Who We Are
We are a charity, run by elected Trustees with a small supporting staff, here to protect the Commoners’ rights and the lands and rivers of the Town and Manor of Hungerford.
The Commoners’ ancient rights date back to the 14th Century, and are administered by the Hocktide Court made up of a jury of Commoners. The jury is selected at random from eligible Commoners using the Bellman’s hat the week before. The Hocktide Court sits in the spring of each year, on the second Tuesday after Easter.
The officers of the Hocktide Court typically include the Constable, Portreeve, Bailiff, 4 Tutti Men, 15 Water Bailiffs, 16 Overseers of the Common, 3 Keepers of the Keys to the Common Coffer, 2 Ale Tasters, a Bellman, Blacksmith and an Orangeman. See below for who does what.
A Steward, who does not necessarily need to be a commoner, is appointed to run the Court to ensure justice and fair play.
Julie Lloyd is a solicitor who had a private practice locally and is now the in-house Counsel for a local farming and property company.
Julie is the present Constable of the Town and Manor of Hungerford. As Constable she chairs the Board of Trustees, and the meetings of every Committee. The Constable also represents the Town and Manor on civic occasions and at public events.
As a solicitor, Julie specialised in property and land law, her clients being a mix of individuals, charities and corporate bodies.
Trustee, Steward and Water Bailiff
A former Constable, he is currently the Steward of the Town and Manor, responsible for advising the Board of Trustees and the Committees on all procedural matters relating to the governance of the charity, and for safeguarding its ancient traditions. He has served on every Committee of the charity.
The Steward is also responsible for the administration of Hocktide, the annual celebration of the ancient rights of the Town and Manor, and for the elections of Trustees every three years.
Now retired, Greg owned a nationally known goldsmiths and jewellers business based in Hungerford.
Trustee, Water Bailiff, Overseer of the Common, Keeper of the Keys to the Common Coffer
Bruce Mayhew has been a Trustee since 1992 and was Constable from 1996 to 2000. He serves on the Fishery, Land and Commons and PR and Communications Committees. His responsibilities have included acting as Water Bailiff, Overseer of the Common, and Keeper of the Keys to the Common Coffer.
Bruce has also served on Hungerford Town Council, was Chairman of Newbury Round Table, and is currently President of Hungerford Rotary Club.
Before retiring, Bruce practised and lectured on dentistry.
Trustee, Water Bailiff, Tutti Pole Dresser, Overseer of the Common and Assistant Steward
Fiona Hobson’s family has been involved with the Town and Manor for generations; her great-grandfather was Constable in 1921, and her mother was a Trustee and the first lady Constable. Fiona was elected as a Trustee in 2016.
She has been the Honorary Secretary of the PR and Communications Committee, and has recently taken up the role of Assistant Steward and in addition serves on the Fishery, Land & Commons and Buildings Committees.
Fiona is also active in the local community, as Secretary of the United Reformed Church and by serving on the Synod Pastoral Committee. She has also served on the Committees of the Historical Association and the Chamber of Commerce.
TRUSTEE, WATER BAILIFF AND DEPUTY CONSTABLE
Peter has been an active member of the Town and Member since 2009 when, as a Commoner, he became a member of the Fishery Committee, subsequently assuming the office of Honorary Fishery Secretary from 2011 till 2016. He was Tithingman in 2005 and Ale Taster in 2006 and served as a Trustee from 2013 till 2018. He was Constable from April 2021 to September 2022 and he is currently the Deputy Constable.
Peter serves as Trustee on the Fishery, Buildings and PR and Communications Committees. A strong advocate of the history of the Town and Manor, Peter is a staunch protector of the traditions and the rights of the Hungerford’s Commoners, and helping the wider community understand the benefits of the Town and Manor.
Outside of the Town and Manor Peter has worked in the IT sector for over 40 years, and today is semi-retired, but doing contract work on a self-employed basis. He has strong experience in Technology, Sales, Marketing, PR and Communications.
