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.
Hannah James - Events Manager
The majority of Hannah’s career has been spent in the food world. Hannah knows a lot of the local producers personally, and has grown up with 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. Hannah sits on the committee of the Slow Food Ludlow & Marches group. A keen cook and advocate of using local produce, the lines between Hannah's work and home life are often blurred, in a good way.
Sally Maile - Office Manager
Sally is 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 Events Manager, managing all of the admin that keeps the events ticking over.
David first volunteered at the 2002 Festival having recently moved to the area. He became a Director in 2008, and Chair of the Board in 2021, following the unforeseen death of long standing Chair Phil Maile in July of that year (see below). Now retired, David was the Chief Probation Officer for West Mercia from 2001 and was awarded an OBE in 2014, recognising his work in reducing crime locally including through developing “Care Farming” approaches, putting troubled young people back in touch with the land. David is also Chair of YSS (formerly Youth Support Services), a regional charity offering support to children, young people and families in difficulty. An active member of Slow Food, he is committed to its core values of food that is “Good, Clean and Fair” - Food that is good to eat and good for us, food that is produced cleanly with as little environmental impact as possible and food that is fair to producers, distributors and consumers all of whom are mutually dependent on each other for a sustainable food and drink system. David is also a gardener and bee keeper.
Colin Lloyd - Vice Chair
Colin became involved with the Festival many years ago, helping with the stewarding, set up and take down of the events. 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 - Director 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 - Director 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.
Max Bufton - Director lives in Ludlow and first became involved with the Festival in 2014 as a student volunteer. Over the past 7 years he has been helping with the set-up for the weekend events and taking on the management of specific areas to make sure the event runs smoothly over the weekend. With his love for Ludlow Food Festival he was delighted to be asked to become a Director in 2020 and hopes with his experience he has a lot to offer to the Festival and its events.
Michael Moore - Director joined the Festival Team as Finance Director in August 2019, coming to the role as an accountant at Whittingham Riddell, in Ludlow, he has the necessary ability to count. Michael has a long history of working with food producers and the hospitality industry, having run stands at a number of festivals, having many clients in the sector and, in his more youthful days, of organising large events for Shropshire Young Farmers. Michael is a keen cook, with a particular passion for cooking with fire. His two young children are undergoing intensive training to become Junior Bake Off champions in the future and, maybe, of becoming chefs, like their Mother, when they are older.
Nick Mundy - Director practised as a solicitor and licensed conveyancer for many years before his retirement in 2012 with particular experience in property and contract law. An enthusiastic cook, he has enjoyed a lifetime passion for good locally sourced food and believes strongly in supporting our farmers and producers as well as Ludlow trade and businesses. He has been a supporter of Ludlow Food Festival for many years and joined the Festival’s Team in 2019 – he hopes his areas of expertise can help towards its continued success.
Adam Purnell "Shropshire Lad" - Director is what it says on the tin: a lad, from Shropshire with a passion for cooking, fishing, and this beautiful county full of amazing ingredients and produce. He is a self- taught home cook who has never set foot in a professional kitchen, but aims to create innovative, inspiring dishes that are exciting and accessible. Follow his food adventures on Instagram where he has gathered a huge following of loyal fans: Shropshire Lad
And finally, a word about Phil Maile who died after a short illness in 2021, was the last of the founder members to remain on the Board, a board that he chaired for over 20 years. In the many tributes to Phil, it was said that what he did not know about Food Festivals wasn’t worth knowing. Often imitated but never bettered, festivals around the country have followed the trail that Phil blazed - some knowingly, some not even aware that someone had to create the format. The current board salute Phil’s achievements and are proud to be carrying them forward.
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.