It’s not often we name check the people who run the Festival and more specifically the directors who give all their time on a voluntary basis.
While you could never class them as a shy bunch, they do prefer the exhibitors, chefs and experts to have the limelight and quite rightly so. We thought we should at least give you a glimpse of our team behind the scenes.
Phil Maile has been chairman of the Festival for the last 19 years and was one of its founders. Having worked in the hospitality industry for 28 years running pubs, hotels and B&Bs his knowledge is second to none. Simply put, what Phil doesn’t know about the Festival isn’t worth knowing.
John Fleming runs a successful business in Ludlow and has a real passion for food, as well as real ale. John, a founding member and one of the original directors of the Festival, over the years has been involved with most aspects of the Festival’s development. He has also been actively involved with both national and international organisations promoting real food and drink, and also campaigned for the renaissance of perry as a traditional and, at one time, threatened drink from the Marches.
David Chantler OBE, first volunteered at the 2002 Festival having recently moved to the area. He was delighted to be asked to become a Director in 2008, and is now Vice Chair of the Board. Now retired David was the Chief Probation Officer for West Mercia, which includes Shropshire and was awarded an OBE in 2014, recognising his work in reducing crime locally through developing “Care Farming” approaches putting troubled young people back in touch with the land. David is also a trustee of Crow Cook Learn, based at the Discovery Centre at Craven Arms, and of YSS Ltd (formerly Youth Support Services), and Chair of Vestia, the community development arm of a large social housing provider in neighbouring Worcestershire. An active member of Slow Food, David is also a gardener and bee keeper.
Colin Lloyd became involved with the Festival 5 years ago, helping with the stewarding and setting up and taking down. He really enjoys the buzz and the willing cheerfulness of the many people who work to make each event succeed. Before working in the Civil Service he spent his time in catering. Colin grew up in a Ludlow pub and went to Birmingham College of Food. After working for a local food producer, he spent over twenty years running a pub here in Ludlow. He brings his background in business and administration plus a love of Ludlow to the Festival.
Margaret Appleton became involved with Festival through volunteering in a variety of roles. For several years she has led on the route planning for the Magnalonga, combining her love of walking with her interest in food, where it comes from and how it is produced. She studied for a City & Guilds cookery qualification and have taught cookery in various community settings, combining this with her main work in local government. Now she is retired and has more time she welcomed the opportunity to support the Ludlow Food Festival, her adoptive home town of Ludlow and the wider Marches area.
Marcus Bean is a passionate self-taught chef; he is a regular Chef & Presenter of the Chefs Super Theatre at the BBC Good Food Shows, working with the likes of James Martin, Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Tom Kerridge & many more. His personality & enthusiasm for food make him great to watch. Marcus likes to keep fit and has run the London Marathon for different charities on seven occasions (and counting)! He also won the hugely popular Channel 4's Iron Chef in 2010. Marcus & his wife Jenny run the hugely successful Brompton Cookery School & Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast on the outskirts of Shrewsbury. Brompton also has extensive grounds for growing their own produce, enabling them to share their passion for gardening, as well as cooking.
Hannah Mackley joined the Ludlow Food Festival Team as our Events Manager in January 2018. The majority of Hannah’s career has been spent in the food world – from bulk chocolate manufacturer ADM Schokinag, to more recently at Harp Lane Deli in Ludlow. Hannah knows a lot of the local producers personally, and has grown up with the Ludlow Food Festival - indeed her parents were involved from early on, so she understands the values and importance of the events within the town and the surrounding area. A keen cook and advocate of using local produce, the lines between Hannah's work and home life are often blurred.
Sally Maile although not a director, she’s the cog that keeps the wheels turning – starting off as a volunteer 18 years ago. With a background in secretarial/PA and nearly 30 years in the hospitality trade, twelve years ago she joined as a member of staff and now works alongside the Event Manager, managing all of the admin that keeps the events ticking over.
And last, but by no means least, are the 100+ VOLUNTEERS that we have on site before, after and during the festival. They are there when the hard work really begins and stick with us through rain and shine, mud, heavy lifting and litter picking. Their jobs are certainly not always glamorous but their humour, welcoming smiles and good natures are commented on by exhibitors, visitors and everyone who attends the event. Without our willing band of merry men and women we simply would not exist, they are the glue that holds the whole event together and for that we are forever in their debt.