We’ve brought together a strong team to deliver this ambitious project, with a wealth of experience and specialist knowledge. Some helped deliver a strong cultural programme of exhibitions during Hull’s years as UK City of Culture, while others have come from across the country and chosen to work on this project
Project Director – Rob Kingdom
Rob Kingdom has worked as a Building Surveyor in corporate property and schools for Hull, Beverley Borough and East Riding Councils for 15 years. Since then, for the last 22 years, he has taken on a range of regeneration Project Management roles; at Leeds Construction and Training Agency delivering building improvements and using local labour and then back at Hull City Council for a number of different roles, managing the NHS LIFT District Centre at Orchard Park, an £18m Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, and then the £42m Citybuild/Hull Forward Programme.
More recently Rob was a Project Manager within the Major Projects and Infrastructure team in Hull City Council. Where he led the delivery of a number of large scale schemes including a £1.8m PFI school extension Victoria Dock completed in January 2016; £80m PFI Extra Care project delivering 316 apartments in three schemes across the city completing in July 2017. He was actively involved in a number of other schemes including the £50m Hull Cruise Terminal feasibility stage work, and the £515k Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball Restoration bid, which received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Round 1 pass and subsequently a round 2 pass in 2018. For a short time he also looked after the Beverley Road Townscape heritage scheme (£2.7m) and Pearson Park (£3.9m), both HLF schemes.
As Project Director, Rob leads a small team of dedicated project staff and working closely with specialist museum colleagues in Hull Culture and Leisure to deliver the HYMC project.
Project Manager – Mik O’Connell
Mik O’Connell worked as a stage manager and ended up as manager of the Strand Theatre in London’s West End. A change of direction saw Mik study for a BA in History at King’s College London and an MA in Heritage Interpretation at Strawberry Hill.
In 2000 Mik moved to York and started working as a Project Manager on the school building programme with York Council. Several project manager roles followed in education and heritage projects, including Major Projects' Manger (North) for the Science Museum. Mik Joined the H:YMC project after a 2.5-year spell with the National Trust.
Fundraising Manager – Helen May
A native of Hull, Helen completed a B.A. (hons) degree in Modern European Studies at Nottingham Trent University before starting her working life in publishing in the foreign rights department at Random House in London. She made a move to Edinburgh for quality of life reasons in the early 90’s and her long-standing involvement in the not-for-profit sector began there. Looking to use the sales and marketing skills she had developed in the private sector, she started work as a fundraiser shortly after her arrival and successfully raised funds for a range of causes in Scotland including mental health, the Anglican church, cancer and palliative care and the supported housing sector. During this period she also led the Scottish Training Committee of the Institute of Fundraising and served as an elected member on the Institute’s Scottish Executive for a number of years. After a three-year spell as the Events and Communications Manager for the Yorkshire and Humber European Office in Brussels, she returned to Scotland and worked as the Programme Director for Edinburgh Common Purpose, a leadership development organisation.
For most of the last 10 years, Helen has worked in the museum sector in Yorkshire. Firstly, at the National Railway Museum where she was Head of Development working on a range of complex museum projects, including the funding of the restoration of Flying Scotsman. She oversaw the setting up of the NRM’s legacy programme (the most successful in the Science Museum Group) and of the NRM’s Patrons’ Programme and Major Donor work. She returned to Hull to lead the HYMC fundraising efforts in March 2018.
Audience and Engagement Manager – Malcolm Dunn
This post is held by Malcolm Dunn who first started for Hull Museums in August 2012 as a seasonal Heritage Assistant and has had several roles since taking on this post including Museums Audience Development Officer throughout the preparation and delivery of the museums and gallery programme for Hull's City of Culture year. During this time, Malcolm contributed to a variety of events and exhibitions including Poppies:Weeping Window and Bowhead at Hull Maritime Museum and Spencer Tnick's Sea of Hull at the Ferens Art Gallery. Before working for Hull Museums, he worked in dispute resolution for npower Business. Prior to this Malcolm was studying for a PhD in medieval history at the University of Hull following the successful completion of undergraduate and master’s degrees at the same institution.
Curator – Robin Diaper
Robin Diaper has been involved in the heritage sector for over 20 years, with experience of working in historic buildings and national, independent and local authority museums.
After brief periods working at the former colliery Snibston Discovery Park in Leicestershire and the National Railway Museum in York he gained his MA in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Between 2000 - 2004 he worked as Assistant Curator and then Curator and Assistant Collections Manager at Harewood House near Leeds, caring for collections that included Italian Renaissance paintings and the biggest collection of Chippendale furniture in the UK.
In 2004 he became the first Curator of the Guildhall for Hull City Council. Four years later he became Curator of Maritime & Social History for Hull Museums, having curatorial responsibilities for the Maritime Museum, Arctic Corsair, Spurn Lightship, Streetlife Museum, Hands On History and Wilberforce House Museum. As part of this role Robin led and developed the successful 2017 exhibition programme for the Maritime Museum which led to a 395 per cent increase in visitor figures that year.
