Biographies - Get to know your NP Team

Julia Davies - Chair

Julia was born in the 1950s on Merseyside.  She left school and studied English at London University.  After working for a short time at the BBC in London, Julia did a year of teacher training and subsequently worked in South Wales before moving with her husband to Hertfordshire.  They lived initially in Hoddesdon before moving with their two children to Stanstead Abbotts in 1993.

Julia retired from teaching English in secondary schools in 2012 and became a member of Stanstead Abbotts Parish Council at around that time.  Whilst chairing the Parish Council East Herts District Council Leader requested that the Parish Council work with St Margarets Parish Council to draw up a Neighbourhood Plan to accommodate 94 new homes.


Mike Dorman - Treasurer

Mike lived in the village for more than 30 years and in that time have been involved in a number of village organisations including the Scouts, St Margaretsbury Recreation Ground Trust, Village Hall Trust, and the Parish Council, as well as being involved in the preparation of the village plan. Mike is married and has six children, all but one having now left home. Mike recently moved just out of the village to Roydon. He is a retired Chartered Surveyor, having run his own consultancy business for 25 years and before that was a partner in a large London firm.

Robert Bennett

Robert has lived in Stanstead Abbotts for 15 years. His background was in education, teaching both long-term school refusers and young offenders. He also taught adult literacy and numeracy for more than 20 years eventually becoming Director of an educational charity in South London. On moving to Hertfordshire he worked for the County Council as Adult Learning Quality Officer and then to Haringey as the Adult Learning Head of Service.

He has supported many smaller voluntary sector groups and cooperatives, undertaking a number of roles in these organisations including Trustee. His current voluntary sector memberships include: The RSPB, Woodland Trust and Friends of Deerhurst Church.

Whilst his degree qualification was in Fine Art (painting) he has developed his interests in local history and particularly the Early Medieval period. He has maintained membership of the British Council for Archaeology for many years and is a member of SALHS.

Christina Whellams: Secretary

Christina has over 20 years of experience as a Personal Assistant in various industries, 10 years experience in higher education, as Programme Manager and Head of Drama Administration at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and has recently been appointed as Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer for Stanstead St Margarets Parish Council.


She is also a qualified Swimming Instructor, a School Governor at Cranbourne Primary School in Hoddesdon, and Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for The Granary.


She lives with her partner and daughter in the village and has lived here for 16 years.

Sarah Chapman

Sarah has lived in Stanstead Abbotts for fifteen years, after moving here from London in 2005. She was born and brought up in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, before moving to London to attend university.

She has over 30 years experience in social and community housing, having worked for a variety of housing associations, local authorities and housing co-operatives.  Her main area of expertise is housing and tenancy management of existing properties, but she has also some experience of housing development.  She has extensive experience of the voluntary sector having sat on the management committees of several voluntary organisations and charities working in the disability and education sectors.

Sarah is on the Stanstead Abbotts parish council and chairs the Planning subcommittee.

Gini Trower

Gini has lived in the village since 2001 and before that in the 1990s. She has married into a family who have lived in the village  since 1855. She is a great believer in community and spent eleven years on the parish council, five years running the Beaver Colony and has been involved in the NP since inception. She runs community gardening sessions in the village and is a Montessori trained teacher  having spent 20 years running nursery schools, in London, Essex and Stanstead Abbotts. Since then she has run garden and nature workshops in nursery schools, primary schools and run after school  gardening clubs in inner city schools. She has a degree in Environmental Conservation and runs and manages the small farm where she lives. She has a  small herd of Red Poll Cows and grows organic vegetables. She is a huge believer in getting children outdoors and learning about nature  and this is the most important part of her week after looking after her grandchildren. 

Clare Maynard

Clare has lived in the village since 2000 and is Chair of St Margarets Parish Council. Clare previously worked in the corporate insurance industry for 27 years before settling down with a family in the village. Clare has been involved in local initiatives, namely the Riverside Festival and local youth club. Clare currently has a number of local voluntary roles, one being a moorings ranger for the Canal and River Trust, which includes building relationships between the boating community and our local parishioners. To date Clare works at Willowthorpe Care Home for the elderly as Engagement Lead. Hobbies include running distances and competing in obstacle runs preferably in mud!

Robin Jewett

A Londoner by birth and schooling and then moving onto professional life of manufacturing, service and consultancy side of paper production for 52 years. This involved residing worldwide with extensive travel. Interests involved 46 years of scouting worldwide, churchwork, and food banks as well as other charitable work.

Although Robin had an intermittent residence in Stanstead Abbotts, he returned from overseas over 4 years ago continuing on with scouting, volunteering at Barnardos a St Margarets train station adopter, assisting directors of Rivermeads Resident Association and working on an allotment.