Dorset Museum is owned by the members of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.

The members elect a Board of twelve Trustees who are responsible for the overall strategy of the Society and the management of its Museum.

Tracy Chevalier


Tracy Chevalier FRSL is an author of historical fiction. She is best known for the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, and has written novels set in France, Switzerland, the United States, and Dorset – including Remarkable Creatures, about the fossil hunter Mary Anning. She is a Trustee of the British Library, an Ambassador for the Woodland Trust, a Patron of the Dorchester Literary Festival and the Lyme Regis Museum, and supports several charities. Tracy and her husband have had a long association with Dorset, and divide their time between London and a cottage in the Piddle Valley.

Andy Fleet


Andy is a geologist who retired in 2015 from the Natural History Museum, London where he was Keeper of Mineralogy/ Head of Earth Sciences and latterly Assistant Director of Science. His responsibilities included collections storage, infrastructure development and links with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Previously he worked in the petroleum industry and before that was UNESCO Fellow in Oceanography at the Open University. He has lived in Dorset since 2004.

David French


David is a Trustee of Weldmar Hospicecare, Chair of Governors at a local First School, a pension scheme Trustee and a mentor to three local businesses as part of Dorset Business Mentors.


David was a Director of Hall & Woodhouse until his retirement in 2018 where he was responsible for all aspects of the beer business including building the brewery in Blandford. David’s career background is in Marketing. He has lived in Dorset for over 29 years.

Sarah James


Originally Visual Arts trained, I have held director and senior management roles in internationally and nationally significant charitable arts, cultural organisations and social enterprises for the last 13 years. This has included heading up 2 large Learning and Participation departments, developing and delivering audience development and education strategies (for individual arts organisations as well as on a regional scale for Arts Council England and English Heritage), leading creative teams and producing high profile and quality artistic programming for museums, galleries, public realm and festivals. I have led on organisational change management processes, business planning, overseeing staff teams and HR, charity law, managing safeguarding and bring with me extensive fundraising experience.


I am currently the new Director of a socially engaged arts organisation specialising in working in the field of arts and heath called Creativity Works. This is an Arts Council National Portfolio organisation based in Bath and North East Somerset. I have until very recently, just spent the last 3 years as CEO of Dorset’s Arts Development Company, a sector support organisation for the arts and culture sector. The last task I completed pre leaving was to write Dorset’s new 5- year Cultural Strategy which goes to Dorset Council Cabinet for approval on the 18 May

Jean Lang DL


Jean is a lawyer and was for many years a solicitor with a Dorset firm. She is now a part time Tribunal Judge. Moving to Dorchester in 1981 she has been involved with many local organisations as Chair of the CAB, of St Osmund’s Middle School Governors and then of Thomas Hardye Governors. She has served on the Police Authority and as a Non-Executive Director of Poole Hospital. She is currently Deputy Chair of Bournemouth University and a Director/Trustee of Dorset Opera.

Sian Merriott


Sian moved to Dorchester in 2001 and has been involved in a number of local community projects including a Nursery School and First School as well as the Dorchester BID and Dorchester Chamber of Commerce.  Sian is a qualified solicitor currently working in residential conveyancing and family law.

Jon Murden


After a first career in higher education, Jon has worked as a museum professional for 15 years. Whilst at National Museums Liverpool, Jon was a project co-ordinator on the Museum of Liverpool development, before becoming their first Director of Research.


In 2009, Jon became Director of Dorset County Museum.  He led a complete re-organisation to enable the Museum to become financially sustainable and established a range of strategic partnerships that have improved the Museum’s reputation, exhibitions programme and access to grant funding.  Jon was also responsible for developing the concept for the Tomorrow’s Museum for Dorset project and leading the Society’s ambitious development programme.

Tracey Parsons


Tracey is an experienced litigation solicitor and mediator. She is a History graduate of the LSE and converted to Law. She started her career in London and has been involved in voluntary work for many years. This has included working on Management Committees for community groups in East London and in Dorset.


She has been on the governing board for a north Dorset secondary school for 14 years. Her role has included working on the Finance Committee, the Strategy Committee and chairing governor panel hearings. She is also a trustee of the Dorchester Child Contact Centre.


Tracey has lived in Dorset for 21 years and raised her 3 children here. She continues to practice law at a local firm and has strong community ties.

Jeremy Pope OBE, DL


Jeremy qualified as a solicitor before joining his family company, Eldridge, Pope, in 1969, where he worked for 30 years retiring in 1999 as CEO.  During that period he served on a number of public bodies in London. He then took on a portfolio of appointments in the South West in the public, private and co-operative sectors.  As well as several other charities, he served as Trustee of the Tank Museum from 2000 to 2019. He served as Dorset’s High Sheriff in 2012/13 during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 2012 when the county hosted the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.

Alexander Walters


Alec was born in Surrey and moved to Whitcombe in 1998 where he has a smallholding.  After reading History at Durham, he qualified as a chartered accountant and joined ICI Paints providing management accounting support.  In 1983 Alec joined BT’s cable laying and subsea engineering operations and then finance director of the computer systems integration business, Syntegra.  Alec is married with two sons and three granddaughters.

Sarah Welton


A marine biologist and educator, Sarah Welton has worked locally for the Dorset Wildlife Trust (until recently a Trustee), nationally for the Marine Conservation Society and internationally on marine education projects in the Bahamas, Malaysia, Mauritius and Seychelles.  She was a Poole Harbour Commissioner for 10 years.


Sarah wrote the Education Strategy for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and as well as text and labels and designed and delivered educational resources and training based on the Museum’s Jurassic Coast Gallery.  She served as a Trustee of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society for six years, stood down in 2016 and was re-elected in 2017 at a very exciting time for the Society and the Museum.

Shane Bartlett


I am married to Tracey and have two daughters both of whom have attended local schools, both of which I attended myself as a child. I have always been fortunate to work locally and have been employed in the dental industry since leaving full-time education. I was born in and have lived in Wimborne Minster all of my life. It is a town that I love and have a deep affection for and consider myself fortunate to be living in such a beautiful town with a varied and wonderfully outstanding surrounding countryside.


I have been involved with fundraising for several charities over the years, most recently due to personal circumstances, these have been for cancer (breast cancer in particular) and combat stress.


I have many hobbies and interests. Unfortunately, there is never enough time to enjoy all of them, but they include model making, reading (especially history which is a passion of mine) and nature watching with my girls in the already aforementioned beautiful landscape in which we are lucky enough to reside.