The Warner Textile Archive is owned by Braintree District Museum Trust Ltd, a charitable company limited by guarantee, governed by the following directors:
John is an architectural consultant with his own practice who has lived with his family in Bocking since 1979. His particular interest is the rich diversity of built heritage of our district, its beautiful countryside and the history behind it. With an honours degree in Psychology gained in later life and FE teaching experience, John served as a governor at Colchester Institute for many years whilst he ran a local youth club and helped local charities. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he volunteered as Heritage Ambassador for Braintree District and has given a talk on this. He has recently been elected to the Colchester Institute Foundation Trust.
A key ambition of John’s is to broaden access to local heritage and enhance its appeal; to foster a sense of involvement and excitement about the history of Braintree District. As a District Councillor since 2009 (including four years when he was also a County Councillor) he is currently Vice-Chairman of Licensing Committee. He loves the culture and heritage of the district he serves. John’s interest in Psychology and social history convinces him that grassroots involvement in our heritage makes for a happier healthier community.
Sheila Charrington (Chairman)
Born to an Essex family, Sheila has spent the majority of her life in Essex. Drawing on her professional training as a book binder, Sheila was a founder member of the Essex Craft Society and has exhibited in Braintree Town Hall and Braintree District Museum.
In 1989 Sheila moved to Layer Marney Tower with her husband Nicholas, and they have been running it together ever since. Through her connection to the house she has been associated with the Historic Houses Association (Regional Chairman 2004-2008), the Regional Tourist Board (2006-2010), and Visit Essex board until 2016
Sheila is Chairman of Invitation to View and is currently leading its expansion from a regional to a national organization. She is very involved in Tymperleys, a restaurant/tea room in Colchester.
Iain is a designer running his own consultancy, Thinkingeye, in London for over twenty years. Thinkingeye works with niche clients and projects around the world, from books to interiors, with a speciality in catalogues and marketing promotion involving companies as broad-ranging as Asprey and Mastercard.
Iain has lectured at a number of colleges in Graphic Design and Professional Practice, he set up the Diploma Members division for The Chartered Society of Designers, and has written for titles ranging from The Muppets, to the Telegraph, including a book on Drawing Techniques. He has MA degrees from The University of London in Book History, Art History and Garden History.
Iain worked for twenty years in the fashion industry from toile to print and final production and is interested in fabric and fabric design history.
He lives locally, is a passionate biker and inveterate traveller.
Demetra has lived in the Braintree district since 2004 when she moved to Castle Hedingham with her husband Jason. They have been running Hedingham Castle as a historic property open to the public and a wedding venue ever since. They have brought up their young family there.
She is an architect, and worked for a firm with a very modern style. She designed the Westminster Academy and elements of the Barbican Centre refurbishment. She has since renovated the Norman Hedingham Castle with Historic England and now does small projects locally. Some rooms in the house at Hedingham Castle were also done up by Warner Fabrics and used as a showcase for their 2007 Collection, and Demetra made some of the curtains and furnishings herself as she has always enjoyed sewing, dressmaking and fabric design.
She is also on the board of Visit Essex, a governor of de Vere Primary School and an active member of the Historic Houses Association. She is passionate about our local heritage.
Dr Stephen Priddy
Dean of GISMA Business School Germany and Affiliate Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, Steve holds the financial portfolio of the Trust. He is a chartered accountant and chartered manager, being a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Management Institute, and brings extensive national and international business development skills and hands-on experience of business operations. Steve is an experienced consultant in both the private and public sectors, with specific expertise relating to sustainable economic development and entrepreneurship. He is passionate about the vital role education plays in international development. He has lived in Braintree with his family for over 35 years. He holds a doctorate from Birkbeck College London on the ‘emptied landscape,’ a socio-economic study of the development of agri-business in East Anglia since WW2.
Steve also serves on the Finance Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
Following a degree in languages, Louise worked at L’Oreal and then at the family office of SBG Ltd, London.
In 2011, Louise returned to the Braintree District where her family have lived and farmed for many generations. Her role has been to assist with the running of the family estate which includes farming operations; renovating and managing the residential portfolio; creating and organising a tourism and events business. One such residential rebuild project was nominated for the Sotheby’s Restoration Award.
Louise has a great passion for style & design and has trained at the Inchbald School of Design.
Louise is a Liveryman of the City of London as well as a committee member of Historic Houses (Eastern Region).
Louise is delighted to join the Trustee Board of Braintree District Museum Trust.
Cllr Frankie Ricci (Braintree District Council Corporate Member)
Frankie has lived in the District since the age of 2 and lives in Great Notley with his wife and two teenage sons. He is a Director at London City Airport and has worked in the Aviation Sector for most of his professional career. Frankie has been a District Councillor for 7 years and is the Cabinet member for Communities, Culture and Tourism. He is Vice Chairman of Great Notley Parish Council and has been an active member for 10 years. In addition, Frankie is also a Trustee of the Active Braintree Foundation.
John has lived in Braintree since 1976, having moved to the town after service in the Royal Air Force. He now works in the computer software industry as EMEA Sales Director of the world’s largest privately owned software company.
As a Ward Councillor for Braintree West, John has served Braintree District Council since 2006, and is currently Cabinet Member for Asset Management and Governance.
John is passionate about the economic and cultural future of the District. He is committed to maintaining Braintree as an attractive place to live, and feels strongly about the preservation of its heritage.
As a textile consultant John has many years’ experience in sourcing and supplying textiles for decorating projects as well as for the restoration of historic buildings both in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the USA for clients including the National Trust, English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces, as well as privately owned houses and museums. Specific properties include Osborne House, Newton House, Kenilworth Castle, Aspley House, Cliffe Castle, Lotherton Hall, Temple Newsam, Dover Castle, Walmer Castle and Norwich Castle. In 2015 he worked with Apsley House and Walmer Castle in preparation for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
His Father worked at Courtaulds in Halstead, and so John grew up in a company owned house directly opposite the Mill. His technical background started with his early career at the company, where he undertook a 3 year training scheme, working in all departments in the local Essex mills. After working in various departments, he left SC&Co and moved into interior textiles, and has now been working independently for almost 30 years.
Since January 2013 he has been Chair of Halstead & District Local History Society. He has been co-ordinating accreditation and grant applications for an important part of the Society, Halstead Heritage Museum which has recently opened in new premises.