Our Board of Trustees comprises:
Lady Catherine Erskine - Chair
I have been involved in the restoration of a historic estate, Cambo Estate, since moving to Scotland in the 1970s and I am heavily involved in fundraising, tourism and running a visitor attraction. I originally joined the Scottish Country Dancing group which took place on the Unicorn and was invited to join the Board in 2010. My passions? I am still passionate about Scottish country dancing and I am a very keen gardener and walker.
Emma Jane Wells - Vice Chair
I am a museum and heritage professional, and have worked with a wide range of organisations throughout my career. I am a Falkland Islander by birth and so have an interest in maritime heritage. I joined Unicorn's Board to provide museum and collections-specific advice and support. I have 3 young children, so have little time left of my own! We have ponies at home and I also enjoy reading and keeping fit.
James Toal - Chair of Project Board
I am a Fifer with over 40 years’ experience in Customer Service, Sales and Marketing. On retiring as a Director of Marley Eternit, UK’s largest manufacturer of roofing products, I volunteered with The Prince’s Trust as a business mentor for young entrepreneurs and served as a Trustee with two Learning Disability charities. I was invited to become involved with the Society in 2019. My favourite pastimes are fly fishing, photography, old cars and motor racing; mostly now superseded by playing with my 2-year-old granddaughter.
Commodore Eric Fraser - (On Sabbatical)
I joined UPS as a Trustee in 2018 after 37 years in the Royal Navy and a subsequent spell as Scotland’s first Veterans’ Commissioner. With an active interest in our country’s maritime heritage, I was delighted to be invited to join the Board and have thoroughly enjoyed being involved in developing a long-term plan for HMS Unicorn. I now run a tour guiding company with my wife, and any spare time is taken up with golf, fly-fishing and, of course, spending time with my grandchildren.
As Head of Corporate Services within the Fife Health & Social Care Partnership, my role covers all aspects of good governance and communications functions. I served 2 terms as an Executive Director of NHS Fife and latterly was Chair of the Kirkcaldy & Levenmouth Community Health Partnership. I have been involved in community and public engagement at Local and National level for over 20 years. Living in the village of Thornton, I Chair the Community Council and the Thornton Green Fingers Group. My favourite pastimes are pottering in the garden, fundraising for the Scottish Cairn Terrier Rescue and walking my two dogs Evie and Midge.
My career in museums began as a volunteer at Edinburgh's Museum of Childhood, and I have since had roles at Tyne and Wear Museums, Museums Galleries Scotland, and Culture Perth and Kinross, among others. I am currently Museums & Galleries Edinburgh's Curatorial & Engagement Manager, and President of the Museums Association.
I am Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow, where I teach twentieth-century writing. My current research project, "Ocean Modern", is about literature and ships. I applied to be a trustee in 2021, and I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. I have many personal connnections with the west coast of the UK (Bristol, Cornwall, Liverpool, Penarth, and Glasgow), and at the weekend I enjoy seaside walks.
I started James Keiller Estates in 1980, focussing on commercial, residential and leisure property development. Part of the largely Dundee-based portfolio was sold off in late 2018. I have recently purchased Scotia Homes in Ellon with a partner to help build a strong family business. I was delighted to join UPS 2 years ago. I am an Honorary Fellow of Dundee University and also a trustee of Dundee Heritage Trust.
Through my work with cultural, charitable and higher education organisations I am experienced in promoting participation in built heritage and specialise in digital events and experiences, interpretation and communications. I joined the Unicorn's Board to provide support and guidance on digital engagement and accessibility as the ship sails into a new exciting chapter. In my spare time you can find me hiking, visiting a farmer's market or trawling the beach for sea pottery and glass.
I am a Chartered Structural Engineer and my entire working life has revolved around the existing and historic built environment. My day job is Technical Director of Conservation with a firm of Consulting Engineers, David Narro Associates. A long-held fascination with naval history and architecture led me to hunt down Unicorn in 2004 en route to a sailing tour of Scapa Flow. Visiting the ship from time to time, and regular contact, led to me being invited to join the Board of Trustees in 2015.
In addition to our Trustees, others with governance roles attend our Board meetings:
Lord Dalhousie - President
I served in the Coldstream Guards for more than 10-years before having a 25-year career as an investment banker. Since then, I have been heavily involved in running Dalhousie Estates, our family-run business engaged in farming, property letting, forestry and field sports. I have a unique, lifelong link to HMS Unicorn in that my father helped to save the ship in 1968. I am now helping to preserve the ship in a sustainable environment for future generations. Dalhousie Estates, my wife, three children and six grandchildren keep me busy. But, when not working, I enjoy country sports, gardening and history.
Captain Tom Woolley - Technical Adviser
In addition to a career in the RN and RNR, I have been in the commercial maritime industry for the past 40 years; I am the managing director of Targe Towing Limited and a past member of BP’s North Sea’s HSE leadership team. As Chair of the Unicorn Technical Committee, I am deeply committed to preserving the ship and to bringing my commercial and professional knowledge in support. My other interests include ornithology, walking, cycling, gardening and religion.
Dr Tom Mitchell for CGPM Consulting LLP - Company Secretary
My background is as a Chartered Accountant and working in international offices of major accounting firms and in financial services. For the past decade, I have managed a firm of Chartered Accountants that specialises in working with charities improving governance, finance, risk and people matters. I sit on the ICAS charities technical panel and act as a trustee for three charities. I was first engaged by the Society for a governance review in 2014. When not working, I love to read, garden and delve into modern history.