Cultural managements

Chairman of Whitchurch Silk Mill appointed MBE for services to cultural heritage

The chairman of Whitchurch Silk Mill has been appointed MBE for her services to cultural heritage in Hampshire.

Christine Beresford received the MBE from the Prince of Wales on behalf of the Queen during a recent investiture at Windsor Castle.

For the past 20 years, Ms Beresford, a retired museum curator and heritage manager, has worked tirelessly with Hampshire museums to help them raise standards of conservation, presentation, management and governance.

Christine Beresford was appointed MBE in a recent investiture. (54879807)

She has been a trustee of Whitchurch Silk Mill since 2013, when the 200-year-old textile mill needed refurbishment but lacked the funds for repairs and upgrades.

She joined a team of staff and volunteers to launch a major renovation project and helped raise over £2million from a wide range of charitable and private donors, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

She became president of the mill in 2017.

Once described as Hampshire’s best-kept secret, the Silk Mill is now a vibrant attraction preserving the craft of silk weaving, an industry that has existed in Whitchurch for two centuries.

On her appointment as MBE, Ms Beresford said: “Receiving the MBE is a great honor and I was deeply touched to receive it.

“Whitchurch Silk Mill is a wonderful place, one of Hampshire’s treasures and unique in England.

“I would like to dedicate this honor to the wonderful team who have worked so hard over the past few years to ensure that the Silk Mill survives and continues to delight future generations of visitors and residents of Whitchurch.”

Ms Beresford is also a trustee of HorsePower, the museum of the King’s Royal Hussars, the cavalry regiment which took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade and brought the game of polo to England.

This role led her to become President of the Military Museums of Winchester, a partnership of six museums based in Peninsula Barracks in Winchester.

During his tenure, they collaborated on several projects to raise awareness and attract more visitors, including exhibitions to mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and the centenary of the end of the First World War.

In September this year, Ms Beresford’s term as a director comes to an end and she will step down as chair of the Silk Mill board.

A recruitment campaign for his successor will be launched in the coming weeks.