The Council

Ron Dixon – Chairman

RonDixonI have lived in the village for over 25 years and become increasingly involved in many aspects of life here. I am a volunteer at Quarry Bank, working both in the gardens and Quarry Bank House. As such I have taken a close interest in the development of the property, especially how it may impact on the village.

I was a governor at Styal Primary School for 15 years and recognise its role in the community. In addition I volunteer on a regular basis in the cafe at Earlams and attend the Village Association meetings.

I was born in Prestbury, went to schools in Brooklands and Altrincham before reading History at The University of Sussex. My professional life was in education, starting in Inner London before moving to Cambridge and later becoming Headteacher of three schools in Greater Manchester over a period of twenty years. After headship I set up a consultancy with a focus on leadership development in education and performance management.

I am married with three grown up children, the youngest of whom attended Styal Primary School. My wife is very involved with Earlams and was formerly Deputy Head at the primary school.

My work with the Council over the last four years has shown me the importance of its work in protecting and developing in a sensitive way this historic village.

Chris Novak – Vice-Chairman

ChrisHaving moved into the village in 2011, I live here with my son, Oliver and my wife, Sarah. I grew up in Heaton Moor, and when my parents moved to Styal in 2007, it was only a matter of time before I followed, having fallen in love the village.

On a professional basis, I am a Financial Adviser running my own business based in Alderley Edge. I also volunteer with British Cycling as a Road Race Commissaire. Hence my pastime passion of Cycling, I can usually be found cycling on the roads and tracks around Cheshire of a weekend.

As a child I remember coming to play the woods, and school visits to the Mill. My own son is now even more lucky than I was with having such beautiful surroundings on the door step, whilst also attending the local Primary School.

The village is of great Historical importance, yet it must also move with the times. So as a Councillor, I believe it is my role to help shape the future of the village but also as a Guardian of its past.

In the 80’s there was a great American sit-com, whose theme was, ‘Where everyone knows your name’, and you certainly don’t have to travel to Boston, as this is so perfect for the personality of Styal.

Andrew Hewitt

AndrewHewittHaving lived in Styal for 56 of my 58 years on this planet, and being from a local farming family (I still hobby farm 12 acres) I have grown up with being part of the Village life here. I played football and cricket for the local teams and have been active with the Village Association for over 35 years. I care passionately about the local Village and its surrounding area.

My career to date has been one that has followed my scientific training, having started as a Research Technician for ICI (as it was in 1970) at Alderley Park and then moved into the commercial aspect of science as a Technical Sales Representative for a Scottish Company involved in cell culture reagents. Over the years I have been involved in the setting up of two Companies in the Medical Diagnostics field and I now run my own Company, VH Bio LTD, which supplies Tissue Typing kits for the Organ Transplant field. This company is still based in Gateshead as this was where my business partner lives (now retired).

My hobbies include working on our small holding in Hollin Lane Styal, boating on the canals both in the UK and South of France. I am also a very keen lover of all social events, being involved in running several fund raising events for Styal Village Association, such as Cheese and Wine functions and more recently the annual Garden Party and Hog Roast.As you are no doubt aware I am now also a Parish Councillor!

Audrey Davies

AudreyDaviesI grew up in the village of Styal, venturing into the wide world after my marriage to Denny.

My maternal grandfather, Alfred Robinson, built a garage on Station Road and set up in business as a motor mechanic. He built a little shop next to the garage where my Grandmother sold sweets.

I am told that my father’s family, the Ratcliffes, farmed in Styal many generations ago. As a child and teenager I was involved in all the many activities in the village- from the Tennis Club and Youth Club to the Stylist’s Concert Party and the Styal Dramatic Society.

I trained as a further education teacher, taking several years out to raise a family- a daughter and a son. I now have 3 grandchildren I returned to the world of education as an industrial trainer with the huge brewing and retail company, Bass Charrington.

My experience of public houses, at that stage, was limited to having received instruction for my confirmation in the upstairs room of The Ship – by the rector, Canon Reeman. It was a steep learning curve!