Trustee, Hayward, Overseer of the Common and Honorary Secretary of the Fishery Committee
Philip Porter was elected in 2019. He is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Fishery Committee and the Hayward. He is a member of the Land & Commons and Investment Committees.
Philip had a 30-year career in the City in wealth management, sales and marketing and capital markets, including managing and training experts in these disciplines.
He was also engaged for five years in managing a commercial property portfolio. Latterly a professional coach in public speaking, presentation and negotiation skills.
Trustee, Honorary Secretary of the Land & Commons Committee
Chris Scorey was elected as a Trustee in 2012. He is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Land & Commons Committee, of which he has been a member for 10 years.
He has over 35 years’ experience in international trade, both as business owner and CEO. He was also a General Manager with a large multi-national corporation and winner of a Queen’s Award for Export.
Chris has undertaken a series of volunteer roles in the local community for over 25 years, including as Chairman of the Hungerford Town Plan and tennis club.
Trustee, Honorary Secretary of the Finance Committee
Jon Dennis is a Chartered Accountant. His practice serves large corporate clients, SMEs, sole traders and charities. He also manages the personal financial affairs of numerous local clients, many of whom are high net worth individuals.
Jon was elected as a Trustee of the Town and Manor in 2017 and is the current Treasurer responsible for overseeing the accounting processes and providing advice to the charity on all financial matters. He is a member of the Investment Committee.
TRUSTEE, HONORARY PR AND COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY
Kate Edwards was elected in 2022.
Kate has had a long career in education in several roles, including as a teacher of geography, biology and ecology in a number of large comprehensives, as a teacher in pre-schools and primary schools, and as a specialist in Early Years Education and Special Educational Needs and Inclusion.
Kate has recently taken on the role of Honorary Secretary of the PR and Communications Committee.
She is Forest School trained and has been much involved with its children’s field centre education, from the youngest, the Beavers, to the oldest, the Explorers.
Kate has also been a member of the Scouts Association, a School Governor and has served on a number of Parent-Teacher Associations and Committees.
Trustee, Honorary Secretary of the Buildings Committee
Alistair Fyfe was elected as a Trustee in 2022 and is a member of the Land & Commons, PR and Communications and is Honorary Buildings Secretary and manages the buildings we own, including the John O’Gaunt pub and the Town Hall.
As a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, Alistair’s responsibilities included managing 22,000 acres of training land (including SSSIs), more than 500 buildings and accommodation for 2,000 soldiers.
In addition, he was Chairman of four specialist conservation groups, including an £880K regional ecological improvement and carbon reduction programme.
On leaving the Army, Alistair managed a portfolio of residential properties in London before moving to Hungerford. He has been a Councillor on Hungerford Town Council since 2019.
Julian Dickins is the senior partner of a firm of solicitors in Hungerford and has been a Trustee since 2016.
Julian serves on the Commons committee and has previously been Honorary Buildings Secretary. Following the flood in the Town Hall, Julian oversaw the refurbishment work.
Julian is also a Trustee of the Miss Lawrence Trust and the Camburn Trust, a member of the Newbury Rotary Club and the Churchwarden at Enborne, near Newbury.
Simon Lee-Smith holds an Executive MBA from Said Business School, Oxford and post-graduate MBAs from Heriot Watt and Kingston Universities.
He is currently a Global Commercial Director with Vodafone. His career has included over 30 years’ experience in business planning and development, finance, procurement, sales, corporate management and governance.
Simon is a member of the PR and Communications Committee. He was elected as a Trustee in 2022.
Jonathan Welfare has been a Trustee since 2014. He has been Fishery Secretary and a member of the Buildings, PR and Communications Committee and Investment Committees.
In addition, Jonathan has been a Trustee, Chairman and CEO of a wide range of charities for over 50 years, including the Northmoor Trust (now the Earth Trust) and the £86m Bristol 2000 science and natural history development.
