AHI people

Here are the folk who are working as AHI Committee members and advisors! If you meet them at events or conferences, do have a chat and let them know what you think about AHI and its work. After all, they’re here to represent you…

AHI welcomes anyone who would like to get involved with running the Association. Please get in touch if you would like to stand for election to the committee or help out in any way.


Bill Bevan
Bill Bevan

Chair

I worked as a tour guide at Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage in Grasmere during the 1980s. I developed my interest in heritage interpretation as an archaeologist because of my belief that we all have a right to learn about our past. For me, interpretation helps us to understand something about the differing ways people at different times perceived and inhabited their worlds.

I set up inHeritage in 2005 and was the Interpretation Project Officer for the Peak District National Park Authority between 2006 and 2010. A lot of my current interpretation work is with helping community groups realise their ambitions while ensuring interpretive best practice.

I am also a writer and photographer, and have also been a terrible footballer, live movie sound-tracker and DJ - playing as far a field as Australia, Greece, Portugal, Zambia, Zanzibar as well as the UK.

I joined the AHI in 2006 and took a role on the committee to help the Association progress professionally and to support its members. I aim to re-instigate the awards scheme and develop the website resources section for members.

Bob Jones
Bob Jones MBE

Fellowship Panel Chair

It is 32 years since I first encountered the word ‘interpretation’. I joined SIBH (now AHI) in 1975, and am a founder member of both Dehongli Cymru and Interpret Scotland. Down the years there have been many centres, trails, panels, publications, plans and strategies. I have had the privilege of meeting and working with people who have had a real passion for interpretation, and for ‘Fellows’ passion is the key attribute. To be acknowledged by your peers for the depth of your contribution is the quiet beating heart of our profession.

Carl Atkinson
Carl Atkinson

Membership Panel Chair

After a long stint in professional psychology, I joined the CEI. I later became a consultant, before joining the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) in 2001, where I am currently Head of the Communication Section which includes interpretation. I have a strong interest in the psychology of the visitor experience and the role of visitor studies and evaluation in helping us think more clearly about what interpretation is and what it can do. Away from work, I enjoy walking and archaeology, and mourn not going caving as much as I used to since moving to North Wales!

Dr. Philip Ryland
Dr. Philip Ryland

Committee Member

My experience in the field of interpretation is based upon my current academic teaching and research activities within the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University as well as my personal interests and pursuits. I have been a member of AHI since 2005 and the NAI since 2000.

I teach wildlife & nature-based tourism at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  As a Deputy Dean within the School, I also have responsibility for strategically leading the educational provision within the School.  I therefore bring a knowledge of current issues in relation to the academic sector at FE & HE levels for the benefit of the AHI Committee.

In terms of research, my PhD focused on the on-site visitor experience at two locations on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site in Dorset and previous research has focused upon a study of 'earth education' as well as interpretation in public & private gardens which is a particular interest of mine.

Jim Mitchell photo
Jim Mitchell

Vice-chair

I discovered interpretation while working as a ranger in the Brecon Beacons in the late 90s. I realised it was the perfect way to combine my interests in wildlife, heritage and communication. Since 2006 I’ve been with the New Forest National Park Authority, developing interpretative programmes, events, exhibitions and visitor centres.

Interpretation is a hugely exciting area to work in, with such a variety of topics, locations and interesting people. Plus it’s always changing and developing to keep us on our toes.

I’ve been an AHI member since 2007 and find it to be an invaluable way of meeting fellow interpreters and new friends while continuing to learn about this fascinating profession. I’ve become a trustee to help grow AHI and encourage others to take up its benefits. I am currently involved in web editing, fundraising, marketing and membership development.
Kate Lindley
Kate Lindley

Committee Member

My background is in community development linked to community heritage and rural tourism. When I first became involved in heritage interpretation more than 10 years ago I soon realised what an important role it plays in getting people engaged with their local community and connecting them with their past.

Since then I’ve worked with community groups across Pembrokeshire helping them research and interpret their local history through various means. I find the sheer enthusiasm and willingness of people to participate in heritage activities incredibly inspiring! I have also been very fortunate to work on several transnational cooperation projects which focussed on exploring the use of cultural heritage in tourism within the community context, and sharing best practice at the European level.

