Trustees and Staff

J Anthony (Tony) Ford OBE (Chair)

Tony has been a trustee of Idlewild Trust since 2000 and was Chair from 2009 to November 2020. 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 2011. After 20 years as a solicitor practising in South London he was appointed a District Judge in 1992. Latterly he assisted in the training, appraisal and mentoring of newly appointed judges, until his retirement from full time sitting in 2010. 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. He has also been involved on behalf of his local community in considering relevant planning applications and related matters and making representations to the local authority when necessary. Currently he works as a volunteer at Kew National Archives.

Tessa Mayhew 

Tessa has been a trustee since November 2011 and Chair since November 2020. She is a retired solicitor whose career took her from an international litigation practice in the City to running a renewable energy business in Cornwall. Most recently she 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 the piano at the Royal College of Music, and enjoys chamber and choral music and opera. She is currently completing a research degree at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

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 and is currently 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 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, 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.


Rachel Oglethorpe (Director)

Rachel is Director of Idlewild Trust and Peter Minet Trust.  Rachel previously worked in fundraising and held senior positions at English National Opera, NSPCC and Tate, where she was Head of Membership in London, Liverpool and St Ives.