Brooklands Museum Trustees
Brooklands Museum Trust Limited, established in 1987, is a company limited by guarantee (No.02109945) and a registered Charity (No.296661) whose aim is to conserve, protect and interpret the unique heritage of the Brooklands site.
Our current Trustees and other officers are:
Sir Gerald Acher CBE LVO, Chairman
Sir Gerald Acher is also Deputy Chairman of the Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust.
He was President of Young Epilepsy and Vice Chairman of Motability until 2019 and Chair of the Royal Society of Arts until 2009. He was a Board member of KPMG and its London office Senior Partner until 2001. He was deputy chairman of Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd until 2015. Sir Gerald is chairman of Chatterbus CIO, a social enterprise which runs a scheduled bus service in and around Cobham and he is also chairman of the Cobham Heritage Trust.
Sir Gerald was awarded the CBE in the 1999 and a Knighthood in 2012. In 2017 he was recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement.
Sir Gerald enjoys rallying pre-war and classic cars, opera, mountain and hill walking and gardening.
Captain Mike Bannister, Vice Chairman
A Trustee of the Museum since July 2007, Captain Mike Bannister was British Airways’ Chief Concorde pilot from 1995-2003, playing a leading role in her return to service following the Air France Paris accident, flying her in formation with the Red Arrows over Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee and commanding her final commercial flight in October 2003.
Mike was also General Manager for BA’s Airbus, Boeing 737 / 757 / 767, Gatwick and Concorde Fleets, responsible for Flight Operations, technical performance, business performance and Flight Crew management. His Aviation Awards include the ‘Le Prix Réussite’ from L'Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France.
Since ‘retirement’ he has been a very active charity fund raiser, helping to raise over £350,000 for good causes through lectures and other personal contributions, as well as an aviation consultant, Chair of School Governors, Lay PCC Chair, Foodbank Chair and property company Chair.
Neil is a chartered accountant and was a partner at KPMG in London for over twenty years, mainly in corporate finance so he has extensive experience advising clients on strategy, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and other public and private market transactions.
During the latter part of his KPMG career he was a member of the Global Executive Board and as Global Head of Markets had responsibility for the firm’s major global clients together with global marketing, sales and industry groups. He also had a leading role in developing the firm’s global strategy.
Since his retirement from KPMG he has been a senior strategic and financial adviser to private companies and professional services firms and he is also a Non-Executive Director of Risk Advisory Group Ltd, a global risk management consultancy.
Apart from his family, his main interests are classic cars, sports, fine wine and cooking.
A trained Aeronautical Engineer, Graham has worked in the Aerospace, Defence and Automotive sectors for over 40 years.
At BAe/BAE Systems he progressed to Group Head of Strategy, having had involvement in the Eurofighter programme and responsibility for development of the new Hawk 100/200 aircraft. From 2000, Graham held senior executive positions in GKN’s Aerospace Group, before becoming responsible for GKN’s strategy across all sectors, including Automotive.
Graham became deputy CEO and MD (Aerospace and Operations) at aerospace trade association ADS in 2010, where he played leading roles in a number of industry/government programmes .
Graham is an experienced public- and private sector NED, including roles with the Engineering Development Trust (as Chair), the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and Farnborough Airshow International, and is deputy chairman of RLC Aerospace.
Graham is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and chair of the Cross and Cockade Society (WW1 Aviation Historians).
Appointed as Marketing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars in April 2016, Rob Halloway added responsibility for Mercedes-Benz World in July 2019. Before that he spent 18 years in PR, mostly but not entirely at Mercedes-Benz.
Although a qualified automotive engineer, Rob spent the early part of his career in used truck sales, as an advertising and brochure copywriter, promotions and advertising executive, and industry spokesperson. Way before all that, he visited Brooklands as a boy, with his Dad.
During his time at Mercedes-Benz, Rob has developed a knack of explaining the company’s incredibly complex technical systems in an engaging, entertaining way.
He maintains close relations with the Mercedes-Benz Club and became its Honorary President in 2017.
He holds a full HGV truck driving licence, and when not doing that is a double-screening digital immigrant and prolific tweeter.
Stewart M John, OBE, CEng, FEng, FRAeS
Stewart John is Brooklands Museum’s longest-serving Trustee, appointed in 1994 following a long career in the airline and aircraft engineering industries, in Europe and the Pacific Rim in particular.
Stewart trained as an apprentice with BOAC and was seconded to Kuwait Airlines and Malaysia-Singapore Airlines before returning to British Airways in various managerial positions, ultimately being responsible for maintenance of BA’s Boeing 707 and 747 fleets. In 1977 he joined Cathay Pacific and in 1980 became Engineering Director, responsible for its wide-bodied fleet and for Dragonair’s fleet of narrow-bodied aircraft.
Stewart has been a consultant to British Aerospace and Rolls Royce, and has held numerous executive, non-executive and other appointments, including being President of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1997-98 and a former President of the International Federation of Airworthiness. He is a classic car enthusiast and enjoys watching Rugby football.
Dr Ruth Mallors-Ray OBE FRAeS
A Trustee of Brooklands Museum since July 2019, Ruth works in transformation, innovation and knowledge exchange and is Director of RMR Consultants, providing advisory services primarily in aerospace and aviation communities.
Ruth was previously Chief Operating Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute, which advises Government and industry on strategic aerospace research and technology investment. Before this, Ruth was Director of the Aerospace, Aviation and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network.
Before being “adopted” by the aerospace community, Ruth worked across a range of sectors including professional services, retail, engineering and oil and gas.
