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We are a Charity

The Memorial Hall and Theatre Trust operates the Memo Arts Centre for the benefit of the people of Barry and many beyond to experience and enjoy.

The Memo is an independent Registered Charity and is managed by a board of Trustees. As an independent Charitable Organisation (CIO) our earned income is used to support our vibrant programme, our venue and our users.

Learn more about how you can Support Us

Read about our trustees below

Richard Thomas

Born and raised in Barry, Richard practiced as a chartered architect for over 30 years. He first became involved with the Memo in 1987 as consultant technical officer to the Barry Town Council, supervising major modernisation work to the building. He was a founding member of the Barry Preservation Society, a contributing author to ‘Barry: The Centenary Book’ and the secretary of Pride in Barry for a number of years. He also started and managed a canal boatbuilding company, wining a ‘Best new Business in Wales’ award in the process. He joined the Planning Inspectorate in 2000, specialising in determining historic building and conservation area appeals throughout England, before retiring in 2014. He now lives in Sully, where he is an active trustee of the community-managed Library and the building manager of The Old School Community Centre, where he started and now helps run the newly formed Sully Community Cinema.

Antonia Forte

A member of the well-known local business family, Antonia returned to Barry in 1996 and, keen to contribute to the life of the town, joined the governing body of Barry Comprehensive in 2010 (becoming Chair in Mach 2016) and the Memo Trust in 2012, both by application. She retired in 2014 as the CX of a valleys based community housing association, but retains an interest in the sector and chairs the Advisory Board for Welsh Housing Quarterly. Antonia is interested in effective governance, the voluntary sector, and community engagement in social enterprise.

Mike Walmsley, Chair

Mike is a professional fundraiser with 17 years’ experience of raising money for the charitable sector. A graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Mike began his career as a freelance lighting technician and worked extensively in theatre, festivals, large scale music and commercial events. Since 2003, he has held fundraising and business development roles for English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, The Prince’s Trust Cymru, and The Orchard Media and Events Group. He is currently Corporate Fundraising Manager at Wales’s largest homelessness charity, The Wallich. Mike sits on the committee the Chartered Institute of Fundraising Cymru, the professional body for fundraisers in Wales and was Chairman of the Institute of Fundraising Cymru South Wales Regional Forum from 2014 to 2016. Mike is married with two children and lives in Barry. He is a qualified rugby coach, WRU level 1 referee, and coaches U10s rugby at Barry RFC (go Barry Bombers!).

Dr. Jane Salisbury

Jane is an honorary fellow at Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences where she lectured and did research on Education, Sociology, Social Policy and Research Methods. Since retiring, Jane’s enthusiasm for the Arts has expanded her voluntary work life! She serves on the Contemporary Arts Society for Wales (CASW) Executive Committee. Between 2015 and 2020 Jane took up the role of  chairperson of Art Central Friends (ACF)- a voluntary group which supports events and exhibitions at the gallery on Barry’s Kings Square. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Wales Women’s Arts Association (WAAW). As a Trustee of the NGO Wales Assembly of Women (WAW) Jane organises their annual conference and manages their  Research Awards for women studying in the universities  across Wales. The Memo has a special place in Jane’s heart: She has treasured memories from the sixties of ballet and tap dancing routines performed on its stage as a pupil of Hilda Gill. In contrast, she enjoyed  numerous gigs and bands as a teenager –  and still does! She is pleased to share experience and transferable skills and give “gift time” to further the ongoing development and success of The Memo Arts Centre.

Gerda Roper

Gerda Roper , Emeritus Professor of Fine Art was born in Cardiff and lived in Barry Island , working at Newport College of Art, before moving to the North of England for work. Originally working at Northumbria Univeristy she was appointed as Dean at Teesside University. Her Faculty included a Skillset Academy for Media ,Film making ,Performing Arts , Design ,Fine Art and other subjects She was a member of the Cultural Group North East and wrote the University’s cultural strategy .Recently retired and returned to Barry Island, she is a member of the Executive of the Contemporary Arts Society Wales, a member of Barry Yacht Club and a practising artist exhibiting at the Kooywood Gallery.

Louisa Thomas

Louisa was raised and has lived most of her life in Barry, with periods of time living in London, Scotland and Saudi Arabia.  Louisa is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with over 20 years’ experience up to HR Director level, predominantly working in the charity and education sector.  Louisa has always valued working in organisations which provide services to the community.  During her career in HR, Louisa developed a passion for coaching others, which led her to specialise as a Transformational Coach.  Louisa is a Master NLP Coach and loves helping people live their best professional and personal life.

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