A quick guide to who's who in the Excelsior Trust:
[pagebreak: John Wylson, RIBA (Founder/Vice President)]
John Wylson, RIBA (Founder/Vice President)
Brought up in the Cinque Port of Rye, John has managed to combine a career as an architect with a love of the sea. Between major projects in London, he used to slip away to sea in the Home Trade, eventually as a mate and then skipper. There are few ports in Britain that John has not entered - with cargoes as varied as talcum powder and case beer! He bought "Excelsior" in Norway and spent 10 years of his spare time rebuilding the hull, before setting-up the Trust to restore her back to sail. With an in-depth knowledge of traditional materials and techniques, John can fit a futtock or woold a ground rope!
[pagebreak: Geoffrey Copeman, CBE, DL (Chairman)]
Geoffrey Copeman, CBE, DL (Chairman)
Geoffrey Copeman was brought up sailing on the Broads, where he raced local one designs. Eventually the lure of the sea caught him and for several years he raced a Dragon at Lowestoft. He is also a keen tennis player and enjoys riding his own horse.
His business career has seen him involved at board level with newspapers, including the Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times, local commercial radio in both Norfolk and Suffolk, the advertising industry, a national news agency and insurance (where he was a Director of Norwich Union). He is currently a trustee of both the Forum and the Assembly House in Norwich, and a former Chairman of the Governors of the independent Norwich School. He was made a C.B.E. in recognition of his services to the Newspaper Industry, and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Norfolk.
Why is he involved with "Excelsior"? "A love of boats and the sea, the importance of preserving maritime heritage, and a determination that a living example such as "Excelsior" be safeguarded for ever."
[pagebreak: Nick Schiller (Vice Chairman)]
Nick Schiller (Vice Chairman)
Nick is Managing Director of Archant Print in Norwich (which prints, amongst many other things, the Eastern Daily Press). Prior to that he has held a number of Director roles in manufacturing and design engineering, purchasing, logistics and business development, principally in the car and light commercial vehicles industry.
He has been sailing since he was 7 years old, mostly off North Norfolk. Nick has a wife and two children.
[pagebreak: Nick Cherry (Company Secretary)]
Nick Cherry (Company Secretary)
[pagebreak: Jamie Campbell (Trustee)]
Jamie Campbell (Trustee)
Jamie is a veteran Broads sailor and owner of the classic Broads sailing cruiser "Evening Flight". Formative years on the Broads were followed by 25 years international yacht racing in 505, Flying Dutchman and Dragon classes. He has made guest appearances in shorthanded long-haul ocean races. Jamie always maintains the Broads are a great place for old men and children, but regrets joining the former category. He says he "scribbles a bit". He is a published local and maritime author, and regular contributor to "Anglia Afloat" magazine, usually on topics around a maritime heritage theme. He is also archivist of the Royal Norfolk Suffolk Yacht Club, and International 14 fleet historian.
[pagebreak: Stephen Earl (Trustee)]
Stephen Earl (Trustee)
[pagebreak: Ian Russell, MBE (Trustee)]
Ian Russell, MBE (Trustee)
[pagebreak: Paul Thomas (Trustee)]
Paul Thomas (Trustee)
Paul is a journalist and public relations consultant, who was talked into becoming the Trust’s voluntary marketing and PR man a decade ago. In his more sane moments he writes for boating magazines, runs wideangles.tv (a film-making company with partner Andrew Pinder - also an ET aide) and travels. Travelling includes cruising aboad a twin screw Broom motor yacht "Norfolk Beauty", normally crewed by his wife Mary. Together with their two daughters, Marina and Louise, the whole family are boating and "Excelsior" fans. Paul owned a century-old gaff topsail cruiser "Bessie Bell" for 35 years, racing and cruising her on the Broads, before passing her on to another Broads family, well-equipped to keep her in the style to which she is accustomed.
[pagebreak: Robert Whitefoot (Treasurer)]
Robert Whitefoot (Treasurer)
Robert works for chartered accountants Lovewell Blake. He has a keen interest in sailing on the Broads and was pleased to take on this voluntary role.
[pagebreak: Mary George (PR)]
Mary George (PR)
Mary George has stepped into the legendary shoes of Paul Thomas in his PR role. A former colleague of Paul’s, Mary is press officer for the national charity Beat, headquartered in Norwich. Much of her work involves young people and when the opportunity arose to become involved with the Trust, the Board’s vision enabling individuals to experience new challenges and broaden their horizons with "Excelsior" was hard to resist.
