The Black Horse Steering Group (BHSG) comprises 9 Dry Drayton residents who are passionate about re-opening the Black Horse. Each member brings different skills to the table and meet weekly (at minimum!) to work on saving the pub.
Below you will find a short bio for each member of the team – note that we are always on the lookout for new members so please get in touch if you feel you might be able to spare some time to help us!
James Adams moved with his wife and young family to Dry Drayton at the end of 2015. James graduated from Imperial College in 2003 with a masters in Electronic Engineering and has spent his career working in the Cambridge tech sector. Having worked for several successful start-ups and one large semiconductor company, James completed an Executive MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School in 2016 and is currently Chief Operating Officer and hardware lead at Raspberry Pi; a charity formed to educate young people in computer science and engineering.
Ash Bavalia, 56 has lived in Dry Drayton for around 14 years. He runs a business within the Mental Health sector with his wife Juliet but previously worked in senior operational management roles within the Defence and Aerospace sectors.
Always keenly involved in community activities, Ash during his time living in Hardwick, assisted in the running of the youth club, scout troop and managed one of the village football teams. He was instrumental in the creation of the “thriving” Hardwick Sports and Social Club and is presently serving as a Trustee for an Osteopathic treatment and research charity serving the needs of the under privileged in Central London.
Adrian Bennetton has been part of Dry Drayton since 2004. He grew up in Cornwall and studied Physics at the University of Hull, graduating in 1973. In 1974, he started his career as a Geophysicist in the upstream oil and gas industry. He worked for BP for a number of years both in the UK and USA. After leaving BP in 1995, Adrian founded CustomLink System Ltd and then in 2000 formed ARK CLS Ltd, a geoscience software company which he still runs today. Adrian is very passionate about keeping the Black Horse for the community and future generations.
Judith Bennetton arrived, from Aberdeen to Scotland Farm cottages in 1987. From 1989 she picked up her career again, teaching foreign business students. Now works as an administrator. Judith has been involved in several village organisations. She has seen shop and post office, Feast week procession, teas on Midsummer Common and the annual ceilidh disappear. Secretary of the group she knows we must bring back opportunities to meet and work together. We must preserve the Black Horse and run it so that it becomes the hub for Dry Drayton and its neighbours.
Liz Challis has lived in Dry Drayton only two years but has been in Cambridge and surrounding villages for nearly 40 years since she first came up as a student in 1962. She has just returned from a period of semi-retirement in Norfolk. Her working life has been as a university teacher and as a manager in the NHS, as Director of Corporate Planning for Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Authority. She has also been a magistrate for 33 years in Cambridge and Norwich, most recently specialising in the work of the Family Court. Liz wants to see the pub re-open as a place she can take family and friends for a meal, as her cooking talents are limited.
Ed Fleming has lived in the area for the last 3 years but moved to Dry Drayton at the start of the year. He works as a geologist at a charity affiliated to Cambridge University. His field research takes place in the Arctic where he spends several months a year in the remote arctic island of Svalbard. He was drawn to Dry Drayton partly for the community spirit and considers a thriving pub is an essential element of this. Despite his relatively recent arrival, he is highly motivated to see the pub reopen and transform into a community centre for all.
Robbie Hawkes was born 67 years ago in the Rectory in Dry Drayton. His formative years were spent in Dry Drayton and he has studied and worked in Northern England, Scotland, the Midlands and the USA, returning to bring his family up in Dry Drayton. His work expertise is in research and development of medical imaging devices. Over the past 30 years he has been a parish councillor, on the village hall committee and is currently a school governor but his passion is erecting marquees to raise funds for the school and village.
Andrew Henderson and his family have lived in Dry Drayton for two years. He is currently a househusband, looking after house, home, partner and two children at primary school. Previously he worked in various roles, but mostly in purchasing management. He was a vice president and strategic purchasing manager for Nomura International (Japanese investment bank) in London, responsible for a variety of contracts across Real Estate and Services, IT and Travel Management. He first came to Cambridge as a student at Wolfson College in 1987. Although chances to go to the pub are rare, he would like there to be one within walking distance, when the opportunity arises.
Robb Lunn and his wife Carole have lived in Dry Drayton for the last 14 years, having moved into the area originally in 1987. They have two sons, Charles and James, who are studying at University.
He has spent 30 years working in the Chemical Industry in R&D, marketing, business analysis, and in business excellence, travelling extensively around the world. More recently, he has set up as a freelance painter and decorator, re-utilising professional skills learned originally as a student. Robb has a Doctorate in Chemistry, a Diploma in Management Studies, and is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He is very motivated in using his varied business experience to support our community in its bid to save the Black Horse.
In his remaining spare time, Robb is Treasurer of Dry Drayton Church, and a keen birdwatcher and gardener.