Executive Committee

The Society is managed by an Executive Committee, which meets every two months. The approved minutes of the Executive Committee are available to view.

Meet your Committee


Rhiannon Evans,  Occupation: Retired, formerly Pro-Vice Chancellor, Edge Hill University and Professor of Education.

Oxton Society jobs: Chair Oxton Society Committee since 2010;Twitter account responsibility. Secret Gardens.Involved in promoting all aspects of the Society’s work.

Other interests: Chair Dewi-Prys Thomas Architectural Trust;  lecturer on women’s role in world war two, and on  modern poetry; ninth long distance walk underway.

My priorities for the Oxton Society: focus on core business; sustainability, succession planning.



Alan Chape, Occupation: Retired, formerly Assistant Chief Executive Liverpool City Council and currently visiting Fellow to Heseltine Institute, University of Liverpool)

Oxton Society Jobs: Secretary

Other interests: Chairman of Conservation Areas Wirralhistory & heritage of Wirral, Liverpool FC, photography, graphic design, urban regeneration, long distance walking, music (lead singer Orange Zebra band)

My priorities for the Society: 

Protect the character of the conservation area, including the treescape

Develop a community identity based on shared values and involvement in events and initiatives

Attract external resources to the area to enhance its historic character and its community spirit

Develop a sophisticated approach to the use of social media, through an ethical use of our website, Facebook and Twitter, that stimulates dialogue on the basis of shared community values.



Griff Round,Occupation: university lecturer in Marketing

Oxton Society jobs: Treasurer

Other interests: travel, railways and theatre

My priorities for the Oxton Society: membership and sound financial management


Jeff Willis, Occupation: Retired from local govt – chartered town planner, research and information, corporate planning, performance management.

Oxton Society jobs: Vice Chair, website, members’ emails, team member for Planning, Xmas Lights, Secret Gardens.

Other interests: Economic History, Flying (models, not EasyJet), Railways, Football (watching, not playing).

My priorities for the Oxton Society: 

1) Communicating with members including our efforts to preserve and enhance our conservation area. 2) Events that strengthen our community and help finance our activities


Dave Barden, Occupation: Almost completely retired from more than forty years in education. Taught mostly art, photography and humanities subjects. I moderate GCSE Art for an exams board. I was a long term Vice Principal of a local special school and then Head-teacher.

Oxton Society Jobs:Membership Secretary and helping with recruitment.

Other interests: Cycling and travelling – combining both in cycling around the World in annual segments. Art – both visiting exhibitions and working on my own watercolours and photography. Gardening, reading and cooking. Irrationally optimistic LFC addict for over fifty years!

My priorities for the Society: Helping to develop a community with a shared love of a beautiful, vibrant environment.




John Booth, Occupation: Retired from running local Plumbing and Heating Business

Oxton Society Jobs: Hanging Baskets Coordinator, Maintaining HB watering system, Liaison with RHS Awards Scheme. Deputy Manager of Secret Gardens and Xmas Lights Hardware Team.

Other interests: Fund-raiser for Marie Curie, Friends of Arno Development Team, Golf, aviation enthusiast, walking, Everton FC

My priorities for the Society: Mobilising Oxton businesses to help improve village atmosphere.


Allan Brame, Occupation:. former English teacher; taught for nearly forty years in Birkenhead and Liverpool, retiring as Head of Department at Archbishop Blanch School. Elected as a councillor for Oxton in 2018.

Oxton Society Jobs: committee member in the early ‘80s; co-opted following election to Wirral Borough Council

Other interests: trustee of the Callister Garden; elder at Trinity with Palm Grove Church; theatre; cycling.

My priorities for the Society: conservation and enhancement of Oxton’s built environment; sustaining a viable local shopping and business centre; encouraging local residents to support and become involved in the work of the Society



Bob Knowles, Occupation: mostly retired but still some odd lectures. Started in Personnel, then managed a music shop – guitars and records mostly – in Liverpool in the 70s. Then worked in mental health for many years, most recently for Wirral Mind.

