Manchester Historic Buildings Trust (MHBT) was established in 1998, and the following people now sit on the Board of Trustees. Board meeting are held every month at the house.
Frank Galvin (Chair)
Retired museum curator who worked in various roles for Stockport’s Heritage Service for 32 years and was responsible for eight heritage sites and their collections. Actively involved in the restoration of Eizabeth Gaskell’s House firstly as curatorial advisory, he subsequently became a Trustee in September 2012 and Chair of the Board in February 2015. He is also a Trustee for the Mellor Archaeological Trust and the Bahamas Locomotive Society.
Louanne Collins (Acting Chair)
Her career includes setting up the Statistics collection at Warwick University and assisting in setting up and directing the Macclesfield Silk Museum, firstly as a curator and archivist and finally as Director responsible for four sites. She has also written a number of non-academic publications and is an active member of the Textile Society. She has been involved with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House since the early days of fund raising and has been a Trustee since January 2015.
Anthony Burton (Secretary)
Retired museum curator who worked at the Victorian and Albert Museum, London in The National Art Library and as Head of the V&A’s Museum of Childhood. He also taught museum studies at Kingston University and has lectured and written on 19th Century art, literature and culture. He was a trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum in Bloomsbury. He has been a Trustee since May 2015 and Secretary to the Board from April 2016
Janet Allen MBE (President)
The guiding hand behind the preservation and restoration of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. as Chair of the Gaskell Society 1998-2004 she led a group of campaigners who set up the MHBT in 1998 who went on to buy the house and raise funds for its restoration. She was chair of the MHBT throughout the restoration process, culminating in the successful opening of the house to the public in October 2014. In 2015 she was elected as President in recognition for her work. She has also been a Trustee of the Buxton Opera House, the Spring Bank Arts Centre in new Mills and a Librarian at the Portico Library, Manchester.
Frank Drainey (Treasurer)
Practicing accountant who runs his own company in Altrincham, as well as a north-west based dry cleaning and laundry business. He was initially attracted to working with MHBT via his Unitarian connections. He has been a Trustee and Treasurer since August 2011.
Ruth joined as a trustee in 2017 and is developing Elizabeth Gaskell’s House’s fundraising strategy. Ruth has ten years of experience in communications, first in the business-to-business sector in trade publications and international events, and then in higher education at the universities of Cambridge and Manchester. Her current role as Senior Development Officer at The University of Manchester takes her regularly to London and Switzerland, and occasionally to Hong Kong, working with senior business people and philanthropists who are inspired by supporting opportunities for the younger generation.
Now retired, Nick has worked initially as a solicitor for North American Investment Bank in the City of London before moving on to senior management positions in large, retail financial services and consumer sectors in Bristol and Manchester. He also ran a successful consultancy providing recovery services to the banking sector. He became a Trustee in July 2016.
Practicing Architect at Lloyd Evans Prichard and has been accredited in Building Conservation for the past ten years. He is Honorary Secretary for the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association, having being the association’s President in 2014. He is also a member for the Chester Diocesan Advisory Committee, Manchester Diocesan Property Committee and a Trustee of the Hibbert and Gregson Trusts, which contributes to the cost of maintaining Unitarian buildings of historical, architectural or cultural importance. He has been a Trustee since June 2004.
Worked within education for most of her career starting with teaching English in Finland and finishing as Head of English at Leigh Community Sixth-Form Centre. She was chair of The Gaskell Society from 2005-2011 and gave regular lectures and classes to a wide range of bodies, chiefly on Elizabeth Gaskell and other Victorian Writers. She has been a Trustee since 2004.
If you would like to contact any of our Trustees or are interested in becoming a Trustee please do so via the house address or email email@example.com