Charlotte & James Townshend
Presidents of The Royal Bath & West of England Society
Charlotte was brought up in Dorset and South Yorkshire. After leaving school and completing a secretarial course, she spent 12 months travelling. She then worked for 10 years at Christies in London. In 1989 she took on the mantle of running Ilchester Estates, a diverse business owning and managing property in London, Dorset, Cumbria and Pembrokeshire. The enterprises in Dorset include a large-scale dairy, an AD unit, tourism, forestry, property development and the management of a diverse portfolio of rural and heritage property.
Charlotte was High Sheriff for Dorset in 2005-2006. She became a Deputy Lieutenant for Dorset in 1999 and is currently the county’s Vice Lord Lieutenant. She is also the President of Weldmar Hospicecare Trust.
James was brought up in Suffolk and moved to Dorset in 1992. On leaving school he studied at the RAU before joining Velcourt in 1977. In 1991 he became the company’s Chief Executive and is now the Executive Chairman. He also currently sits on the Board of a number of companies operating in the rural and urban real estate sectors.
In the recent past he has contributed to the industry as a member of the Agri Tech Leadership Council, a Governor of the RAU and as the Prime Minister’s Trade Ambassador for the UK’s food and farming sector.
Mr Robert Drewett DL
Chairman of the Trustees Board since 2013. Robert Drewett is a partner at Bond Dickinson in Bristol, specialising in property law, having joined the firm in 2014 to launch their Private Wealth offering in the South West after many years at Osborne Clarke.
He is Clerk to the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol, and a trustee of a variety of West Country charities, including the National Eye Research Centre, the Langford Trust, Wells Cathedral Preservation Trust and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Until earlier in the year he also chaired Folly Farm, being the trading operation of Avon Wildlife Trust.
His involvement with the Bath and West started at an early age, with a spell working for the Society in 1978, followed by a further spell in 1981. He started stewarding in 1978 and has stewarded in some form each year since that date.
He became a Council member of the Royal Bath and West of England Society in 1984.
Mr John Alvis OBE
John Alvis is the Managing Director and Chairman Alvis Bros Ltd and Lye Cross Farm. The Alvis Bros business also delivers the “Farmlink” programme to bridge the divide between urban and rural communities through curriculum based farm visits for school children.
He currently sits on the Royal Agricultural College Advisory Council, and is a Council member of the Royal Bath & West of England Society. He is a non-executive Director of Cogent Breeding Ltd and Grosvenor Farms Ltd.
As a previous High Sheriff of Somerset he is involved with the national initiative Crimebeat.
Dr Lance Moir
Lance Moir has over 30 years’ senior business experience in financial and strategy roles. He has been CFO of WIN plc and Executive Director of IMImobile, Group Finance Director for First Choice Holidays plc, Director of Corporate Finance for Bass plc and Head of Corporate Finance and Planning for Storehouse plc.
He is currently a non-executive director of Henderson Global Trust plc and Chairman of Thompson Dunn. He has a PhD from Cranfield School of Management where he is now a Visiting Professor and a First Class Honours Degree in Pure Mathematics from the University of Sheffield as well as being a Fellow of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, where he was a member of the council.
Lance is a novice beekeeper and member of Exmoor Beekeepers.
Mr Michael Felton MFH
After several placements in the agricultural supply trade, Mike returned to the family business near Salisbury, operating a drying storage and marketing service for local cereal growers of which he became Chairman.
In recent years, Mike has been involved with farming both livestock and cereal, as well as dealing with letting commercial property.
A keen competitor in horse trials and racing, Mike has been involved with equestrian activities throughout his life and is currently MFH for the Blackmore Sparkford Vale Hunt.
Mr Anthony Gibson OBE
Anthony is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society and was awarded the OBE in 2003 for services to agriculture and rural economy of the South West.
He was with the NFU for over thirty five years and remains very active in farming and Somerset Levels flooding issues. He is an accomplished broadcaster and journalist and writes for the Western Morning News.
He is a member of Council and Chairman of Orchards and Cider at the Royal Bath and West of England Society.
Venetia grew up in Oxfordshire and Somerset.
She is a partner of C Hoare and Co bankers, looking after private customers many of whom are involved in agriculture and other rural businesses. She read economics at Cambridge and worked elsewhere in the City before joining Hoares in 1991.
Venetia was a founder trustee of local Somerset charity Key4Life and is currently a trustee of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust.
Venetia lives on a small farm in Somerset with her husband Hamish Leng and two children.
Mrs Catherine Look
Catherine joined the Board in 2018 after being involved with the Society for many years. Her original involvement was through the Young Farmers Clubs. She is a Council member of the Society and also sits on the Charity Committee
Catherine is the Managing Director of her family business, which manages and develops park home estates and holiday parks across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Catherine has recently completed a degree in Business Management and she has a particular interest in customer service.
Her husband and one of their daughters are farmers on the Somerset Levels.
Sue spent her formative years in Dorset and went to school near Sherborne, returning to the West Country in 2013. Sue is currently the Estate Manager at The Newt in Somerset.
Sue is a keen light aircraft pilot, having piloted through parts of Southern Africa. Sue has also been involved in all things equestrian from a young age and is now a keen competitor at dressage.
Mr Martin Thatcher DL
Martin joined the Trustees Board of the Royal Bath and West of England Society in 2015 and is Chairman of the Bath & West Enterprises Board. Martin is the Managing Director of top local cider manufacturing company Thatcher’s Cider.
Thatcher’s have 360 acres of its own orchard in Somerset, as well as using apples from other growers in the area. Over 25,000 tonnes of fruit are pressed each year.
Thatcher’s also maintains a special exhibition orchard in which over 548 different varieties of apple tree are grown.
Mr Patrick Thomson
Patrick Thomson is Chief Executive Officer for EMEA, J.P. Morgan Asset Management. He is Deputy Chair of the Board of the Investment Association, representing UK’s investment management industry, and a Member of the UK Government’s Treasury Task Force.
After graduating from Edinburgh University, Patrick served as an officer in the British Army for five years before joining JP Morgan in 1995 and has worked in Paris, Singapore and New York.
He lives on a farm in Somerset and is married to Anna Redwood, an artist, with five children. He has worked as a shepherd and is a novice beekeeper and cider-maker.
Mr Rupert Uloth
Rupert grew up in Hampshire and the Sudan.
He joined Country Life magazine in 1994, after six years in the Household Cavalry, appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe as part of a comedy revue sometime in between.
Rupert currently lives in West Sussex with his wife, their children and a small menagerie, including a miniature poodle, Juno, several horses, 14 sheep, two saddleback pigs, two geese and five ducks.
Sir David Wills Bt
Elected on to the Trustee Board in 2015 Sir David’s family have been involved with the Royal Bath and West of England Society for many years. He is a landowner and farmer.
David’s professional interests include Blagford Properties. His community and charitable interests involve the Royal Bath & West of England Society, Bristol Cathedral Trust, Farmlink Education Ltd, Langford Trust for Animal Health and Welfare and Bristol Care and Repair.
He is the Chairman of the Charity Committee at the Royal Bath and West.
Mrs Angela Yeoman OBE DL
Mrs. Angela Yeoman, OBE, DL is a Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset and a former High Sheriff of the County. She is the Chair of the Somerset Community Foundation and serves on the Boards of several local companies and on the committees of many other charities.
She is active in promoting access to the countryside for walkers, biking and horses, through her association of the MCTT (Mendip Cross Trails Trust), and a trustee for the Somerset Building preservation.
She is the founder of Nunney International Horse Trials held at her home in Somerset and a keen supporter of national hunt horse racing.