The current committee consists of nine members.They are:
Chairman: Mike Speed
Married with two daughters, Mike was born, grew up and was educated in Cambridge. He has been secretary for three years and a member of the Society for about six years. The early part of his career was spent in retail food before moving into the building industry when he was 20. He spent over 30 years with Wolseley UK in various senior management positions retiring in 2010. He likes to spend his spare time apart from researching his and his wife’s family, reading, listening to all sorts of music and watching his favourite football team Spurs who he tells us he has supported since he was a boy.
Secretary: Jean Evans
Jean was born in a small mining village in the Welsh Valleys near Merthyr Tydfil, leaving at 18 to study Pharmacy at Bath University. Her career began working in several large hospitals throughout the Midlands in Hospital Pharmacy meeting her husband to be Simon also a pharmacist at Leicester Royal Infirmary. With two small children they moved to Malvern in 1992 to run and eventually own Evans Pharmacy in Malvern Link. Jeans interest in family history was aroused with her father telling her snippets about his fathers family in Wales and his mothers from Devon. Jeans maternal grandparents are from Herefordshire and moved to Wales to work in the collieries. After purchasing credits to gain access to the 1901 census her grandparents details popped up and she has been hooked ever since. She has been a member of the Society for 12 years and has been on the committee previously as trips organiser. She enjoys walking, cycling, swimming, and pilates. She is an avid reader and is currently learning Italian and along with her garden and traveling which she loves to do she keeps very busy. She has helped the Society at many fairs and events.
Treasurer: David Hodgson
David has been a member of the Society since 1996 shortly after it was formed and has been Treasurer for 10 years. His family history research has taken him from Westmoreland down to Wales. David spent his working life in the meat industry. He was engaged in the Meat Hygiene Service when it was under the auspices of Local Authority Environmental Health for 20 years, and then ran a Butchers Shop for another 20 years in Colwall Village. David enjoys gardening and has chaired Colwall Horticultural Society and at present assists with the National Gardening Scheme.
Membership Secretary: Karen Hill
Karen was born and grew up in Malvern. She became interested in her family history after receiving a get well card from her Auntie Mabel when she was seriously ill aged 13. She asked how she was related and this started a lifetime interest in family history. During her late teens and 20’s she used to go down to St Catherine’s House in London to search BMD records and the Public Record Office to view the census returns. She went to college in Birmingham and taught there for five years before returning to Malvern when she married Phil. They have two married daughters and a son. When bringing up their children and childminding for others the family tree took a back seat except for adding close family BMD’s. Seven years ago Karen decided it was time to get back to researching the family tree. For the last 35 years Karen and Phil have hosted overseas language students. Karen enjoys gardening and they now have a grandson and another grandchild on the way so the tree is growing!
Programme Secretary: Brian Symonds
Brian was born within walking distance of West Bromwich Albion’s football ground and still wastes winter afternoons there. He has also lived in Quinton, Stourbridge, Southampton, London, St Albans and Alvechurch. Since 1995 his home has been Hanley Swan, just 30 minutes’ drive from the grave in Newent churchyard where Jonas Symonds (b. 1696) is buried. Much of his employed life was in senior finance positions in BhS and Habitat while they were successful. For twenty years he has been an independent business consultant and is a director of companies as diverse as aircraft design engineers and importers of snowboards. He has a wife and a Sprocker, which means he has to enjoy walking. He makes hedgerow wines.
Publicity Secretary: Ruth Casemore
Ruth started to dabble in family history when her father died in 1990 but not seriously as she was working full time in events organising. When she moved to Worcester she joined Malvern Family History Society after attending one of Frank Townsend family history classes at Worcester Technical College in 2002. She was unaware of any family connection with the Worcester area until discovering that her husband’s great, grand father had moved his family from Warwickshire to Barbourne, Worcester, just half a mile from where she now lives! She was hooked. Ruth enjoys yoga, RSV volunteering, gardening which includes growing her own vegetables, and folk music. For a nights entertainment she often visits Huntington Hall in Worcester. Ruth has edited the Society’s journal, Tree Tappers since the beginning of 2005 and thoroughly enjoys it.
Research Coordinator: Fay Grist
Fay began tracing her father’s family, Merry, when her cousin developed curvature of the spine and was put into an old people’s home in South Shields. He wrote monthly to Fay about their shared family and suggested she joined a family history class. She did this and two or three courses later, it was suggested that a family history group was formed. The group flourished and is now the Malvern Family History Society. She has worked her Merry family tree back to the early 1690s and has come to ‘the brick wall’. Perhaps one day, she will climb it!
Project Leader: Vanessa Foy
Vanessa started family history after an uncle had a quadruple heart bypass and the family was recommended by his specialist to go and have a check up with their own doctors. Interest in the wider family was raised to find out if anyone else might have died young and for similar reasons. She was originally helped by a relative who misled her and she has been trying to get on the right track ever since. She joined the Society 12 years ago. Co-opted onto the committee, she has held several posts and is at present the Projects and Fairs Co-ordinator. Other interests are listening to music and spending many happy hours gardening.
There are two members who manage our library and web site:
Librarian: Mary Fraser
Mary began researching her own & her husband’s family history in about 1980, joining the Society of Genealogists, and spent several years exploring record offices ploughing a lone furrow. Moved to Malvern 22 years ago, in spite of having no known relatives in Worcestershire: since discovered one married in the Priory, one buried in the Priory churchyard, and one living over the hills. Joined Malvern FHS in 1998 and took over the running of the Library in 2005. Main interest/addiction is palaeography, transcribing probate documents, Hearth Tax returns or Baptism registers to assist the Society’s Baptism Project. She also enjoys singing with Malvern Priory Singers, & helping friends with their family research.
Webmaster: Catherine Banks
Catherine’s interest in family history was sparked by her aunt who researched her side of the family back to the 1700s in the days before computers. That left Catherine to do all the rest. She is also interested in local history and with a friend has been researching the Barnards Green area of Malvern, The rest of her time is spent running her own business, looking after her family and gardening.
Social Secretary: Mike Taylor
Mike is married to Val and they have two children and two grandchildren. One of his initial schools was St George’s Infants in Worcester where he tells us he had to write with chalk on a slate board! He was a librarian at Pershore Secondary Modern before taking an apprenticeship with MEB at Evesham. He still works for the local electric company but it is now called WPD. Mike’s father was an Aircraft Electrician working at TRE Defford (later RRE) which moved into Pershore Aerodrome. Mike was a choir boy in Pershore Abbey progressing to male voice and later as a tenor he joined the Pershore & District Choral Society. His favourite piece of music is Bach’s “B” Minor Mass which he sang in Tewkesbury Abbey whilst he was their librarian. As well as family history Mike’s main hobby is walking and with his family he joined the Evesham Rambling Club in 1981 and has been their treasurer since 1990. During the winter months he plays skittles heading up the “Lower Moor Lovelies” team who he tells us are steadily improving their league position.
TreeTappers Distributer: Margaret Roy
Margaret has been a member of MFHS since 2003 when she retired from full-time teaching. She began her family history research in 1971 by following up information from her father’s cousin and decided to take a beginners’ course in genealogy. She enjoys writing up her findings and other pastimes include choral singing and country walks.