Oxton Society Jobs: Chair of the History Group, contributor to the History Periodical, and Talks on Oxton History, here and there.

Other interests: I do some cycling, to Brimstage and back rather than round the world. I enjoy writing though all my dramas turn out as comedies. Mostly I like pottering and meeting up with people and having a cup of tea..  .

My priorities for the Society: Oxton is a friendly place but even so a lot of people don’t even know their neighbours. I’d like to see more people finding ways to introduce themselves to each other. I hope our History days make a small contribution to this process. But there’s more that could be done.




Chris Jarrey, Occupation: Senior Valuer, Bonhams, Auctioneers North West Region (fine art, furniture, jewellery, cars and works of art) London, America, Hong Kong. Charity Auctions and talks on related subjects.

Oxton Society Jobs: public relations and helping at Xmas Lights and Secret Gardens

Other interests: restoring a very dilapidated (listed) house in the conservation area and raising very young children

My priorities for the Society: conservation and enhancement of built environment; encouraging local residents to support the Society




George Harrison, Occupation: Retired District Judge

Oxton Society Jobs: Committee rep for Tree Group,  Member Planning Group.

Other interests: Fishing, gardening, travel.

My priorities for the Society: To continue to improve on what we do now,




Steve Ferguson, Occupation: Retired; formerly Teacher (Biology); responsible for Secondary Teacher Training the University of Liverpool (Sociology); consultant on teacher recruitment with the Teacher Training Agency.

Oxton Society Jobs: Distribution (Newsletters etc); lead on Tree Planting; Secret Gardens recruitment (with Patrick Toosey).

Other Interests:  Gardening, Botany, Trustee of the Friends of Ness Gardens (formerly Acting-Chair), social and environmental issues, walking, reading modern history and biographies.

Priorities for the Society:  Maintaining and improving the local natural environment and helping to sustain community activities.  


Patrick Toosey, Occupation: Retired but previously worked for shipping Companies,Elder Dempster Lines, Blue Sea Line,National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia and America Africa Line respectively in Liverpool, Riyadh and New York  returning home in 1998.

Oxton Society jobs:.Committee member,then Chairman 1999-2010, then help with recruitment. Started Secret Gardens  in 2001 and still involved principally with Garden recruitment

Other interests: Developments in Wirral and Merseyside, family and the history of Elder Dempster Lines.

Priorities for the Society:  Increase membership, ensure continuity of Secret Gardens, Christmas Lights, Hanging Baskets and other worthwhile initiatives



Steve Weber, Occupation: Chartered Town Planner retired after 30 years working in local government in Merseyside.

Oxton Society Jobs: Lead on planning consultations, business liaison, Secret Gardens Task Group member, assisting with hanging baskets.

Other interests:  Gardening. Walking, particularly long distance footpaths. Reading history. Watching football.

My priorities for the Society: Improving the advice and information we provide to local residents and businesses on planning matters.  Ensuring the local Council is aware of the Society’s policy priorities for the Conservation Area. Raising the profile of the Society and understanding of its role in the local community.



Carolyn Weber, Occupation: Retired, previously Human Resources Manager at the University of Liverpool.

Oxton Society Jobs: Minute Secretary, Newsletter Editor, assisting with website, Society Archivist

Other interests: Genealogy and researching the histories of local houses. Walking, particularly long distance paths – I have walked the whole of the Wales Coast Path, all 870 miles. Needlework, gardening and reading.

My priorities for the Society: Communication with members, via Newsletters and website and at Society events.


Don Firth-Williamson, Occupation: Involved in education for 40 years,  20 years as headteacher in 3 different  Wirral schools, and as a consultant to Wirral Local Authority and national agencies including the TDA and the National Foundation for Educational Research. 

Oxton Society Jobs: business liaison coordinator (co-opted member of Committee)

Other interests:  swimming, gardening, travel, skiing, reading, social history, classic cars, wine and food. 

My priorities for the Society: to support the businesses so they become a cohesive  and proactive group to promote the sustainability of Oxton as a thriving local community. 


















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