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 17 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.
Martin Clemmey first got involved with the financial side of the festival more than 10 years ago. He has also attended as an exhibitor but took a break when running the finances of a large national charity. He is now running his own consultancy business and has returned to the team to help shape the finances, recently taking on the role of Finance Director for us.
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.
Hannah Mackley joined the Ludlow Food Festival Team as our new 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, which is still run by her husband, Henry. Hannah knows a lot of the local producers personally via her links with Harp Lane Deli and is looking forward to meeting more through the Festival. She has grown up with the Ludlow Food Festival, indeed her parents and in-laws were involved from early on, so she understands the values and importance of the events within the town and the surrounding area. Hannah has two young children and very much enjoys spending time in the kitchen with them; she also runs a cookery club at their school in her spare time.
Sally Maile although not a director, she’s the cog that keeps the wheels turning – starting off as a volunteer 17 years ago. With a background in secretarial/PA and nearly 30 years in the hospitality trade; ten years ago she joined as a member of staff and now manages all of the admin that keeps the event 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.