Carol Anderson - Chairman
A long-term resident of Ascott under Wychwood, I am fascinated by people and their stories, past and present. The opportunity to explore and share stories from the past, especially those that shape our lives today, is what motivated me to become one of the founding trustees of AMET. I am fortunate to have worked at a senior level in the education and heritage sectors for many years, gaining a broad range of skills and experience. These I can use in my role as Chair to support the Trust in achieving its aim of keeping the story alive by encouraging further research into, and sharing of, the story of the Ascott women and the legacy of their actions.
Paul Jackson - Vice Chairman
Although now living in Charlbury, I moved to Ascott under Wychwood in 2011, having retired after a long career in senior management with FSTE 100 companies. I soon became curious to learn more about the 16 women whose names appeared on the seats on the village green. The only clue being the words ‘imprisoned 1873’. It seemed that their story had been largely forgotten. There was no national awareness of the impact of their actions, nor their legacy. Even the trade union that now embraces the early agricultural workers union had no knowledge of them. I was therefore instrumental in establishing the Trust with the aim of ensuring that story of this significant event would be more extensively researched and widely told.
Cynthia Briant - Secretary
I came across the Ascott Martyrs through a chance meeting with Paul Jackson at Burford Levellers Day. In my role as WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) organiser, I was instrumental in setting up the course to produce the memorial textile, currently displayed in the church. Now retired, I am fascinated by family and social history, particularly in rural communities, and the stories of real people. I am currently involved (as a volunteer) in setting up a WEA rural online community for people to share their rural stories, interests and pastimes and intend to promote the Ascott Martyrs through this. I was very fortunate to meet Beverley McCombs on a recent visit to New Zealand and hear about her research first-hand.
Andrew Weaver - Treasurer
I have been lucky enough to travel around the world with my work in IT and became very interested in the economic and social history of places I visit, and to understand how “today” has been shaped by the past. I moved to Ascott-under-Wychwood a couple of years ago and learnt about the Ascott Martyrs story, after which I became involved in the Study Group helping to further research the story and the social and economic context that led to their imprisonment and the consequences both locally and nationally. I subsequently became a trustee of AMET and its Treasurer.
I am passionate about social history, and to understand how our lives are shaped by the past. When I moved to Shipton under Wychwood 15 years ago I was fascinated by the rich and diverse social history of the Wychwoods. The Ascott Martyrs’ story resonated with me in so many ways. Having worked as a senior HR professional for many years I have significant experience to support the aims of AMET as a Trustee. I am also a member of the Study Group continuing to research the story to ensure the legacy of the Ascott Martyrs is shared more widely.
I was born, and have lived most of my life and raised my family, in Ascott-under-Wychwood. I have Martyrs in my family tree and knew bits of the story which always interested me. I attended some of the early meetings in the village about the Martyrs and soon realised there was much more to the story that I had grown up with. I was delighted to be able to employ my needleworking skills to contribute to the creation of the commemorative textile that now hangs in the Church. Encouraged by Paul, I joined the Trust as I think it’s important to keep the story alive for both local residents and the wider world.