Martin Hunt, Chair
I joined the Trust in April 2020, discovered Crossness Engines Trust, when I lead a team that completed actuation upgrade on 14x Victorian valves, on the current Thames Water site, part of the Tideway project in 2011. I was impressed with the Victorian engineering at the time, and this ultimately that led me back to the Trust this year. My career has covered a wide variety of management roles, from QA & Environmental, to Site Services, International Sales & Marketing, and Managing Director; for companies in the Valve & Actuation business within Oil and Gas, Energy, and Water / Water Treatment segments.
I bring with me skills that will help drive and develop the Trust as it continues to gain recognition as the Cathedral in the Marsh, giving education & inspiration to visitors, and providing opportunities for volunteers to continue to Preserve and Conserve the engines and buildings. This is an exciting time to be with the Trust to help share the legacy of Joseph Bazalgette, that not only solved London's health problems, but the idea was copied around all major cities. It is this that drives my passion to help the Trust succeed.
Mike Jones, Company Secretary
I joined the Trust about twenty five years ago, whilst I was working as an Information Systems Manager for a government agency, having spent most of my working life in IT, including working with the earliest personal computers. I started working on a restoration project but soon gravitated towards areas of work that reflected my training in both systems analysis and project management and I’ve been very involved in putting together bids for all of the major funding the Trust has received. I also deliver talks on Crossness to groups, both on site and elsewhere. I have to admit that, prior to a visit to a Garden Rail exhibition in the Boiler House I was not aware of Crossness or the significance of Joseph Bazalgette. Almost as an afterthought I said to my wife just before we were leaving the exhibition that I wanted to have a quick look at the engines. I did and was hooked. Even now walking into the Beam Engine House reminds me of how I felt on that first visit – amazed at the quality of engineering and the building. Subsequently learning that Bazalgette’s system continues to serve London and that his work saved the lives of tens of thousands of Londoners has only increased that amazement.
Peter Nelson, Vice Chair
I was invited onto the Crossness Engine Trust board in 2013. I was then Head of Objects Conservation at the National Maritime Museum, where we had a problem that we hoped Crossness might be able to help us with (which they did very well!). Invited for a visit, I walked into this cathedral of cast iron. I was delighted when they asked me to join.
My background is furniture and wooden objects conservation. Following an MA in Conservation from the Royal College of Art, I practiced at the Victoria and Albert Museum, NMM and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and I am currently Conservator Emeritus at NMM.
I have always been fascinated by Victorian era technology and all things cast iron for which the Crossness site is a gold mine. These massive engines, awe-inspiring in their scale and beauty, and the human endeavour that envisioned the solution and brought them into being are truly wonderous. Being with the volunteers, who clearly feel the same way, is such a pleasure.
Alison Williams, TWUL
I joined the Trust having been requested by Thames Water to act as a representative on the Crossness Engine Trust Board. I had previously visited the site and been involved from a Thames Water perspective as the Area Operations Manager for the area including Crossness Sewage Treatment Works. When I was introduced as a potential Trustee I was very impressed by the involvement of so many dedicated volunteers, working to maintain the site and refurbish the engines. I have worked for Thames Water for most of my career, and for a large part of this in the wastewater treatment part of the business, involved at both Crossness and Beckton STWs, and so the historical link back to Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the enormous legacy he created resonates strongly with me. My career has brought me to a role now working on the Thames Tideway Tunnel – which is considered to be a project on a grand scale building on that Bazalgette legacy to protect London and the River Thames from pollution. As well as a science degree and a masters degree in water pollution control, I have qualifications in management and in health and safety. In my role in the Trust I have more recently taken a leading role in health and safety, and I believe we have made good strides in ensuring the site is a safe place for all volunteers to work and spend time. We have faced many challenges over the last few years and I am always impressed by the dedication of the Crossness Engine Trust to face those challenges and work through them to improve and build on the offering of the site to the community and to interested parties and individuals around the world.
I first visited Crossness on a steaming day in April 2017 and had a long conversation with RANGvolunteers about their railway aspirations. I was hooked. I knew I wanted to get involved in helpingconstruct the railway. After I retired I started to volunteer at RANG in April 2018. Volunteering wouldgive me a chance to do something completely different to my years working in an office. Learning newskills and playing an active contributory role in this exciting project.With encouragement from Robin and Chris I stood for election to the Board as I felt my changemanagement skills, ideas and experience could be a benefit to the Trust. I was elected to the Board inSeptember 2018 with 3 other new Board members.I’d worked in Local Government for 45 years (Sep 1972 - June 2017) the last 29 at London Boroughof Redbridge as Head of Revenues managing 65 staff. The job was varied and interesting albeitchallenging. Responsibilities included advising the Director about revenues matters, attendingCommittees and presenting reports to Councillors, staff recruitment and management, identifying newopportunities & ways of working including change management.Despite the dire situation we are experiencing currently with lock down I think we have a Board thathave a set of skills to help us endure the COVID 19 storm and move forward out of lock down slowlybut surely at a measured pace. The recent arrival of Martin Hunt and Chris Foord are valuableadditions bringing much needed skills and experience. That added to the existing skill set is a definiteboost at a difficult time.I am looking forward to completion of the RANG network and associated landscaping as well asworking with colleagues on Trust income generation projects and fund raising.