Ruth holds a Phd and BSc in Chemistry, is a member of the Royal Society of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Non-Executive Director of the Knowledge Transfer Network and member of the Association of Consulting and Engineering Advisory Board. She was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to Science, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer.
Simon is Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at BBC Studios UK - the UK's most awarded production company and distributor of television content. He is responsible for leading the development of growth plans & new business initiatives for the business, which also includes “UKTV” - one of the UK’s leading multi-channel television broadcasters.
Simon previously served as UKTV's Chief Transformation Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and Board Marketing Director; joining UKTV from Kantar Consulting, where he worked internationally with blue-chip organisations including Coke and Bacardi-Martini. A marketer by background, Simon is a Fellow of the Marketing Society & The Marketing Academy, having spent his formative years in blue-chip marketing & innovation roles at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo; managing leading household brands such as Walkers Crisps, Tropicana, Flash and Fairy Liquid.
Simon is also a Non-Executive Director for Murphy Cobb & Associates – a marketing communications production consultancy and lives locally with his wife & two children.
Marilyn Scott MBE
Marilyn has worked in museums, galleries and heritage attractions for over 30 years. She is currently Director of the award winning Lightbox in Woking Surrey, winner of The Art Fund Prize in 2008. She led The Lightbox from feasibility study to opening of the building in 2007, having raised £7.2m for the construction and fit out. Marilyn has worked in national museums, at the V&A and Science Museum and for The National Trust. Marilyn has wide experience in the consulting field and her areas of specialism include fundraising, income generation and sustainability, strategic and business planning. She has extensive experience of managing organisations within a Trust framework and works with Trustees to improve and enhance governance.
Marilyn also has international experience and works as a consultant for The British Council advising museums and galleries on business planning and staff development. She has recently worked in China, Slovenia, Taiwan and Georgia.
Randolph W. Sesson Jnr., MBA, BA
Randy Sesson is a US and UK citizen. He has worked as an investment banker for more than 35 years, primarily with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, and currently manages his own firm, Blackbird Capital Partners.
Randy advises transport, oil and gas and infrastructure companies on a variety of transaction types including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital raisings and financial restructurings. He has lived in London since 2000, prior to which he lived in both New York and Hong Kong.
Randy is a 1985 graduate of Yale College and a 1989 graduate of Stanford Business School. In addition to his Brooklands responsibilities, Randy has also been Chairman since 2002 of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity – London. He is a keen F1 and GT motor racing fan, and an aviation enthusiast, having been fortunate enough to fly on Concorde several times.
Geoff trained at Brooklands as an Undergraduate Apprentice with BAC, graduating with an Aeronautical Engineering degree, before joining British Airways for a 31-year career in operational roles, including running “day to day “ worldwide operations and a number of senior roles including Director of Safety and Security and Director of Ground Operations. He became one of the airline’s main links with Brooklands and was instrumental in BA’s decision to loan Concorde G-BBDG to the Museum.
After British Airways, Geoff worked for mining company Rio Tinto as Global Aviation Safety Adviser, and for five years as Director of Safety and Security at easyJet, before retiring in 2018.
A Chartered Engineer with an MBA, Geoff is currently a safety adviser to the Board of Merlin Entertainments PLC and Chair of Governors of Sir William Perkins’s School in Chertsey. He also continues to undertake a number of advisory roles within the aviation industry.
Georgina is the Managing Director for P & A Wood, a Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Car dealership specialising is sales, service, restoration and spare parts for all Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors cars from 1904 to present day and official Rolls-Royce Motor Cars dealers.
Georgina is the daughter of Paul Wood, one of the founding brothers of P & A Wood, and has been surrounded by unique and interesting motor cars her entire life. She has passion and enthusiasm for elderly automobiles and has completed a number of trials and rallies in Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, as well as driving the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 10 times (so far!) in her own 1903 De Dion Bouton.
Among one of her proudest achievements is driving the Napier Railton on behalf of Brooklands Museum at Wings & Wheels, Dunsfold, in 2014.
Mark Wood CBE
Mark Wood is a chartered accountant who began his career with Price Waterhouse. Having worked in insurance and banking in London and New York he became CEO of the AA's commercial businesses and subsequently UK CEO of AXA then UK and European CEO at Prudential.
He is currently senior independent director at RAC Motoring Services and chairman of Acquis Insurance, Utility Bidder, PensionBee, Digitalis, and Leakbot. Additionally he is an Operating Partner and Limited Partner at Advent International.
Mark has recently stepped down after a full nine year term as Chairman of the Trustees at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the charity which operates Childline. He was awarded CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2017 in recognition of his leadership of the NSPCC's Full Stop Appeal.
James Thorne, Company Secretary
James, a consultant Solicitor and Brooklands Museum volunteer, was appointed company secretary in January 2019.
James qualified as a Solicitor in 1992. After five further years in the corporate/M&A department of a City law firm (included two years in Tokyo), he worked in a number of practices in the south-east, before setting up his own legal and company secretarial consultancy in 2009.
James is a regular weekend steward at the Museum and, although he has a particular interest in motor racing history, enjoys helping in the Reithian task of informing, educating and (hopefully) entertaining visitors on all aspects of the site’s extraordinary history, and the personalities who made it happen.
An RFU-qualified referee since 2009 and an FA-qualified referee since 2015, in the winter months James can also be found – when ageing joints permit – endeavouring to keep order on the sports fields of Surrey.
Mr Allan Winn
The Rt. Hon. Lord Trefgarne, PC
Sir Ralph Robins, DL, FEng, FRAeS
Professor Michael Joy, OBE, MD, FRCP, FACC, FESC, FRAeS