Livery Company Officers 2019

The Master - Geoff Hughes

I am delighted and very honoured that you have invited me to be the 2020/2021 Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. My sincere thanks to you all and please accept my assurance that I will do my very best to make this as good a year as possible.

As Spring is arriving all around us, a sense of optimism and hope prevails. Daffodils, primroses, blossom and catkins all herald the start of a new year. Some of you will know that butterflies have played an important part in my life, especially in my Churchill Fellowship. Therefore, I wanted to have them ‘flying’ on my first Master’s page. They lift our hearts as they bravely emerge from their cocoon and take flight, perhaps a metaphor for us as we take our first steps out of lockdown.

I have thought regularly about what might be possible during my year and would like to share these thoughts with you. Over the last twelve months we have all learned the value of fellowship, of doing things together. My aim will be to provide opportunities to ensure that this possible.

However, we continue to face uncertainty and change. Currently we are in the midst of the full ‘roll out’ of the vaccination programme. We receive regular updates about the rules governing our daily lives. Safety must be ensured in whatever we do. We understand that Liverymen will be anxious about attending face-to-face meetings; therefore, our plan will be to have a flexible calendar that allows us to respond to the needs and wishes of you all over the coming year.

We have seen how online resources can work well and we will aim to phase in a blend of online and face-to face activities, as the situation allows. We will continue to make full use of software such as ZOOM and our excellent Website and Bulletin. Currently all meetings will be online.

So, what is being planned? In terms of online activities, we will continue to offer “Talking Heads” sessions where we can enjoy learning together about our amazing fellow liverymen. Karen Jones, Harrold Burrows, Simon Holt and Group Captain Andrew Turk (RAF Valley) will all be sharing their life stories over the next few months. We also have a virtual cheese tasting in April and a magic show in May to look forward to. Full details of these events are on the website. The work of the Awards Committee continues to be outstanding and in spite of all difficulties this year the majority of the programme has been completed. To allow Liverymen to work together in a different way we are also setting up special interest panels. These will give Liverymen the opportunity to collaborate to help young people in Wales in two important areas. Please contact Past Master Geoff Hughes if you are interested in helping the children of prisoners. Please contact Liveryman Keith Shankland if you would like to help the young homeless in Wales. The new directory of liverymen is available in the members area of our website.

It is understandably more difficult to speak with any certainty about face-to-face events. We have kept the option of a Garden Party at Usk Castle on the 13th of June open. Depending on rules about outdoor gatherings this could take place. Similarly, City Hall has worked with us to constantly review what may be possible for our Installation celebration banquet on July 3rd. We are also working with our North Wales Liverymen on plans for a lecture and garden party in August. For our away visit to Belfast aeroplanes may pose a problem so we could let everyone make their own travel arrangements and meet at the Titanic Hotel in September. We will of course take you views on what you would like in every instance.

Mention should be made of two initiatives from our Charity Committee. We will hold a charity art auction in October. Donations “from your attic” will be gratefully collected. We are also delighted that world famous photographer David Hurn is allowing us to auction “a photoshoot” with him. You could join Sean Connery, Jane Fonda and the Beatles in front of his lens. Details of both are on the website and Simon Holt is the main contact.

Finally, I would like to say how much I am looking forward to working with our excellent officers and hardworking committees. The outstanding work by our new Almoner and the membership committee provide us with support and help as we need it. The huge improvement in our website, bulletin and social media platforms are due to the dedication and hard work of our PRC committee and are much appreciated. The hard-working North Wales and London Committees allow us to be ensure we work across Wales and beyond – especially through our online interaction.

I am optimistic that we can have a wonderful year and I’m very grateful for all you support and kindness


Dr Kathy Seddon, Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 2021-2022

Senior Warden - Doctor Kathy Seddon PhDKathy Seddon was born and Raised in Newport and attended St Joseph’s High School, Tredegar Park. She gained a BSc and PGCE From King’s College, London University and went on to teach Biology in schools and colleges in England and Wales.

In 1997 Kathy was awarded a Churchill Fellowship “Arctic to Mediterranean” to set up a European Schools Internet Collaboration. Partner centres monitored butterflies, for six years, as indicators of climate change. This lead to a PhD from Exeter University (2003) “ Motivation and Learning in Online Collaboration”

In 2003 she was appointed as an eLearning Specialist at the National College for School Leadership, facilitating consultations between Head Teachers and Government Policy Teams. She was awarded Fellowship of the Linnean Society (FLS) and of the Royal Society for Arts, Science and Technology (FRSA)
Kathy was RSA Fellowship Councillor for Wales (2010-6) and Chairman of the Welsh Association of Churchill Fellows (2011-7)

Kathy became a Liveryman of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales in 2011. She has served as a Steward, Court Assistant and as an enthusiastic member of the Awards Committee with a special remit for Schools Awards.