I started volunteering at Crossness in Nov 1995 and in the main have cleaned up and then painted (with others) a lot of the cast iron around the Prince Consort engine, and the windows both on the Ground and Beam Floors. I have also worked in the Boiler House (ground floor and basement), Fitting Shop, Valve House East, and Economiser House.
Since 2000, I have been the Trust’s Membership Secretary (from 207 members to currently over 500). In 2011, I was appointed as one of two Joint Volunteer Co-ordinators and in 2015, became a Member of the Works Committee and a Trust Board Member, now doing the Minutes for both of these Meetings. I circulate The “Record” to our members and recently, the new Crossness Chronicle to our volunteers.
On Open Days, I seek to engage new Volunteers and Trust members, and to collect Gift Aid payments and declaration forms prior to listing them for the claim to HMRC.
I have volunteered for almost all of my life (and sometimes being volunteered!) and my motivation is “to make a difference”, for which Crossness gives me enormous scope. It is such an inspiring place.
Having also been an active member of another local organisation for 50 years, I (as an ex National Serviceman) was chosen as Greenwich Veteran of the Year 2016, In the 2017 New Year’s Honours List, I was awarded a British Empire Medal for voluntary services to Learning Disability and Heritage (having then been at Crossness for 20 years).
I think Engineering is in my blood. I grew up with an Engineer, I read Mechanical Engineering at university and spent most of my working life in this field. I started working on nuclear reactor design and then moved to the refrigeration industry where I stayed almost 40 years covering design and project management. The refrigeration contracting involved substantial building works and services where we operated as both Principal Designer and Principle Contractor. This, together with my knowledge of pressure systems design, complements the Crossness environment.
I’ve known Crossness for many years as my father was a founding member of the Trust and I joined the Trust as a volunteer in 2015. At first, my time was spent preparing and painting various buildings and items of equipment around the site before giving some assistance to the RANG railway; I then took on Health & Safety duties and more recently, became a member of the Board of Trustees.
I enjoy drawing and I’m creating electronic drawings of the site and buildings charting its history through each of the changes that it has gone through. The scale & grandeur of the Victorian engineering & buildings never ceases to amaze me and I’m proud to be part of its future.
Kirsty Macklen, Hall Place - Bexley Heath
I have been a Trustee at Crossness since 2017. Crossness fascinates me with its bright and bold Victorian engineering, with tongue in cheek detail such as the fig leaves on the ornate metal work. It is a fascinating window into wastewater treatment in the Victorian period and fantastic that it survives to this day. The passion shown by the volunteers is wonderful and we only hope that we can encourage more volunteers to come and support us, and create wider awareness amongst the public and funding bodies.
My degree in archaeology and ancient history and Master’s degree in Museum Studies means all types of history fascinate me, as well as preserving and protecting it. I have previously worked at the Victorian & Albert Museum, as well as in independent museums and local authority run museums and historic buildings. I am currently the Collections Manager at Hall Place & Gardens where I am in charge of volunteer recruitment and management, researching and curating exhibitions, looking after the boroughs museum collection, assisting with the upkeep of our grade I listed Tudor house, running our social media accounts and assisting with our website, and organising some of our events that we hold throughout the year. We are a very small team and everyone gets stuck in and sings from the same hymn sheet which makes for a great atmosphere and productivity. I look forward to our next stage of development and working with you all and our new Chair to further Crossness to gaining Museum Accreditation status. Also to develop the organisation so it is financially sustainable and efficient for future conservation, preservation, engagement and education.
Peter Walters, RANG
I joined the trust as a volunteer in January 2019 as a member of the RANG team. I have been involved with track design, compiling the Safety Management System document, preservation of the Loco, compiling the RANG rule book and track build. I was invited to join the Board of Trustees in August 2019. I am the chair of the Resilience Committee.
In the past I have worked in the music industry as a Road Manager, Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer. As a Sound Engineer in the film industry. In the Broadcast Industry as a systems architect, design consultant and as a consultant engineer for large broadcast/computer systems. I have owned and have been Managing Director of 2 Limited Companies. I have worked in numerous countries around the world. I am a Prince2 practitioner.
I bring skills to the Trust that I believe will assist the Trust to evolve into a thriving organisation going forwards. I look forwards to working within the Trust in the future to preserve and improve Crossness for the interest and enjoyment of future generations.
Robin Parkinson RANG
Board member and Railway team leader since 2017
Apprenticeship with D Napier & Son.
Coca-Cola Export Corp trouble shooting for European plants. One year contract in Ireland to commission what was then the fastest plant in Europe followed by joining Westinghouse Ireland. Six month contract as an NGO working in Cambodia supervising the reconstruction of a fertilizer factory after Pol Pot regime.
Joining Thames Water in 2000 was my introduction to “The Cathedral on the Marsh” where I had the satisfaction of making a number of the oil plots that adorn Prince Consort today.
Late 2016 I was asked to volunteer at Crossness to lead the construction of the railway, we started with two myself and Christine followed by two more now we have a dedicated team of twelve with a few others that help out when available.
Since spring of 2017 the team have restored the locomotive and carriage, and built nearly 480 meters of track and started passenger operation.
PRESERVING AN INDUSTRIAL CATHEDRAL