[pagebreak: Tony Hamerton (Supporters Manager)]
Tony Hamerton (Supporters Manager)
Tony is Managing Director of Rhino Security, a company he formed eighteen years ago, based in Norwich. Prior to that he spent fourteen years in the retail motor trade holding a number of senior management positions mostly in London and the southeast.
Having learnt to sail at school in North Devon he got caught up in the early '70s windsurfing fever competing in several national events. On returning to Norfolk with his wife Carolyn and two young children he became a member of the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club sailing his father-in-law's Yeoman No 4 with modest success. He also spent two years on the club committee.
Both children are keen sailors, with James becoming Nation Laser 3000 Champion two years running.
Tony says "When I first stepped onto Excelsior I could feel and almost smell her history. She is a wonderful and exciting 'Old Lady' who needs all our care and support so that we can pass on her charm for the benefit of generations to come."
[pagebreak: Chris Hassell (Educational Consultant)]
Chris Hassell (Educational Consultant)
Chris and his family moved to Norfolk from Devon in 1996, when he was appointed headteacher of Reepham High School. Building the school into one which received 3 outstand ing Ofsted reports, Chris received a Lifetime Achievement Award and attended a reception at Number 10 with David Cameron .
Chris said: "Retirement is wonderful but I want to do more than play golf and fly fish for trout (both of which I love) so when I was offered the opportunity to work as a part of the Excelsior project in order to improve the life chances of young people I was delighted to become involved. Nothing is more important."
[pagebreak: David Joll (Charter Management Volunteer)]
David Joll (Charter Management Volunteer)
David’s spent his whole career in the Food Industry having studied Food Science and Technology . David joined the Board of Bernard Matthews in 1980 and became Group Managing Director in 1987 retiring in 2007 after 34 years with the company.
David talks of how he became involved with "Excelsior" and his thoughts for the future:-
“In late 2010 a close friend, Ron Mitchell, asked if I would consider helping The Excelsior Trust. He knew I loved the sea and owned a sailing yacht and that, in my business life, at the instigation of our Chairman, Bernard Matthews, we gave large sums of money to help numerous youth charities and that they were very close to my heart. I agreed in that it seemed a wonderful way to give young people experience of working as a team, achieving something very different in life and keeping a wonderful historic ship sailing! I had some knowledge of The Benjamin Foundation too and knew just how worthwhile their Chris Neil felt time on "Excelsior" had been for his young people from The Aspire Centre. I was happy to say that I would help as much as I could.”
[pagebreak: Ron Mitchell (Charter Management Volunteer)]
Ron Mitchell (Charter Management Volunteer)
Ron Mitchell, a retired North Norfolk businessman, has helped preserve for posterity several boats, aircraft, cars and even a mainline steam locomotive. He says:
“Our son had two very happy summers crewing on "Excelsior" in the 80s, and now I’m delighted to play a part in helping her preservation and work for young people.”
[pagebreak: Peter Pank]
Peter Pank is an Engineer, a keen collector of books on Norfolk and the Broads, and an enthusiastic sailor who still manages to race a Dragon at Lowestoft after 50 years. He occasionally sails his wife's White Boat at Wroxham, where he was once the Commodore. From 1934 to 2007 his father and he owned a 34ft. converted Caistor beach yawl "Cafila" (built probably before 1900). He has 4 children, all of whom are keen sailors, and 6 grand children, 3 of which have already taken up sailing
Peter still has an interest in the family engineering business. He has been a supporter of "Excelsior" for about 7 years. He went on the long "Excelsior" trip to Emden in 2006, and as a result decided her water system needed some upgrading. He is still working on this project (but sometimes gets lost in the detail).
[pagebreak: Dr Andrew Pinder (Webmaster)]
Dr Andrew Pinder (Webmaster)
Formerly a research physicist and chartered electronic engineer, Andrew left his career in academia to become a film & tv producer/director. Together with Excelsior trustee Paul Thomas , he runs production company wideangles.tv . He blames Paul for getting him involved with "Excelsior" when they made their first film about her in 2000; he has lost count of how many films he has made since. Like Nelson, Andrew learnt to sail on the Broads, little realising that one day he would come to live in this beautiful part of the world. Yachtmaster, Fastnet Race veteran, and dinghy instructor, Andrew says he would not like to have to chose between yachts or his much-loved Wayfarer dinghy. This sentiment is echoed by his eldest son Robbie, who together with youngest son Ted and long-suffering wife Rachel, share most of his adventures.