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Oliver Wicksteed DL

Oliver Wicksteed has been a Trustee of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust since 1999 and became Chairman in 2006. During the ensuing years Oliver has driven significant strategic change, built a strong and diverse Trust board and put in place a dynamic management team.  Together they are delivering a successful and sustainable business model that supports and funds the charity at Wicksteed Park which is an important heritage site within Northamptonshire.

Oliver is enormously proud of the heritage of the park and has a great deal to offer from his commercial perspective. He has overseen a period of great change at Wicksteed Park including reaching out to bodies such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund successfully attracting significant funding to help recognise and preserve vital park assets for the community. After major restoration projects in recent years, community engagement and visitor numbers have significantly increased to over 1 million each year underpinning Wicksteed Park’s position as a key destination in the county.  He has also been very active in forming partnerships with other Northamptonshire based organisations in order to form mutually beneficial relationships to aid sustainable business and raise the profile of the county.

Now retired from the London based business he founded 28 years ago, Oliver has utilised his new-found freedom allowing him to develop and hone his practical, charity, business and design skills.

Through his involvement at Wicksteed Park Oliver recognises that today’s families sometimes need help to appreciate how play and sporting activity underpin mental and physical wellbeing in these pressured times. He recognises above all that variety and diverse interests are key to a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.

Oliver is proud to be part of an amazing team that has helped to guide Wicksteed Park through the Coronavirus pandemic that threatened its very existence. Working with staff members, volunteers, the local community, the local authority and the Heritage Fund, the team kept vital green space open during this challenging time and continue to work towards a bright and sustainable future whist proudly preserving free access for the community.

Oliver is a dynamic, determined and compassionate individual who is keen to contribute to the wider community and regularly speaks at events around the county.

In 2019 Oliver was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Northamptonshire. This award was given in recognition of all the work he has done at Wicksteed Park and for the good of the county over the years.

Oliver also sits on the board of the “Northamptonshire – Britain’s Best Surprise” an organisation that promotes the county’s fabulous attractions and produce together with tourism generally across the county.

Wicksteed park Trustee - Christopher Pykett

Christopher Pykett

After qualifying as a solicitor in Torquay and London, Christopher moved to the Kettering area in August 1971 joining a county wide firm of solicitors in which he then became a partner two years later. He retired from the same firm at the end of 2005. In the intervening years he spent approximately fifty per cent of this time in the firm’s Kettering office and the other fifty per cent in their Corby office. Almost all of his working life was spent dealing with either commercial property work or corporate activities of one sort or another, including numerous mergers, sales and acquisitions of all types of businesses.

In particular he spent a great deal of time involved in the activities of charitable organisations with constitutions similar to that found at Wicksteed Park. Having brought up two children in the area he has been fully aware of the facilities available at the Park, and hopes that by joining the Trust he will be able to assist in their continuing provision

Wicksteed park Trustee - Robert Hunt

Robert Hunt

Apart from a short spell in the late ‘90s due to other business commitments, Robert has been a member of the Trust since 1986, having been introduced to the Park and its then Chairman, Robert Wicksteed in the mid-1980s.

For Robert, the Trust represents the continuation of a set of values that he feels should be nurtured and promoted within today’s society. Whilst Wicksteed Park is the most outward and visible manifestation of these, he shares with the other Trustees the wish to maintain the founder’s dream and the modern interpretation of the original Trust’s objectives.

way from the Trust, Robert has a portfolio of business interests. He spent his early career as a Research Scientist before gaining a commission at Sandhurst and serving as an Infantry Platoon Commander in Berlin and on a two year operational tour in Northern Ireland. He subsequently developed a career in international sales and marketing, culminating in his appointment as Country Manager with a multi-billion Euro industrial conglomerate.

In his spare time, such as it is, Robert has restored and competes in an historic Alvis racing car.

Nick Vaughan

Nick has over 33 years’ experience in the real estate and finance sectors and is currently a main board director at one of the UK’s largest private real estate companies. As Commercial Director, Nick’s role covers portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals, the Company’s rental and development subsidiaries and areas such as legal services, utilities, technical services and health and safety.

Nick has board responsibility for the Company’s private estates which include significant amounts of amenity space used by the local communities and he is passionate about ensuring these are quality environments for all to enjoy.

Nick is delighted and proud to have been asked to join the Trust and hopes that his experience will help the Park to flourish and deliver and protect the vision of Charles Wicksteed to provide a place of leisure and recreation for the people of Kettering and beyond.

Paul Stamper - Wicksteed Park Trustee

Paul Stamper

I was born in Broughton, near Kettering, and have known ‘Wikkies’ since childhood. After many years living elsewhere, I returned to Northamptonshire ten years ago.

An interest in archaeology and landscape history which had been fostered at Kettering Grammar School led to a first degree in archaeology and history and a PhD at Southampton University. From teenage years holidays were spent excavating, and this continued through the first half of my career when I was writing academic histories. In 1996 I joined English Heritage (now Historic England) where I had a variety of roles, as an Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens, an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and latterly a Senior Adviser working on listing standards and policy.

Alongside the day job I have always taught part time at various universities, notably Bristol and Leicester, where I am a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for English Local History. I have published extensively on subjects including medieval settlement, historic parks and gardens, and most recently the physical impact of the First World War on England

In 2016 I left Historic England and established my own consultancy, Paul Stamper Heritage, advising on historic buildings and landscapes – not least historic parks.

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