Festival Team


Mandy Martinez – Festival Manager 

Mandy is an arts/publishing marketing and events consultant with more than 25 years experience ranging from London fringe and West End theatres to Manchester International Festival. Mandy was also Marketing Director of Time Out Group, creating numerous cultural, sponsorship and commercial initiatives across Time Out magazine, travel and lifestyle guides.  Mandy joined the team as Festival Manager in October 2017.


Diana Hamilton – Community Engagement and Outreach Coordinator

Diana has worked managing cultural projects in the North West for over 13 years.  Diana is passionate about developing arts-led regeneration, finding roles for cultural people and organisations in regeneration projects, delivering socially engaging practice; and extending the role of culture within neighbourhoods. Previous and current projects include Spodden Valley Revealed – an eco museum in the landscape – owned and managed by the community, the Irwell Sculpture Trail – a 33 mile sculpture trail and The Print Mill – a community run arts facility on the high street. Diana leads on community engagement and outreach work for the festival.

Programme Advisors 

Barnaby Parade – John Hartsthorn

Music – Jane Birch

Theatre and Performance – Sam Redway

Literature and Spoken Word – Ailsa Holland

Outdoor and Installation – Jane Munro

Science – Megan Argo

Visual Arts – Mike Thorpe


Deirdre Groombridge – Administrative Support (Public Meetings)

After retiring from her job as an IT Project Manager, Deirdre started to volunteer for Barnaby in 2016 and worked in the area of general administration.  Her role for the 2018 festival changed and she now supports the public Open Meetings.  Alongside her involvement with Barnaby she is co-director of Macclesfield Music Centre which combines her organisational skills with playing the cello.

Sarah Miles – Administrative Support (Board Coordinator)

Sarah came to live in Macclesfield over 30 years ago  to teach in a local secondary school but took early retirement and began volunteering for Macclesfield Barnaby Festival.  She job-shared the administration of the Festival from 2011 until 2016 when she took on the role of Board support.  Alongside her involvement with Barnaby she is also co-director of Macclesfield Music Centre which combines her organisational skills with playing the violin



David Gooda – Chair

David  joined the board of Barnaby Festival in 2015, and took up the reins when Founding Chair, Lynne Jones stepped down following 2016’s record-breaking Festival. He moved to Macclesfield in 2002, and has been involved in a number of civic and charity boards in the town over the past decade. David runs a small communications business, enjoys writing and singing, and often walks long distances.

Abi Gilmore – Board Member (Strategy and Governance)

Abi established the MA Arts Management, Policy and Practice at The University of Manchester and works with colleagues in the Institute for Cultural Practices on other postgraduate programmes. She is involved in a range of research, knowledge exchange and public engagement activities concerning the value of the arts and relationships between culture, policy and place. She speaks regularly on these topics at academic conferences and sector symposia. Within the University, Abi is a member of Policy@Manchester and affiliated to the Manchester Urban Institute. Among her responsibilities outside the University, Abi is a trustee for arts charities, Abandon Normal Devices and the Macclesfield Barnaby Festival, and is Chair of Brighter Sound.

Jo Bell – Board Member (Programme and Artistic)

Jo is a unique force in British poetry. She runs an immensely successful web-based project called 52 and declares that her main work is ‘connecting other poets’. Her various projects include collaborative work, poems for public spaces, and workshops for all kinds of groups of people, and her poems have been published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies. Bell is also well-known as the former director of the UK’s National Poetry Day and is the first-ever Canal Laureate of the UK, appointed by the Poetry Society and the Canal & River Trust.

Beverley Moore  – Board Member (Volunteering , Compliance and Data Protection)

Beverley works as a freelance consultant providing web content services and writing skills training. Prior to this, she worked in both operational and strategic business roles in both for-profit and not-for-profit environments. As a senior manager at Resources for Associations (now part of accountancy firm Kingston Smith), she developed a strong understanding of governance in the voluntary sector.  She has been a governor at Macclesfield College and she also set up the Friends of Park Royal School, and was the charity’s first chair. Professional memberships include the Institute of Management, the Society for Education and Training, Manchester Digital, and the writers’ group, 26.

Marja Lahelma-Barnsley – Board Member (Finance)

Marja is a Chartered Accountant and founder of Ridgehill Consulting, a business consultancy in Macclesfield. Marja has considerable experience of working with not for profit organisations, with special interest in training/education and implementing effective financial controls and processes. Outside of Barnaby, Marja is a trustee and treasurer of another Macclesfield charity ‘Smile Group’, provides business coaching to local businesses through ‘Enterprising Macclesfield’ and delivers finance training to charity professionals through ‘Cheshire Connect’.

If you are interested in joining or supporting the Board of Trustees please contact mail@barnabyfestival.org.uk.

Ralph McGaul's mural

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