Kathy is a volunteer member of the Marie Curie Research Strategy Group and is a research partner at the Wales Cancer Research Centre. She volunteers as a member of the Brain Tumour Charity Research Group. Kathy has published research papers and made conference presentations on both eLearning and public involvement in Health Research.

Kathy enjoys swimming, yoga and tai chi and enjoys watching Cricket and Rugby.

Major John Charles, TD*, DL, BSc, MCIOB, MInstRE, AMICE
John Charles was born in Glyncornel, Tonypandy and was educated at Tonypandy Grammar School, Polytechnic of Wales and Coventry (Lanchester) Polytechnic.

John works the Construction Industry undertaking various roles as his career has progressed, he currently acts as a Bid Manager for Morgan Sindall Construction in Tongwynlais. He is a Past Chairman of the Cardiff Centre and South Wales Region of the Chartered Institution of Building.

John was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant in June 2012. He served for over 40-years in the Reserve Army, retiring in November 2019.

John is Chairman, Secretary & Trustee of various Service Charities, Scouts and of his Regiment’s Museum. He is Chairman of Trustees the Wales Reserves & Cadet Fund.

John is a Vice President of both Penygraig & Pontypridd RFC, a dedicated follower of the Welsh Team, a keen railway enthusiast, volunteering on the Talyllyn Railway and is a dedicated allotmenteer.

The Deputy Master - GEOFF HUGHES BA, MEd, MBA

Geoff was born and raised in Usk, Monmouthshire and was educated at Monmouth School. He has lived, intermittently, in Llansoy for 34 years. He was a teacher for nine years before joining HM Prison Service in 1981 as an Assistant Governor, spending 27 years working in over 100 prisons in England and Wales. He is a former Governor of HM Prison Belmarsh - the highest security prison in UK, a former Governor of Cardiff Prison and Drake Hall women’s prison and retired in 2008 as the Area Manager for public sector prisons in Wales. He also held posts in Prison Service Headquarters, including Head of Security.

Geoff spent four years on secondment to HM Inspectorate of Prisons and in 1999 was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study prison inspection in Finland and Sweden and now travels extensively around the world as a consultant in prison reform.

He is currently Chairman and independent member of the Standards Committee of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, former independent member of the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner’s Audit Committee for Gwent and an independent member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Gwent

He is a trustee of the Roger Edwards Educational Trust (Usk) and has also been a Council Member of the Royal London Society and is a Director of “Inside Time”.

Geoff joined the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales in 2011 and has been a Court Assistant, Chairman of the Awards Committee, Junior Warden and Senior Warden.

Geoff’s extra curricula interests include Rugby (played for Newport, Pontypool, Cross Keys, Bath and Monmouthshire), skiing and travel. In September 2010 he climbed Mt Kilimanjaro with 15 former Welsh Rugby Captains to raise money for research into lung cancer at Velindre Hospital.

Geoff is married to Sue, a retired teacher who taught for over 30 years in special schools throughout England and Wales.

The Clerk - Christopher F Dale Esq. JP MIH

Christopher Dale was trained by J Lyons and Co in Hotel management and has been working in the Hotel and Catering profession since 1972. He has worked at many of the famous London hotels including the 700-roomed Cumberland at Marble Arch and 800-roomed Strand Palace Hotel. He joined Trust House Forte in 1978 after the takeover of Strand Hotels and became deputy General Manager of the Waldorf Hotel and General Manager of the London Ryan Hotel for Thistle Hotels before joining the private Hotel sector.
In the private sector he has worked in Dartmouth and in Kent for Country Club Hotels and Golf Courses. He is a member of the HCIMA, now Institute of Hospitality and has extensive experience in running public facing businesses.
He moved to Wales in 1995 to take up a General Manager role at a County House Hotel and has been here every since.
He joined the Firing Line Museum, the Regimental Museum of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and the Royal Welsh, at Cardiff Castle as Director in May 2009.
Married to Pauline, he is a local Magistrate and Rotarian.
He became the Clerk to the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales in February 2019.

Philip KitchenPhilip Kitchen is a Chartered Accountant and was clothed as the Worshipful Livery Company’s Treasurer on 25th September 2020 at the Cardiff and County Club.