He is currently a Trustee of Berkshire Historic Churches Trust and a Council Member of the North Wessex Downs AONB. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive of South Yorkshire County Council, and a Director and Chairman of numerous SMEs.
Jonathan was appointed OBE in January 2023.
Bellman & Crier of the Courts and Assistant Bailiff
A key figure in Town and Manor events, Julian became Bellman in April 2012 following the death of his uncle Robin Tubb, who had been Bellman for nearly 55 years.
Julian is the latest in a long family line of Bellmen, which incredibly goes back more than 130 years. More recently, Julian retired from his role as a Fire and Rescue Administrator for Royal Berkshire County.
Become a Trustee
Help Make a Difference
If you’d like to help protect and manage the Charity for the benefit of all, we need your help. We’re looking for people of all ages, backgrounds, interests and origins to help us look after this wonderful area and historic charity. We meet 12 times a year, with additional social gatherings and educational events should want to attend. Trustees are also expected to attend at least one of the other committees meetings. Find out more about what’s involved in being a Trustee and how you can take part.
River Keeper and Assistant Bailiff
Robert Starr has been River Keeper on the Kennet for 30 years. His background is in fish farming and fishery management.
He is an advisor to the Fishery and Land & Commons Committees, a member of the Executive Committee of ARK, and contributes to the River Kennet Steering Group.
Robert has been a qualified casting instructor for 25 years. He is a widely acknowledged expert on chalkstream habitats, and hosts meetings, seminars and visits from RCA Cirencester, DEFRA, and the World Wildlife Fund.
He also advises UK Government organisations on the management of riverine and wetland SSSIs and European bodies on Special Areas of Conservation (pasture and invertebrates).
CLERK TO THE CONSTABLE AND TRUSTEES
Tara joined the Town and Manor in November 2020 as Admin Assistant. She was promoted to the role of Clerk in September 2023. The Clerk’s role and provides full support and administrative assistance to the Constable and Trustees and is the first point of contact for people outside the organisation. The Clerk provides continuity for the Charity, whose Trustees and officers are voluntary.
Tara is a member of the Buildings Committee and also co-ordinates and manages the bookings for the Town Hall. Prior to joining Town and Manor she worked for Accenture for eight years as a Senior Analyst. She is a a volunteer at Wilton Windmill and has been for 8 years plus.
Roger joined us in 2022 as our Hallkeeper and Maintenance guru. He started his career as a plumber’s mate and he has over time also become an electrician to compliment many years working in building maintenance. Roger also works for the Hungerford Town Council in a similar role and is responsible for putting up all the flags that decorate the town on special occasions.
Roger has a long history of fundraising for and service to Hungerford. He was Hungerford’s Mayor in 2004/05; chairman of the Hungerford Round Table; on the Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza committee for 15 years and a governor of John O’ Gaunt school for 12 years. Roger was awarded Freedom of the Town of Hungerford in 2020.
Sally has been a consultant to the Town and Manor since 2008. Her focus is Freeman’s Marsh, where she has special responsibility for the development of access and education, which includes annual study programmes of the river life, wild birds, plants and wildflowers, bats and insects.
Sally has more than 25 years of experience in conservation and land management.
Here’s a full list of the Roles within the Town and Manor of Hungerford, with who fills each role in 2023:
Keepers of the Keys to the Common Coffer
Bruce Mayhew, Roger King and Barbara Barr
Kate Edwards and Simon Lee-Smith
Roger King, Bruce Mayhew, Ellie Dickins, Tyrell Bossom, Peter Sharland, Susan Hofgartner, Helen Jones, Fiona Hobson, Sarah Jackson, Philip Porter, Conor O’Kane, Sylvi Guiliani, Nicholas Lumley and Peter Joseph
Overseers of the Common
Paul Burrough, Averil Frenkel, Bruce Mayhew, Tyrell Bossom, Roger King, Barnaby James Smith, Fiona Hobson, Nina Hathway, Philip Porter, and Stephen Pike
Bellman & Crier of the Courts