Mr Alasdair MacConachie, OBE, DLChairman
Born in India and educated in Rhodesia, Alasdair followed in his father’s military footsteps (he commanded the 5th Ghurkha Rifles in the Burma Campaign) by joining the 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment. He later joined Anglo American and DeBeers Mining before moving on to the Ford Motor Company. In 1981 he joined Sherwoods as Director responsible for commercial vehicle operations and assumed control of the company in 1983, since when business turnover has grown from £6m to £45m. Employing some 160 staff it is now one of the largest independent retailers within the GM franchise in the UK (Vauxhall and Chevrolet). In 1992 Alasdair was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for County Durham and in 2002 Vice Lord Lieutenant for County Durham. He received an OBE in January 2004 and an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Teesside University in 2008. He became High Sheriff of the County Palatine of Durham 2009-2010. In addition to his role of Chairman of Durham School, he also chairs a variety of other institutions including Darlington College, is president of various boards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Mr Frank NicholsonVice Chairman
Educated at Harrow School and Magdalene College, Cambridge, Frank was Managing Director of Vaux Breweries from 1984 to 1999. Since then he has been self-employed in the capacity of business advisor, mentor and a variety of non-executive directorships as well as occupying numerous charitable roles such as a Trustee of the Northern Rock Foundation and the Sunderland Youth Enterprise Trust. In this latter role he was granted the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2010 to follow his appointment as the Prince of Wales Community Ambassador in 1995. He has served as Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham and in 1999/2000 as High Sheriff of the County.
Mr Peter S Bell
Peter has been heavily involved in Durham School since 1970 when he followed his father and family tradition in joining the School. He left in 1977 having served as Head of School, Captain of Cricket and Captain of Rugby. Following a year in the USA he undertook an M.A. in Modern History and American Politics at St. Andrews University – where he was elected and had the honour to serve as President of the Kate Kennedy Club and was awarded a Double Blue in representing Scottish Universities at both Cricket and Rugby. Graduating from Scotland he attended Loughborough University for further Post-Graduate qualifications before taking up a career in Advertising and Marketing. Worked at Saatchi and Saatchi (London) –clients (British Airways, Post Office, Conservative Party, Sports Aid Foundation); then Lowe Howard-Spink Advertising –(Whitbread, Vauxhall, Lloyds Bank)….before setting up and running his own Marketing and Management Consultancy. Peter is currently a Director of a number of Financial Insurance companies in the UK, involved in Property Investment and a Trustee of Durham Charity SCA. Married with two sons and a daughter who have all attended Durham School – Peter has also recently served a 5 year term as President of the Old Dunelmian Society. He was appointed High Sheriff of the County Palatine of Durham 2013-2014.
Mrs Margaret Coates
Prof Simon Hackett
Professor Hackett is Principal of St Mary’s College, Durham University and is a Professor of Applied Social Sciences in SASS, teaching primarily on the MSW Programme as well as the MSc in Criminology and is a member of the University Research Committee. He is responsible for overall direction and management of St Mary’s College, which is Durham’s third oldest college and comprises a community of approximately 750 undergraduates and 100 postgraduates from all disciplines. Prior to joining Durham University, he was Professor of Child Welfare at the University of Bedfordshire and, before that, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at Durham. He also taught at the University of Manchester. Simon is a Trustee and Agency Decision Maker for DFW Adoption, a local adoption charity and is Vice Chair of NOTA, a major European professional association which promotes work with offenders as a way of safeguarding children. He has authored and edited many books and published academic works in Journal papers and other research publications. You can follow Simon on Twitter @simonjhackett
Miss Gillian Kerr
Mr Richard H Langdon
Richard Langdon qualified as a solicitor over 40 years ago. Most of his professional career was in a general practice wherein he handled most aspects of legal work, criminal, matrimonial, civil litigation and company and commercial work. In his latter years he dealt mainly with commercial matters. He retired from private practice in 2003 and worked in Local Government for 8 years experiencing the joys and frustrations of the public sector. His two sons came to Durham School some years ago with David, the eldest, being here when we first started to take girls in the 6th form. His sons left Durham School but Richard stayed! He became a Governor of the School and now also chairs the School’s trading company, Durham School Trading. His interests are more toward music at the school and is constantly enthusiastic about the quality the School produces in our musicians and how it always seems to be able to year after year. He has been very involved in St. Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham for many years he recently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for it – “A walk in the park”, he says, “the Serengeti National Park!” He has been very much involved in the Durham International Schools initiative from day one and sees it as a wonderful and exciting way to provide and enhance education overseas as well as to broaden the education and experience of our pupils here in Durham.
Mrs Sharon Langridge
Sharon has worked as a solicitor since 1994 and specialises in employment law and HR issues. With a longstanding interest in workplace issues she entered the legal profession with the intention of becoming an employment lawyer. Her interest in this field was fired whilst studying for a Diploma in Industrial Relations, having originally taken a degree in German and French at London University. She has worked in a variety of legal environments, both large and small and set up a niche employment law practice in 2005 and operates with a small team of five. Most of her clients are employers, both public and private sector, though they also represent individual managers and senior executives. The firm is led very much by its values of professionalism and integrity, with the client at the very centre of their ethos. They try to combine these traditional values with steps to create a modern way of delivering legal services that is responsive to clients’ needs.
Her professional memberships include: the Law Society, Employment Lawyers Association, Industrial Law Society, CIPD; Association of Women Solicitors (Former Chair of North East Region); Newcastle Law Society (Former Standing Committee member); Justice for Children (Kenya) (Founding Trustee of the charity and former Chair); Women into the Network (Director / Board member-current); North East Chamber of Commerce (Member of the Women’s Advisory Board-current).
She lives in Newcastle with her husband and son and in her spare time likes to read modern fiction, indulging her creative side through needlecrafts, hill walking, cycling and camping.
Mr Andrew Martell
Appointed as a School Governor in the summer 2012, Andrew Martell is now Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Finance & General Purposes Committee. Aged 65 and married with three children, he retired in April 2013 from investment management group, Brewin Dolphin, where he was a Divisional Director. A former High Sheriff, he is a Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham. He chairs the County Priory Group of St John Ambulance and is a trustee of the County Durham Community Foundation and the DLI Museum. His family has agricultural and forestry interests. He enjoys shooting, reading and listening to classical music. Educated at The Dragon School and Wellington College, he has a degree in English Literature from York University.