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 (Trustee)

John has been a trustee since 2012. After 20 years practising as a solicitor in South London he was appointed a District Judge in 1992, assisting, latterly, in the training, appraisal and mentoring of newly appointed County Court district judges until his retirement in 2012. He has a longstanding interest in history and the arts, particularly music and theatre. In 1999/2000 he was a member of the opera panel of the Laurence Olivier Awards scheme and currently works as a volunteer on various projects at Kew National Archives. He has also been active in local planning and related issues and liaising with the local authority from time to time on behalf of his local amenity society.

Helen McCabe (Trustee)

Helen has been a trustee 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 (Trustee)

Tessa has been a trustee since 2007. Tessa has forty years’ experience at the Museum of London and the Victoria and Albert Museum and is currently V&A Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Research Curator. She has curated exhibitions on furniture, jewellery and silver and contributed to the Museum of London's exhibitions on The Huguenots, V&A’s British and European, Sacred Silver and Gilbert Galleries. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a trustee of the Huguenot Museum and external adviser to Apollo Magazine and the Silver Society.  Her forthcoming book Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture completed as Getty Rothschild Fellow in 2019 will be published by the V&A in November 2021. 

Jonathan Garnault Ouvry (Trustee)

Jonathan has been a trustee since 2005. 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, and he is also President of the George Eliot Fellowship. Jonathan is a keen amateur singer, bass-baritone, particularly of Gilbert and Sullivan, having sung the major roles in all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

Other information


Idlewild Trust is managed by our part-time Director, Eleanor McGrath. Eleanor has held previous roles at Art Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The National Trust and Christie's. Alongside her work with the Idlewild Trust, Eleanor is also studying for her MBA degree at the University Oxford as a Linbury Scholar alongside other research and governance roles. 

Eleanor can be contacted on