Handel Bennett, SVA President


Married to Joan, spent 30 years in the travel industry, concerned for Heritage and Conservation.

Retired priest, joined SVA 1999, Chairman 2004-10, President from 2013.

Alan Darrant, Chairman of SVA


My wife and I have lived in Sidmouth since 2001, and we have four grown up daughters. I started working life with the Port of London Authority, but after a few years switched to teaching, retiring after nineteen years as head of a large primary school.

I was secretary of the SVA for six years before becoming chairman, and am also chairman of the Abbeyfield Court house committee, one of three Abbeyfield houses in Sidmouth. I played cricket for a few seasons with the Sidmouth club until my knees informed me I was no longer a youngster. I now channel my energies into the garden.

Ed Harrison

Vice Chairman

I am a native of Bristol and moved to Exeter in 1969 on qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor. I commenced practice in Sidmouth in 1979. I am married to Christine and we have two sons, two granddaughters and one grandson. Hobbies include yachting and walking.

Gary Turner

Hon Treasurer

After varied careers in law and finance, my wife and I ended up in Sidmouth quite unintentionally but soon found ourselves unable to leave. We were formerly active members of various Wildlife Trusts, so I am delighted to be a part of the SVA.
Liz Warren

Hon Secretary

My parents moved to Sidmouth 45 years ago so I have been a regular visitor for many years. Before retiring and moving here in 2011, I was CEO and Company Secretary for a Shropshire charity which was part of a national network.

I have worked alongside numerous volunteers and have experience of the constitutional matters of running a charity. Much of my work was involved with seeking grants to maintain and develop services, it is now a privilege to be a member of the Keith Owen Grants Committee which awards grants to local groups and charities.



Kate Tobin

Chair, Keith Owen Fund Committee

I grew up in Mid Devon before studying French in Birmingham and going on to manage nature reserves in Hampshire. My husband Scott and I moved back in 2004 when my two sons were toddlers to give them the Devon childhood I had loved. I have worked in rural land management for over 25 years and now work for the Forestry Commission, covering woodland policy in the South West.

I am passionate about Sidmouth's natural environment, history and connection with the sea, and enjoy walking, gardening and kayaking, as well as helping out with wildlife projects in Sidmouth, especially the SVA's Peaslands Knapp nature reserve.  I have been a member of the Keith Owen Fund grants committee since it began in 2008.

Richard Thurlow Sid Vale Association Conservation and Planning

Conservation and Planning

I was a Chartered Engineer, and worked for 40 years with an international consultancy firm. I travelled extensively and lived in several different countries in my career. I retired in 2008 and came to Sidmouth with my wife, an ex-teacher, attracted by the town, sea, and surrounding beautiful countryside. My interests are in the built environment and activities such as croquet, golf, the sea and walking.