Joining the AHI committee is a real privilege and for me an opportunity to help a fantastic organisation to develop further and increase its membership.
Katherine Skellon
Katherine Skellon

Committee member

Katherine is a museum and exhibition designer with over 25 years of experience within the UK and internationally. Katherine has extensive experience in all project stages from creative development to final delivery, client liaison and strategic management across all scale from major national museums to temporary, small scale exhibitions. Katherine also teaches exhibition design at postgraduate level, presents at conferences and workshops, and is active in developing theoretical ideas about the practice of designing experiential and pedagogical environments. Katherine is Creative Director of Skellon Studio, co-founded with Ben Tunstall.

Projects include Fire! Fire!, Museum of London; Lifting the Lid at the Vyne, National Trust; Rock Art, British Museum. Past projects include Zayed National Museum, UAE (with Event Communications); Crown Jewels, Tower of London (with Ralph Appelbaum Associates); National Maritime Museum Cornwall (with Land Design Studio); Oculus, St Pauls (RAA); Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

 
Rob Shelley

Treasurer

Rob Shelley is an accountant by training who has in the past worked for HJ Heinz and then Unilever where jobs ranged from Head Office to two years on a Brooke Bond tea & coffee plantation in Malawi & finally a spell in the Walls ice cream factory in Gloucester. Tiring of the corporate world he joined the family business Shelley Signs.  For over 25 years the company has specialised in the design & production of interpretation panels, particularly for outdoor sites.  A fascinating journey as production techniques have evolved from traditional screen print to high tech digital. Robert is delighted to put something back into the interpretation field by being Treasurer of AHI.
A head-and-shoulders portrait of a smiling woman, with a background of plants in a grrenhouse.
Ruth Coulthard

Conference Organiser

I first discovered just how powerful successful interpretation can be during a childhood visit to the Caen Memorial in France - a museum focused on war but dedicated to peace. It wasn't a comfortable experience, but an inspiring one. I moved swiftly on to a love of medieval abbeys and cathedrals (obviously the museum's pacifist behavioural objectives did the trick!) and then to travel. When I finally settled down there was no option but to study tourism and heritage interpretation.

I’ve been fortunate to work in some incredible locations including some of the UK’s Cathedrals, on the Jurassic Coast working in sustainable tourism and interpretation before moving to the Brecon Beacons National Park. Here, I look after education, information and interpretation for the Park (or fun and enjoyment as I prefer to call it). It’s a job all about inspiring people to love and explore the landscape and its cultural heritage which is perfect.

The AHI has supported me throughout my career, and I've gained much from the various events and networking opportunities, something which led me to volunteer for the role of conference director.

Sheena Irving
Sheena Irving

Web-manager

I always wanted to ‘do’ history at school, but having a yearning to work in hospitality and travel, I was steered by the careers department into science and then into the world of hotel management.

It’s a very tough life but did allow me to carry on being a Cub leader, which is where I met my partner Douglas Bolton, in 1981 if anyone is counting! He worked with his father in a long standing family business called Audio Visual Consultants….I didn’t know what it meant, apart from quickly realising that they had been at the forefront of audio visual development, particularly in museums & visitor centres, since the beginning of the genre.

My interest in all things historical soon had an outlet and now, with over 30 years’ experience of producing for heritage and museum applications, I have worked all over the world, creating a large body of audio visual material covering a wide range of subjects, even science. And I love the challenges!

My goal since beginning in this industry has been to raise the profile of audio visual production in heritage applications and keep it up to date with client and visitor expectations of the medium whilst acknowledging the emergence and use of other digital technologies.

Suzanna Jones
Suzanna Jones

Committee Member leading on website redevelopment

Revealing the hidden stories of big landscapes on often small budgets has been Suzanna role as Interpretation Officer for the Brecon Beacons National Park since 2004.  As a Dehongli Cymru/Interpret Wales steering group member Suzanna has worked with colleagues across Wales to promote best practice and raise the profile of the profession during this time.

She delivered the Walking with Romans App (with Living Data) -  winner of the 2015 Discover Heritage Award for excellence in interpretation of cultural and natural heritage in the “landscapes, forests, nature reserves, parks and gardens category”.

She became a National Association of Interpretation (NAI) Certified Interpretative Planner in 2009 and has a MA in Heritage Management from the Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham.