Our Committee

Ian C Mason FHA (Hon. Chairman of Essex Branch)

It is an honour to act as Chair. I have attended branch meetings since I was a young history teacher in Chelmsford in the 1970s.  I have been lucky enough to serve as Programme Secretary and go on to help the national HA as Joint Editor of ‘The Historian’ and Chair of the Branches and Members Committee, as well as being a Trustee. Having attended many annual conferences of the full HA, it has been a pleasure to associate with many ‘historians’ both professionally-trained and also with the very many enthusiasts who don’t ever stop learning and enjoying history.

Tony Tuckwell (Vice Chair)

Entranced by the mysteries of Liddington Iron Age hill fort, visible from my parents’ back garden, Wiltshire’s prehistory became an early passion. After reading History at Oxford, I taught in Portmsouth and Greater Manchester, concluding my career as Head of King Edward VI Grammar School (KEGS) in Chelmsford. In retirement I have researched and published  several books including the histories of KEGS, of New Hall and its School and of Chelmsford Cathedral and have given talks to a wide range of organisations in Essex and East London. I have been a full member of the Historical Association since 1966 and still gain great pleasure from reading history and listening to HA’s fascinating speakers divulge their latest research.

Martin Frampton (Programme Secretary)

Reluctantly retired Headteacher and History teacher, surviving 40 years teaching, mostly in Essex schools. Lover of American history, 20th Century European diplomacy, and Native American Archaeology. Graduate research into Eastern Tennessee pioneers. Some local historical knowledge including vernacular buildings.

Fascinated by historical mysteries and “What Ifs”. Lifelong Anastasia supporter until beaten by DNA. Loyal Andrew Johnson southerner until very recently. Enjoys historical debating and current research, including searching for lost kings under car parks.

John Edgar MEd (Cantab), NPQH, PQSI (Education Officer)

John is an experienced educational professional.  He is currently the Safeguarding Trustee for a local Multi Academy Trust, a National History Mark Assessor for the Historical Association, and freelance educational consultant.

John qualified as a history teacher in 1985 teaching first in Gloucestershire, then in schools in Kent and Essex, where he was Humanities Coordinator and Head of History.  He was the Associate Tutor for History NQT induction in Essex and seconded to support schools in category in neighbouring Local Authorities.

John has extensive leadership and advisory experience within schools and Local Authorities.  He served as an Ofsted Inspector, and qualified as a Lead Inspector.  Most recently he has served as a Headteacher Virtual School and Service Manager for Educational Welfare Services (Inclusion).

John has mentored trainee history teachers since 1994.  In 2014 he was asked to develop the Billericay SCITT History PGCE and continues as its Lead Subject Mentor.

Andy Moir (Hon. Treasurer)

I always enjoyed history at school which I studied until O-level.  In the sixth form I studied Maths, Chemistry and Physics and then went to Sussex University where I gained a degree in Chemistry.  I spent most of my working life working in IT at Ford both in the Europe and the US.

Whilst I worked in IT I still continued to be interested in History.  I read history books, watched history programmes on the TV and attended Historical Association talks.  When I took early retirement in 2005, I volunteered to be Treasurer of the Essex HA Branch.  

John Symonds (Equipment and Accommodation)

Worked in local government in Essex for 35 years; in Social Services from 1975, Basildon District Council from 1978-1984 and from 1984 in the Chief Executive’s office in County Hall, Chelmsford.  I had several roles supporting the Chief Executive and senior County Councillors and responsibility for special projects, including managing Cressing Temple from 1987-1994.  Retired in 2010, since when life has been travelling, hiking, cricket, theatre, music and festivals – and a reawakened interest in history.
Paul Rusiecki (Archivist)

I was born and brought up in a small mining village in the West Riding of Yorkshire. I studied History at Sheffield University. For almost fifty years I have lived with my family in London and Essex, and we have been settled in Colchester since 1978. I was a schoolteacher for the whole of my working life. I have spent the last forty years studying the history of Essex in the 20th century. My books, ’The Impact of Catastrophe: Essex and the First World War’ and ‘Under Fire: Essex and the Second World War’, have been published. I am currently working on Essex during the inter-war years, and on football in Essex. Having access to the online British Newspaper Library saved my sanity during Covid. I am a lifelong supporter of Sheffield Wednesday FC [for my many sins!] and the little known Frickley Athletic FC [formerly Frickley Colliery]. My wife and I have an allotment, which we cultivate in a rather haphazard fashion and without Tom Good’s fanaticism! I am a great fan of 1950s sci-fi films [and Star Trek] and my taste in music is simply too broad to categorise.
Liz Cadzow (Hon. Secretary) Debbie Cresswell (Publicity)
Wendy Walder (Membership Secretary)