Trustees and Staff

J Anthony (Tony) Ford OBE (Chair)

Tony has been a trustee of Idlewild Trust since 2000 and Chair since 2009. After some years practising as a solicitor he moved into arts administration as the Director of Space Studios and the Art Information Registry. He later joined the Crafts Council and became Director in 1988. Since he retired he has continued to take an active interest in the fine arts and crafts but also in the theatre, music and film.

John Gittens

John has been a trustee since November 2011. His career has been in law, initially as a solicitor in South London. In 1992 he was appointed as a District Judge in an Inner London County Court, retiring from full-time work in 2010. Latterly he assisted in the training, appraising and mentoring of newly appointed judges. He has had a lifelong interest in history and the arts and has supported music and theatre organisations in particular. In 1999-2000 he was a member of the opera panel of the Laurence Olivier Awards scheme. On a local level, he has been involved on behalf of his local community in considering and vetting all planning applications submitted to the local authority and in related matters. 

Tessa Mayhew

Tessa has been a trustee since November 2011. She is a solicitor whose career has taken her from an international litigation practice in the City to running a renewable energy business in Cornwall. Most recently she has worked as a consultant advising on renewable energy projects. Tessa  works with the Chair of Idlewild Trust on monitoring Idlewild's investments  and liaising with the Trust’s fund manager during the year. She is an accomplished amateur musician, having studied at the Royal College of Music, and enjoys chamber and choral music and opera. She is interested in garden history and is a volunteer guide at the Chelsea Physic Garden. 

Helen McCabe

Helen has been a trustee of Idlewild Trust since 2009.  After a career in teaching and publishing in London, she moved to Cornwall, where she served as a governor of Falmouth College of Art (now University College, Falmouth) from 2000-2008 and as Honorary Treasurer to the Friends Committee of International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.  Author of 'Houses and Gardens of Cornwall', she has lectured extensively throughout Britain on English and French architecture.  She has a strong interest in old buildings, chamber music, ballet and 20th-21st century British art.

Dr Tessa Murdoch

Tessa has over thirty years’ experience at the Museum of London and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She has curated exhibitions on furniture, jewellery and silver and contributed to the Museum of London's 18th century, V&A’s British and European, Sacred Silver and Gilbert Galleries. She is curatorial adviser to Handel and Hendrix in London, a trustee of the Huguenot Museum and external adviser to Apollo Magazine and the Silver Society.

Jonathan Garnault Ouvry

Jonathan is a retired Solicitor, Liveryman, former Clerk and past Upper Bailiff of the Worshipful Company of Weavers. Jonathan is much involved in Huguenot matters as a past President of The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Jonathan’s charitable involvement includes trusteeships of the French Hospital Almshouse charity and Idlewild Trust among others. Jonathan is also a volunteer Visitor with Help Musicians UK and President of the George Eliot Fellowship. He is a keen amateur singer, bass-baritone, particularly of Gilbert and Sullivan, having sung the major roles in all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas.


Rachel Oglethorpe (Director)

Rachel has been Director of Peter Minet Trust and Idlewild Trust since 2009.  Rachel’s previous background was in fundraising and she held senior positions at English National Opera, NSPCC and Tate, where she was Head of Membership in London, Liverpool and St Ives. In a pro-bono capacity, Rachel led a team from 2011-2013 that raised £550k for the preservation of the medieval tower at All Saints Church Fulham and is currently volunteer Librarian of the Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra based in Wimbledon.