David Williams-Thomas is former managing director and chairman of Stevens & Williams Limited, which became Royal Brierley Crystal Limited, world famous for its glass. Founded in 1846 the trading name of Stevens and Williams was used until 1930 when the company became Royal Brierley Crystal to signify its appointment as the Royal British Glassmakers. Previously President of the Glass Manufacturers Federation and a Council member of the Society of Glass Technology David has extensive experience of financial management and is also a Trustee of Pershore Abbey. He was High Sheriff of the West Midlands County in 1982 and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Worcester 1985 and continuing and a Member of the Council of the Royal Warrant Holders Association 1985-1995.
A former Trustee of the BGF, David became a Patron on the 15 December 2014.
Graham Knowles – Chairman
Graham Knowles and his family have been in business in the Black County for over 50 years. Graham is Chief Executive of the local family run Hulbert Group of companies, founded in 1939 by his Father. He has extensive experience of general and financial management and was a Director of the Group that developed The Mailbox in Birmingham. He is committed to Black Country activities and has assisted various initiatives e.g. installing and maintaining the press at the entrance to the Black Country Living Museum. He is also a Director of Pedmore Sporting Club, a Black Country based charity, supporting good local causes.
Graham Fisher MBE
Graham Fisher MBE is a writer and broadcaster with a lifelong dedication to inland waterways that led to his investiture in 2001. In 2005 he was voted Inland Waterways Personality of the Year and in 2012 was appointed as an inaugural member of the newly-constituted Canal & River Trust where he served the maximum two terms with distinction. He has latterly become acknowledged as an ad hoc ambassador for the Stourbridge Glass industry and is now a leading figure in examining it from the perspective of the waterways. In 2015 he was a jury member for the International Festival of Glass Biennale.
Graham is a regular guest on the public speaking circuit and is the author of a range of books. He is credited with numerous television and radio appearances and he produces his own independent broadcasts. In 2018 he was recognised for his contribution to local broadcasting and is ‘the voice of the Black Country’ for West Midlands History. He is responsible for PR and communications and edits BGF’s e-journal GlassCuts.
Allister Malcolm is one of the country’s most innovative Glass Artists of his generation. He is a master-craftsman combining traditional glassmaking skills with a modern-day twist. A 1997 graduate from the University of Wolverhampton he is currently the resident glass artist at the White House Cone Museum of Glass. Allister’s studio work is continually evolving whilst demand for his work grows. He exhibits throughout the UK and internationally. Commissions from corporate and private clients in the USA, Europe and the Middle East support evidence of his international acclaim. He is passionate about conserving British glass heritage. His endeavours to support the world of glass within the UK have earned him the Title of “Honorary Freeman” of The Worshipful Company of The Glass-sellers of London.
Gavin is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants; a Member of the Institute of Residential Property Management and an Associate of The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Prior to setting up his own accountancy practice, Bennett Whitehouse, he was a Partner at Clement Keys, one of the major accountancy firms in Birmingham employing circa 150 people and PKF Cooper Parry (following the acquisition of Clement Keys). He is also Founder of Clearview Software, an accountancy software developer and a Director/owner of Moors Whitehouse a provider of specialist accountancy and payroll services. He is also a Director of Pedmore Sporting Club, a Black Country based charity supporting good, local causes.
He will be responsible for the overview all financial matters and will lead on the development of systems, reporting and control of operational performance and strategic planning. He will also take the lead on all fiscal issues and has good contacts with providers of finance. Professor James Measell
Seen here at an address at Wheeling, West Virginia, when he spoke about Harry Northwood (1860 – 1919), eldest son of John Northwood Snr. who engraved the 19th Century Portland Vase. Although based in Ohio, USA, James is a regular visitor to the UK and is well known to us as a friend. He completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2016, and he is currently associated with the university as an Honorary Research Fellow. As well as lectures, James contributes frequently to The Blackcountryman magazine, Glass Matters, The Journal of the Glass Society, and other BGF publications.
James will add his extensive knowledge of glass collecting to the new museum and is in touch with a number of American glass collector clubs and other charities which will assist with our future fundraising.
Formerly an Ambassador of the BGF and now a Trustee Will is very well know as the glass expert on BBC Antiques Roadshow. He is an auctioneer with a passion for 20th Century ceramics and glass and is a Director of Fieldings Auctioneers in Stourbridge. He will add his extensive knowledge of glass to the new museum and will be heading up our fundraising committee. Will is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London.
Growing up in the West Midlands, Chris is one of only a few black glassblowers in the UK. He creates highly personal works in glass and mixed media and a signature theme are ‘copper cages’. These are created from simple copper tubing and wire but to dramatic effect. The glass, by contrast, Chris compares to the human spirit, attempting to break free despite the restrictions that hold it in place. Chris says: “Like the glass I have pushed my approach in how I work with glass and ceramics in both traditional and experimental methods, to create contemporary artworks that represent my passion for this part of our history. As a black glassblower, I am one of few and on a quest to find and inspire more. My main purpose, however, is to engage the audience on issues that are hard to confront on many levels, using art to help overcome some of the traumas that haunt our collective past” An emerging artist and a recent graduate from Wolverhampton University, Chris received a special commendation at the 2019 British Glass Biennale held in Stourbridge, UK. He has not only become a leading voice within the contemporary British art-glass scene but also with the continued conversation surrounding Black Lives Matter and racial inequality.
Codsall-raised Elliot graduated from Bangor University in Wales with a degree in psychology before studying at Wolverhampton where he obtained a Masters in Applied Arts. He worked for Peter Layton as part of his London Glass-blowing studio team for eight years before ‘going solo’. The recipient of numerous prestigious awards since, including the British Glass Biennale Craft & Design award in May 2015, Elliot was the winner of the second season of the Netflix series Blown Away that streamed in 2021.
Larry is a founding Director of BPN architects who worked alongside developer CDP from the inception of the idea for a Glass Museum at Wordsley. He brings experience of a range of projects across all sectors with a particular interest in Listed Buildings and historic structures which involves repair, restoration and contemporary new additions. The more recent work of his office has focussed on mixed use regeneration projects with collaboration as a central and important theme. The work of the practice has been acknowledged with a number of design and construction awards. See: www.bpnarchitects.co.uk