The Council

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!

Alan Gardiner

AlanGardinerI have lived and worked as a farmer at Oak Farm, Styal all my life.  My great grandfather, George Gardiner moved here around 1884 from Pott Shrigley to take the tenancy of the farm owned by the Greg family. In 1939, the farm (plus the family!) was given by the Gregs to the National Trust.

I took the tenancy over from my father in 1971 when we practiced a mixed farming system changing to an all dairy farm until 2003, when the dairy herd was sold. The farm is now producing cereal crops, sheep and Hereford beef cattle.

I went to the local primary school and have always had a strong attachment to Styal. For a large part of my life, I have campaigned for the conservation of the rural nature of the village and the promotion of local activities. By being a member of the team which achieved the creation of the Styal Parish Council in 2011, I hope that the future of Styal will now be better cared for.

Sue McDonald

SueMcDonaldI am a retired IT professional who lives in Ashley with my husband John, my eldest son Daniel and two Siberian Huskies. 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 – with or without the dogs, opera, gardening and Sicily (I lived there for eighteen months).

Ron Dixon – Chairman

RonDixonI have lived in Styal for over twenty years and have become increasingly involved in many aspects of life in the village. I am a volunteer at Quarry Bank, where I spend one day a week in the gardens and one day a week in the Archives. As such I take a keen interest in the Quarry Bank project, especially how it may impact on the village. I have been a Governor at Styal Primary school for over ten years and recognise its role in the community. In addition I volunteer on a regular basis at Earlams, I am a committee member of the Village Association and part of the community Speedwatch team.

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.

I believe that I have skills, experience and knowledge which can help the Parish Council in its work.

Debbie Busby

DebbieBusbyI was born in Cheadle Hulme at a time when it was still “all fields round here”, and lived there until moving to Derbyshire in order to have more hills where I could ride my horse and walk my lurchers. My earliest memory of Styal is of picnic rides to the Mill on Badger the retired pit pony, and later leisurely dog walks in Styal woods. I started volunteering at Earlams in March 2015 and moved to the village in June, and I’m very much enjoying settling in to the kind of rural village life I remember from childhood while having the convenience of the airport on my doorstep, and Manchester city centre a short drive away.

After a successful riding career with trusty Rusty I now spend my time helping people enjoy life with their companion animals as an equine and canine behaviour consultant and riding coach. I also work with corporate clients and young people as an equine facilitated learning practitioner. I have a degree in Psychology and an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

In my spare time I enjoy yoga, Pilates, and Arabic and Turkish folkloric music and dance. I am a member of Stockport Ladies Speakers Club who meet a stone’s throw from Styal and always welcome new members! I enjoy travelling to Turkey and Jordan, and I am occasionally let loose in my friend’s band to sing Turkish and Kurdish folk music and play my versatile Darbuka, a goblet shaped hand-drum.

I support rural sustainability and am a firm believer in local decision making and accountability, so I was very pleased to join the Parish Council in August 2015. I am looking forward to working with my fellow Councillors, representing Styal residents and working to maintain the unique atmosphere of this lovely village.

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.