghamshire to spread the word on how to reduce your waste, save energy, and compost your food and garden waste.

In Buckinghamshire I have worked as a Buckinghamshire Master Composter Co-ordinator and Waste Reduction Officer on contract and worked on various projects which aims to reduce household waste being disposed of, working with the third sector and other stakeholders and managing 120 volunteers.

For Beaconsfield I want to preserve our natural environment and improve our urban environment to reflect this rural market town setting and enhance it where appropriate. I chair the Environment working group and would like to encourage local people to join in and help make Beaconsfield have the best environment to live in that it can, be it bulb planting, community litter picking to objecting to greenbelt release and much more.

   

Kari Dorme

After I left my home town of Durham City, I was appointed as a graduate trainee with Bucks County Council and worked in many of the branch libraries in the south of the County.  Subsequently I worked at Beaconsfield Library for nearly 20 years as Branch and then Area Librarian, followed by 5 years as Area Librarian at High Wycombe.

I have lived in Beaconsfield since 1984 and I have been very happy here. Since my retirement I have tried to give back to the town and the community in my voluntary work.  At the present time I am cooking once a month for the Beaconsfield Community Association’s Lunch Club for our Senior Citizens and on Wednesdays helping with the Beaconsfield Archive project.

Then with the help and support of my fellow committee members I have enjoyed arranging events and talks to celebrate the past and raise awareness of our famous residents. These include 2012 Robert Frost Centenary, 2013 Enid Blyton Week, 2014 WW1 Commemoration Behind The Lines Poetry and Prose, April 2015 WW2 Secret History of Wilton Park and Nov 2015 WW2 Bugging the Nazis. Then in September 2016 as I was involved in the acquisition of Enid Blyton’s sundial the Society was invited to the unveiling party at Bekonscot Model Village. This was another most enjoyable event.

My plan for 2017 is to promote awareness of another famous resident, the children’s writer Alison Uttley, creator of The Little Grey Rabbit stories.

My background is Norwegian and I return to Norway as often as I can to visit family and friends.

 

Geoff Gudgion                                            

I left school at 17 to join the Royal Navy, who later sponsored me through Cambridge University. After ten years as a career officer I switched to business in the Private Sector, eventually holding Executive roles in international technology companies. One of those brought my family and I to Beaconsfield in 1991, where we have been residents ever since. I became CEO of a smaller company and developed a specialisation in managing businesses through crises. I was a non-Executive Director on the Board of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for six years. I started creative writing during gaps between business projects, was taken on by a literary agent, and realised a long-held ambition when my first novel was published in 2013. I now write almost full time.

When not writing I’m an amateur equestrian and a very bad pianist. I’m Treasurer of Hodgemoor Riding Association, and actively involved in St Mary’s Church, Beaconsfield, where you’ll find me in the bass line of the choir.

 

Michael Lischer

Arriving from the United States in 1989, my wife and I originally lived in Bedfordshire.  We moved to Beaconsfield in 1991. We’ve enjoyed living in Beaconsfield and made many new friends here over the years.  I first became involved locally with my participation in the Vision for Beaconsfield project in 2015. I am honoured to be asked to serve on the Beaconsfield Society Committee.  I am not against the growth of Beaconsfield and its continued prosperity, but feel the interests of its residents should come before those of the developers and other third party influences.

I am an architect and I'm registered to practise in both the United Kingdom and the United States. I established the London based architectural practice, Sport Concepts, 20 years ago. We specialize in the design of international sports facilities and have been involved in projects around the World.  Closer to home, we were very busy with the London Olympic Games and have been involved in other notable projects like Wembley Stadium and Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. We designed the Liverpool Arena, and the Chris Hoy Velodrome and Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

Les Davies, President

We have lived in Beaconsfield since 1983 when my employment with a blue-chip multi-national healthcare company brought me to the area.  My children were educated in Holtspur and my support for the school’s parent association drew me into service in the local community.  My wife is a retired teacher, my son is serving with the Army and my daughter lives and teaches locally.

I served on  Beaconsfield Town Council for 20 years and  was Mayor  in 1998-99.    I have seen many changes in the town and like to think that I have contributed to improvements such as replacing roadside trees, upgrading children’s playgrounds, installing CCTV and providing finger posts in the town.  Conservation of the built and natural environment is important to me and I am a keen allotment gardener.  I have been involved with the impressive Holtspur Bank Local Nature Reserve since it was designated in 1995 and I am an active Friend of Holtspur Bank.

My willingness to get involved with the local community and an interest in healthcare has led to an understanding of the challenges faced by community groups, the voluntary sector and local government in delivering high quality value added services.  I have been Chairman of Holtspur Scouts, was a governor of HoltspurSchool for 10 years and was a member of the Buckinghamshire Primary Care Patient and Public Involvement Forum for four years.   I have been a member of the Beaconsfield Society since 1998 and was its Chairman 1999-2004.  I have also served as its Vice-President before being appointed President in 2008.  I am also Chairman of Carers Bucks, a Buckinghamshire charity which provides support to family carers, and a member of the Woodlands District Scout Executive Committee.

 

Sandy Saunders, Vice President

Educated at Highgate School in London, Sandy was conscripted into the Forces and trained as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. He then spent 10 years in industry, before joining the management consultancy practice, McKinsey. He went on to be appointed Chairman of some 20 UK industrial holding companies, overseeing the provision of equity capital. At this time, he also served as a Lieutenant Commander with the Royal Navy Reserve, specialising on mine countermeasures, for which he was awarded the Reserve Decoration. He has served as a Council member of the CBI,  as an Industrial advisor to  international banks, the former Industrial Unit of the Bank of England, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Sandy’s work across the voluntary sector has been equally diverse: serving as the founding President of Brain Tumor Research, and as Master of the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers, He was made a Freeman of the City of  London in 1985, elected a Town Councillor in 2011 and appointed Mayor of Beaconsfield in 2013/4, after which he formed the Association of Mayors of Buckinghamshire.