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Our Trustees

Our Trustees

We have a lovely bunch of trustees that work behind the scenes to keep Mikron on the road.

James Dyson Sykes (Chair)

James was born in Huddersfield and educated both locally and in Shropshire. he was trained as a Dyer and joined the family company until a management buyout in 1989. In this period he was chairman of the prestigious Bradford Playhouse, where he acted and directed the Huddersfield and Halifax Thespians.

James was introduced to Mikron when he organised a mill outing to see a play about Luddites! He was impressed by the enthusiasm and ethos of the company. Mike Lucas later invited him to join the Board of Management and a couple of years later he became Chairman.

In 2000 he formed ‘Jimbo Productions’, producing Nowel Coward, cabarets and plays by Ayckbourn, ROnald Harwood and Stan Sharp. Proceeds from these shows go to local charities.

James’ outside interests include Theatre and Opera, painting, golf and an occasional visit to Huddersfield Town.
He is the illustrator of “The Ring of the Niblicks”, a book about Wagner and golf.

Jeff Button

Jeff moved to Marsden in 1982 and soon became friends with Mike and Sarah (Mikron founders), and Mikron Theatre Company. He joined the Board in the 1990s and has been an active member since then.
Originally from London, his working background is in criminal justice, ending his career at Huddersfield University as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Criminology. However it is his practical skills which tend to be in demand at Mikron. He is regularly called upon by us as general fixer, maker, mender and fettler.
He has experience in other charitable organisations having been a founder member of Yorkshire and Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability, a specialist agency working with high risk sex offenders.
His own interests include mountains, building and playing in a country dance band.

Kate Button

Kate qualified and taught Drama in London before moving to Marsden to live opposite Mike Lucas, founder of Mikron Theatre Company, in 1981. During the following years Kate became a member of the Marsden Community Association, a member of the board of Management for Marsden Mechanics Institute, Mikron’s Office base , and a trustee of Marsden Jazz Festival. It was not until the 1990’s and the expansion of the National Waterways Tour to include the Autumn and Spring South Pennine tours that Kate was invited to join the Board of Mikron in order to ensure local representation. Mikron also ran a thriving Young People’s Theatre Group to which Kate contributed
Kate has spent most of her teaching career developing ways in which the Arts and Creativity can support Children with Special Educational Needs, This has involved both working for the local education authority as a Behaviour Consultant, writing project proposals to Children’s Fund Commissioning bodies, ensuring both service delivery, evaluation , financial rigour and accountability.

Mark Kelly

Mark joined the Trustees in 2008 but before that had been a Friend of Mikron for a number of years, first seeing shows with his (then) young family in the 1990s.

Mark is a marketing and business growth consultant, working with primarily creative businesses on sustainable growth strategies. He has worked with Pete to spread the Mikron message online.

Mark previously served on the board of Manchester Digital, a marketing and creative industries trade body. He was also part of the steering panel for the Life Online exhibition at The National Media Museum. Mark is a volunteer organiser of the Marsden Electric Theatre community cinema CIC and Marsden Walkers Are Welcome (part of the national WAW group).

Mark has some experience (although not talent – his words) of the world of both acting and play writing. He was part of the Mikron Latecomers drama workshop group, run by ex Mikron actor, Gilly Baskeyfield.

John Liley

John has been involved with boats for much of his life. Friendship with Mike Lucas, founder of Mikron in the company’s earlier days led to his present position as a trustee.

Trained as an engineer, John worked in yacht delivery in the late 1950s, sailing as far afield as Guadaloupe and the eastern Mediterranean. Editorship of a prominent yachting magazine brought a revived interest in the inland waterways he had travelled on as a child, and in the 1960s and early 70s he was heavily involved in the campaign to save Britain’s waterways.

Since 1976 John has been chairman and managing director of a company operating hotel-barge ‘Luciole’ on the canals of central France. He is the author of five books on waterway-related subjects.

Ian McCarthy

Ian has been a fan of Mikron Theatre Company since seeing their first show at IWA Nation Boat Rally in Lymn in 1972. He has always been active in canal restoration and has been on the management committees of several canal restoration charities. Ian and his friends became the first Mikron ‘groupies’, chasing the company around the venues of the Northwest of England, and sometimes even further afield.
Then in 1975 Ian and his canal friends all came to know the company on a rather different level as they helped the company and their boat Tyelsey through the newly re-opened Cheshire Ring, in particular the Ashton and Manchester city centre, Rochdale canals.
Following this Mike Lucas ask Ian to join the council of Management of the Company. Ian is now the longest serving member of the council, and has seen both the highs and the lows of the company. Ian as been active in canal restoration all his life and has now become the elected member, representing the volunteer constituency as its council member on the Council of the Canal and River Trust. He has also co-owned and maintained a historic canal craft for most of his adult life.
Ian has been a profession computer engineer for all his working life, starting off designing Mainframe computers with ICL and then after being transferred out under TUPE and being made redundant, Ian then founded three highly successfully computer companies. Ian took retirement in 2012.

Dr Alistair MacDonald

Alistair grew up in Manchester and studied philosophy at Sheffield University, and then at Lancaster University where he was awarded a doctorate in French and German philosophy. After a spell working at managerial level in social care in London, he retrained as a solicitor and practiced law in Manchester for twelve years. Specialising in compliance and regulatory law, he spent the last five of these years as a managing partner of a major national law firm. In 2012, he left the law to become a full time filmmaker. Since then he has built a thriving artistic and commercial filmmaking practice. He produces commercial work for clients across the public and private sector. His non-commercial films have been shown at festivals across the UK and Europe and he has worked with arts council funded organisations to produce high quality socially engaged film work.

Alistair joined Mikron’s board of directors in 2013. Prior to that he spent several years as a trustee of Kirklees Citizens Advice.

Alistair lives in Marsden, home of Mikron. His interests include fell running, orienteering, rock climbing, mountaineering in the Highlands of Scotland and studying Scandinavian languages.

Sue Prickett

Sue’s connection with Mikron started in the 1970s when she helped Mike and Sarah Lucas in the early days of the company in London. She became a trustee rather than an employee when she joined the Council of Management in 1989.

She has been heavily involved with the voluntary sector since the mid 1970s, chairing two residents associations where she dealt with planning, local development, licensing and transport issues with the local authority. For over 20 years she was on the Board of the St. Pancras Housing Association (SPHA) in central London where she also chaired the housing management sub-committee and regularly attended meetings with tenants.

Whilst a voluntary board member with SPHA she was instrumental in setting up the London Voluntary Members Forum and its training programme with funding from the Housing Corporation and creating a series of regular conferences for London board members. She also sat on the National Voluntary Members Forum and helped collate its submission to the National Federation of Housing Associations for the Inquiry into Housing Association Governance.

For several years she worked with the Property Director of a small independent retailer and since 1990 has built up and managed a personal investment portfolio.

★ ★ ★ ★ As ever, Mikron manages to land a sociological punch without resorting to preachiness

The Guardian

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