Community and Schools Learning Officer - Charlie Trzeciak
This post is held by Charlie Trzeciak, whose interest in working in the Heritage Sector first developed whilst studying Ancient and Modern History at the University of Oxford.
He went on to complete an MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of St Andrews, before holding a series of learning and community engagement posts at the Museum of the University of St Andrews, the Scottish Fisheries Museum and the Black Watch Castle and Museum. He left Scotland in order to take up his current role in the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project.
Volunteering Manager – Tom Goulder
The volunteer manager role will ensure that the project achieves its aim of improving skills, providing training and changing lives by means of a wide ranging, tailored volunteer program that reaches all communities and all areas of the city of Hull.
Tom has worked for Hull Museums since 1993 in front of house, curatorial and volunteer support roles.
His first museum job came about thanks to a period volunteering with a partner organisation. Outside of work Tom volunteers as a school governor and is a volunteer director of a small Community Interest Company promoting wellbeing through engagement with the natural environment.
Senior Marketing Executive – Anna Marshall
Anna Marshall has worked in communications and marketing for Hull City Council since 2005 with various roles including Marketing Assistant, then progressing to Marketing Officer and finally Media Officer.
Anna led on the PR for award-winning campaigns, exhibitions and events including the re-opening of Ferens Art Gallery following a £5.2m refurbishment, The Turner Prize and the Spencer Tunick - Sea of Hull installation, which generated worldwide exposure for Hull ahead of the UK City of Culture year as well as contributing to record-breaking visitor numbers, attracting over 519,000 visitors to the gallery during 2017.
Anna has completed both CIM and CIPR qualifications whilst in full-time employment and is currently part of the 2019/20 cohort of the LGcommunications Future Leaders programme. Prior to this Anna successfully completed a HND in Travel and Tourism at the University of Hull.
Collections and Documentation Assistant - Megan De La Hunt
Megan is the Collections and Documentation Assistant for the HYMC project. Her role includes working with the maritime collections to document and prepare them for the project, and supporting other members of the project team with wider collections related activities.
Megan completed an MA in Museum and Artefact Studies at Durham University in 2006. She began her museums and heritage sector career in the post of Access Project Officer for the North East Regional Museums Hub, and has since worked in documentation posts at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and at Durham Cathedral. She moved to Hull to join the HYMC project team in August 2018.
Conservation and Engagement Officer - Stathis Tsolis
Stathis is the Conservation and Engagement Officer for the HYMC project. His is working with the curatorial team to improve the condition and stability of the maritime collections and to encourage volunteer engagement for the duration of the HYMC project.
Key elements of his role include the identification of priority items for conservation, carry out practical conservation work, liaise and co-ordinate external conservation specialists, create volunteer led conservation activities within the project and raise awareness of the collection and conservation practices.
Stathis has a background in conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art. He worked for a number of National Museums abroad, including the Archaeological museum in Delphi, Athens Wars Museum and the Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki.
In 2007, following the completion of his MA in Historical Archaeology from the University of Bristol, Stathis joined the Science Museum in London as Metals and Engineering conservator. Between 2008-2015, Stathis worked as a Conservation Manager at the National Railway Museum in York (Science Museum Group). During that time, Stathis provided his conservation input for a variety of projects including gallery redevelopments, new exhibitions, object moves, volunteer engagement and daily collection care activities.
Between 2015-2020, Stathis worked as a freelance Heritage and Conservation Consultant. Based in Beverley, East Riding, he worked for Leeds industrial Museum, Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh, Beamish and Sunderland Museums. In 2017 Stathis was part of a team that authored the Guidelines for the Care of Larger and Working Historic Objects, a project commissioned by the Association of British Transport and Engineering Museums and funded by the Arts Council. Stathis has also worked with HCAL’s curatorial team carrying out conservation treatments for objects on display at the Street life Museum including the extensive cosmetic restoration on the Priestman Model No1 Ditcher, a 1920s Hull-made prototype that has been described as the forerunner of modern excavators.
Community Engagement Officer - Holly Walton
Holly has worked within libraries in Hull since she was a college student, holding a number of temporary roles between study gaps and getting involved with digital literacy, conversation cafés, employment support and family and community projects.
After graduating from the University of Warwick’s writing programme in 2012, she went on to study an MA in Contemporary Literature & Culture at Birkbeck, University of London.
From 2014 – 2018 she spent most of her time in Ghana, both volunteering and working with local partners on reproductive health programmes. She particularly loved using dialogue and arts and crafts to raise awareness and reduce stigma, though she learnt far more from her experiences and the people there than she can possibly hope to have shared.
Prior to taking up her post with the HYMC project, Holly worked with TimeBank Hull & East Riding, facilitating exchanges of skills and assets between individuals and organisations, and watching the magic that happens simply when people come together to make stuff happen.
Holly is a writer and has held a number of local commissions in recent years. She loves to dance Lindy Hop and Salsa, and also jogs and knits with far less enthusiasm.