We want to make using our website as easy as possible. Should you find it difficult to read this website please increase size of text button below to increase size of the website. You will find the preset accessibility options situated at the very top of the browser window and a more extenisve accessibility menu bottom left.

Increase size of text Close

You are here: > About TG > People > The Board

Penny Ryan, National Chair
I may have been the Treasurer, but I am also a Townswomen. I am committed to keeping TG going because it has a lot to offer women of all ages and backgrounds, they just need to know about us.

The role of Chair requires the ability to listen to others and to make decisions, and it takes stamina. The last is particularly true of the National Chair who spends a lot of time travelling. I hope that I have those qualities. Jenny Rideout had these qualities in abundance, and I hope I can follow her example.

Beryl Hales, National Vice Chair
As Vice-Chair I am responsible for Recruitment, Development and Promotion. I work with Sara Trayers, National Recruitment Officer, on plans and activities to increase awareness and raise the profile of TG, to recruit new members and to open new groups and Guilds, whether online or meeting in person. During the pandemic this was mainly through our website, using Zoom, which has been a steep but interesting and exciting learning curve for us all.

I continue to be involved with the Townswoman magazine, which I am delighted to be able to do as I feel that it is such an interesting and vibrant publication and our main point of contact with members.

The Federations that I am Trustee contact for are Birmingham, Northern Ireland, Nottinghamshire, South Staffordshire, West Midlands and West Staffordshire Federations. I am also contact for a group of Guilds who are not in a Federation.

If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions about any of these aspects of TG, please get in touch.

                Maureen Brown, National Vice Chair
I currently live in Newcastle upon Tyne where I was born but I lived in East Yorkshire for 17 years and even spent two very happy years in Virginia USA. I have been involved with TG for ten years and am currently the Chairman and Secretary of High Heaton Guild. I am also on the North Durham Federation Committee and enjoy getting involved with their events.

I am particularly interested in helping to promote TG and increase our membership. Society and women’s lives have changed a great deal since the founding of The Townswomen’s Guilds and continues to change at a sometimes alarming pace. Much of the change is connected with the growth of technology and the prominence of Social Media in our everyday lives, and I hope I might be able to help TG members embrace these changes.

I am looking forward to meeting you at events and please feel free to contact me if you think I can help your Guild or Federation.

Marilyn Lawton, Honorary National Treasurer
I joined the Board of Trustees in September 2015 and have been a guild member for more than 40 years. I am Treasurer of Rotherham and District Federation and have also been Guild Secretary and Treasurer over the years.

The Federations that I look after are Chesterfield and District, Leeds, North Staffordshire, Shropshire and Mid Wales as well as my own. I also look after guilds without a federation spread over the Midlands and the North of England. I oversee sponsorship and all functions of the Finance Department.

I would like to encourage all guilds in my area to invite me to attend events, so do send me an invitation and I will do my best to come and celebrate with you.

If you have a problem or query then don't hesitate to contact me and I will help you in any way that I can.

Connie Nunn, National Trustee
I live in Daventry, Northamptonshire and as Trustee help to look after the Northamptonshire Federation along with Cambridge, Beds & Central Herts, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. I also look after several Guilds without Federations in those areas.

Nationally, I am responsible for organising conferences and do my best to bring something of interest to as many areas as possible. I am always open to ideas so if you would like a conference in your area please get in touch and let me know what sorts of topics would be of interest to your members as well as any ideas for a suitable venue.

Barbara Cobain, National Trustee
I live in the Wirral and, as a trustee, I look after all the guilds in Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and the Wirral. I am also North West Development Officer and so do my best to support my guilds and assist them to attract new members and build up their membership as much as I can. A few years ago I started a new Guild in New Brighton which I nurtured for three years before handing over to a new committee and it is still thriving.

I was introduced to T.G. by a neighbour after I had retired from business and was looking around f or something to interest me. After a few years I was asked to become the Secretary of that Guild and later I joined the Wirral Federation Committee and then became their Secretary when a vacancy occurred. I am now Chairman of Wirral Federation, the last remaining federation in the North West.

I really enjoy visiting guilds and getting to know members and seeing what their guild is doing so do send me an invitation if you are having a special event and I will be delighted to come and see you. Do contact me at any time if you would like my help or support in any way and I will help you as much as I can.

  Karen Moore, National Trustee
I live near Sedgley which is part of Dudley MBC in the West Midlands and not far from where I was born. I have been a member of Sedgley E TG for 6 years but have been aware of TG for much longer because my mother was a Sedgley TG member for more than 50 years, so I attended shows, helped at Summer Fairs, joined the Walking Group and copied craft ideas from an early age. I had the honour of being made Townswoman of the Year 2019-2020.

Since becoming a TG member I have realised the potential TG has to change lives for the better both locally and nationally and it is always heart-warming to hear from ladies who consider that joining TG was one of the best decisions they ever made. Because of this I am very aware of how important it has become to promote TG whenever possible and increase membership. The advancements made in technology have greatly facilitated this and I am happy to assist any TG members, Guilds or Federations with the use of the internet and social media, so please get in touch.

I am also passionate about reinvigorating TG singing. In the past many guilds had their own choirs and, as singing is of great benefit to our physical and mental health, it would be wonderful if there could be many more guild members singing once again. 


Lesley Howells, National Trustee
I live in Norwich, Norfolk and am Secretary of the Norwich Lakenham Guild as well as being Treasurer of the East Anglia Federation.

As a Trustee I am excited to be given the opportunity to help further the TG cause and expand our family of like-minded women. I am very much a people person and would love to visit a range of Guilds and Federations in order to find out in person what amazing work is already being done, with the idea of sharing great ideas with others and helping adapt those ideas if necessary.

I think it is important to set up a dialogue with members and address their needs sensitively but positively – bringing enthusiasm and excitement to the meetings and looking at possible solutions to any problems which may have arisen. Please do get in touch – I would love to meet you.