The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust is governed by a board of trustees with a wide range of experiences and expertise, and above all a passion for the bellfoundry and its bells. Since 2016, trustees have been working to Save the Last Major Bellfoundry in Britain.
Tim Bradley – Trustee
TIM BRADLEY is a Chartered Surveyor working for the City of York Council as an Asset Manager. His working background includes property management and valuation. Tim learnt to ring in York and for nearly 40 years rang at York Minster. It was here that his love of Taylor bells was nurtured, both by ringing at the Minster – widely regarded as the finest ring of bells in the world – and by visiting many other towers.
Over his ringing career, Tim has had the opportunity to ring on many fine Taylor bells. He has also been involved in restoration and rehanging schemes for rings of bells in York. As a result, he became very interested in the technical side of bellfounding and bell hanging, particularly the products of the Loughborough Bellfoundry. Tim says, “Being appointed one of the Trustees of the Loughborough Bellfoundry has been a great honour for me, and I hope to be able to use my property background and qualifications, as well as my knowledge and love of Taylor bells, to contribute towards the project to restore the foundry buildings and infrastructure, as well as the ongoing responsibilities of the Trust.”
Robert Cooles – Trustee
ROBERT COOLES has been a change ringer for virtually 60 years and during that time has always had an interest in, and at times an involvement with, the Taylor’s Bell Foundry at Loughborough. As a Solicitor, he was involved when the Foundry was rescued by its present Directors in 2009.
He has since been involved with the plans and arrangements to ensure that the Foundry remains the principal Foundry in the world for the casting and hanging of first-class ringing bells, both for change ringing and for carillons.
Tom Hinton – Trustee
TOM HINTON is the CFO of WeSoda Limited, the World’s largest producer of Soda Ash. He is an experienced finance professional and has held the same role at Domestic and General (a specialist warranty provider), Infinis Energy (renewable power provider) and Centrica Canada (oil and gas exploration and production).
He has a background in M&A, financial reporting, control and performance management and has worked in both corporate finance and strategy. He is a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualified accountant.
For 8 years from 2010, Tom was a Trustee of Christian Aid, one of the UK’s largest charities. He chaired its finance, fundraising and investment committee with responsibility for sustaining turnover, pension fund management and allocation of funds.
Tom is married with a young family, rings church bells at Towcester and enjoys getting out rowing on the river whenever possible.
David Potter – Trustee
DAVID POTTER’s involvement with The Loughborough Bellfoundry dates back several decades during which he led various schemes that brought about the restoration of bells and bell ringing in the City of York. For this work he was awarded an M.B.E. by H M Queen Elizabeth II.
He has always admired the sound of Taylor bells and was part of the consortium that purchased the Foundry from the Administrators in 2009 when it was in financial difficulty. Since then he has been a member of the team that has set up The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust and has seen Taylor’s trade successfully.
Laith Reynolds – Trustee
LAITH REYNOLDS, a foundational member of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, was born and educated in Western Australian where he, in 1986 – 1988, restored the derelict ring of bells at St George’s Cathedral (his family church) back to English change ringing. He was president of ANZAB (the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers) from 1986 to 1988 and for the Australian Bicentenary Celebrations 0f 1988, led the restoration of some 15 rings of bells throughout Australia. During this period, Laith also oversaw the overhauling and augmenting of the bells now known as the “Swan Bells” in the City of Perth, W.A.
Laith was the ANZAB representative to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringer for 12 years and was given the “Freedom of the City of London” for his work on bells. He worked together with other senior ringers to rescue John Taylor and Co. from administration and helped restore the company to good operating health.
Andrew Slade – Trustee
ANDREW SLADE was born in Enfield, Middlesex. He learned to handle a bell on the Gillet 8 at Cheshunt and to ring at Waltham Abbey on the Taylor 12. He was elected to the Society of College Youths of London in 1967, a society of which he celebrated 50 years membership in 2017.
Andrew is married with two children and is currently based in the North of England. He was Lecturer of Mathematics at Durham University for almost 20 years, then moved to become a Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at two other universities before moving to his current role as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett University. He spent over 30 years as Tower Captain at Richmond, North Yorkshire where he also spent many happy hours performing at the Theatre Royal Richmond in over 60 plays.
Andrew’s claim to fame is that he taught Peter Davidson and others to ring bells for two of the BBC’s All Creatures Great and Small films. He currently rings with the Leeds Cathedral Band, to whom he is grateful for getting him back to serious ringing with a different surprise major method every week. Professor Slade still works with Leeds Beckett University at a very senior level. He hopes that this experience coupled with his bell ringing background can be of service to the Foundry at this interesting and exciting time.
Michael Williams – Trustee
MICHAEL WILLIAMS first visited the Loughborough Bellfoundry to ring on the Foundry’s famous bells and during his visit was excited to learn about how bells are made and tuned. Watching the casting of a bell is such a spectacular sight, and it is remarkable to imagine that the bell will likely ring out for many centuries.
Michael is a professional librarian at the University of Cambridge and is interested in the extensive archives and collections of the Bellfoundry. He hopes the project will enable the archives and museum to become more appealing and accessible to visitors. Michael regularly rings the bells at Great St Mary’s in Cambridge, where Taylor’s replaced the old bells with a brand-new set in 2009.
Andrew Wilby – Trustee
ANDREW WILBY is a founding Trustee and one of the three owners who vested the Bellfoundry buildings, archive, museum, and historic equipment in the Trust for posterity. He has a long history of service to the bell-ringing community, serving as Master of the Ancient Society of College Youths [the world’s premier ringing society] in 1978, as Secretary from 1981 to 1991, and as a Representative to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers since 1978. His service there includes as Commercial Director of the Ringing World, as Chairman of the Public Relations Committee, and membership of several other committees, including the founding of the Tower Stewardship Committee.
In addition, Andrew has project-managed several major bell restoration schemes in the UK and overseas, including the Bells of Old Bailey Holborn, Trinity Wall Street in New York, and the Swan Tower in Perth, Western Australia. In 1974 he founded the National 12 Bell Contest. Since 1981 he has been a resident ringer in Towcester, Northants, where he led that restoration and augmentation project in 1989. Similarly, following the restoration of the bells of St Helen’s Lundy Island, he has been Ringing Master of the Lundy Island Society. Since 2012 and the restoration project for that church he has been Churchwarden.
Andrew was formerly Director of Logistics at Eurostar UK Ltd and subsequently served as an elected member of South Northamptonshire Council, becoming Chairman in 2012. He has been Chairman of John Taylor & Co., leading the revival of the company’s fortunes, since 2008.
Hannah Taylor – Trustee
HANNAH TAYLOR is an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and Head of the Company Secretariat for EMEA, based out of their London office. Hannah has worked for Goldman Sachs for 10 years and has diverse Corporate Governance and Company Secretarial experience having also worked at Blackrock, Burberry, HSBC and One Housing, a London-based housing association.
Hannah’s background is in corporate governance, board effectiveness and corporate secretarial skills, and she is a qualified Company Secretary (ICSA). With much of her experience gained in high-profile investment and retail banks, Hannah has worked within a highly regulated environment for much of her career.
Hannah learned to ring as a child and on moving to London after university joined the band at Southwark Cathedral, one of the most active ringing societies in both London and the UK. In 2015 Hannah was elected to be the Ringing Master of Southwark Cathedral Society and led the appeal to rehang the bells of the Cathedral, which was completed in 2018. Hannah is now the Deputy Ringing Master at Southwark and continues to be an active member of the band.
Meet our trustees! Click the trustee to find out more.