After 10 years I moved into management consultancy – specialising in the hospitality industry. As a result of one project, I was persuaded to take over the running of an expanding business based in Birmingham.

After my Headmaster husband took early retirement we moved to Buckinghamshire. I was appointed to the post of Lecturer in the Management School of Aylesbury College.

15 years ago we came back to live in my home village of Styal. I am treasurer of the Styal Over Sixties Club and a volunteer at Earlam`s Community Café. The circle of life.

Sarah Parker

SarahHello! I’m Sarah, one of the newest additions to the Council. I’ve lived in Styal for 3 years, with my husband, chocolate Labrador and toddler Sophia. We were drawn to Styal’s beautiful Bollin Valley setting, history and warm community feel!

I’m a doctor by trade, but in my spare time love to play Netball, walk my dog in the woods of Quarry Bank Mill and watch as much Sci-Fi as my husband will allow!

Peter Highfield

PeterhighfieldI was born in Manchester but from 1971 until I moved to Styal I lived and worked in various places from the Midlands and South-East of England to Virginia in the USA and Mexico City. I have lived in Styal since 1998 and both my children grew up here, although, now they are grown-up, they have moved away to London and Perth Australia. During my time here I have been involved in most village activities, usually making a photographic record of events, such as the annual Hog Roast and various Fun Days, Picnics and Jubilees. Currently I volunteer at Earlams.

I trained as a Molecular Biologist and I’ve mainly worked in industry developing medical devices and diagnostic tests. Most recently I was the Technical Director of Zilico Limited, a medical device company based on the Manchester Science Park. I am now semi-retired and act as a Technical Consultant for Zilico.

As well as being a Parish Councillor, I am a member of the Wilmslow U3A committee. My hobbies include photography, bridge and croquet as well as the usual gardening, reading and cinema -1 have a membership at the Rex Cinema in Wilmslow.

Craig Buckley

CraigMy name is Craig Buckley and I have lived in Styal since 2015. I work as an Area Ranger for the National Trust and I live with my wife, Katherine, and our two young daughters, Daisy and Isabella. We live in tied accommodation as part of my job, so are based right in the heart of Quarry Bank. I am passionate about wildlife, countryside and the environment, and love working at Quarry Bank and the picturesque Styal estate. It is very interesting to live and work within a landscape that has such a strong industrial history, and to see how it connects with the environment around it.

Prior to moving to Styal I lived in Buckinghamshire for six years, working for the County Council at a group of country parks. I thoroughly enjoyed this varied experience as I had the opportunity to care for a landscape created by Capability Brown as well as be involved in the coordination of film crews that frequently used our parks for filming locations as we were located right next to Pinewood Studios – the base James Bond films among other. Although I have moved around the country, I am originally from Knutsford and started my career at Tatton Park.

I am very pleased to have been appointed as a councillor here at Styal and look forward to meeting everyone at our future meetings and functions.

Sue McDonald – Clerk

SueMcDonaldI am a retired IT professional who lives in Ashley with my husband John and my eldest son Daniel. My younger two sons, Dominic and Matthew, have flown the nest.

My parents lived in Ashley and, although I left the village to further my career, my need for rural living was so great that I have now been back in Ashley for more than thirty years.

In March of 2011 I became Clerk to Ashley Parish Council and I enjoy every aspect of the work. Not only has it given me a greater understanding of the important role Parish Councils play in protecting rural life but it is an opportunity for me to repay, in some small way, for the many benefits I have enjoyed by living in the countryside.

Although I am not a resident of Styal, some of the challenges facing Ashley are similar to those of Styal – most notably Manchester Airport! As Clerk to Styal Parish Council, I promise you all that I will serve Styal with the same passion and devotion that I give to Ashley.

When I am not ‘Clerking’, designing websites or mending PCs, I love meeting and getting to know people, walking, opera, gardening and Sicily (I lived there for eighteen months).

clerk@styalparishcouncil.org.uk