Committee of Management

John Wylson, RIBA (Founder/Vice President)

John Wylson - Excelsior Trustee

Brought up in the Cinque Port of Rye, John has managed to combine a career as an architect with a love of the sea. Between major projects in London, he used to slip away to sea in the Home Trade, eventually as a mate and then skipper. There are few ports in Britain that John has not entered – with cargoes as varied as talcum powder and case beer! He bought Excelsior in Norway and spent 10 years of his spare time rebuilding the hull, before setting-up the Trust to restore her back to sail. With an in-depth knowledge of traditional materials and techniques, John can fit a futtock or woold a ground rope!

Jamie Campbell (Chairman)

Jamie Campbell - Excelsior Trustee

Jamie is a veteran Broads sailor and owner of the classic Broads sailing cruiser “Evening Flight”. Formative years on the Broads were followed by 25 years international yacht racing in 505, Flying Dutchman and Dragon classes. He has made guest appearances in shorthanded long-haul ocean races. Jamie always maintains the Broads are a great place for old men and children, but regrets joining the former category. He says he “scribbles a bit”. He is a published local and maritime author, and was a regular contributor to the much-loved “Anglia Afloat” magazine, usually on topics around a maritime heritage theme. He is also archivist of the Royal Norfolk Suffolk Yacht Club, and International 14 fleet historian.

Nick Schiller (Vice Chairman)

Nick Schiller - Excelsior Trust

Nick is Managing Director of Archant Print in Norwich (which prints, amongst many other things, the Eastern Daily Press). Prior to that he has held a number of Director roles in manufacturing and design engineering, purchasing, logistics and business development, principally in the car and light commercial vehicles industry.
He has been sailing since he was 7 years old, mostly off North Norfolk. Nick has a wife and two children.

Denis Costello (Company Secretary)

We are delighted to welcome Denis as our new Company Secretary and look forward to his support over the coming years.

Robert Whitefoot (Treasurer and Trustee)

Robert Whitefoot - Treasurer

Robert works for chartered accountants Lovewell Blake. He has a keen interest in sailing on the Broads and was pleased to take on this voluntary role.

Andrew Sherwood (Trustee)


Andrew is HR Director at Bernard Matthews and has a strong interest in the development of young people. This is what particularly excites him about Excelsior and the fantastic opportunity it gives youngsters not just to sail but the lifelong skills such as leadership and teamwork which are so essential in the workplace. Andrew is also a keen, but not terribly good, tennis player and is Chairman of Acle Tennis Club. Andrew is also a Director of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

David Joll (Trustee)


David’s spent his whole career in the Food Industry having studied Food Science and Technology . David joined the Board of Bernard Matthews in 1980 and became Group Managing Director in 1987. He’s currently Executive Chairman.
David talks of how he became involved with Excelsior and his thoughts for the future:-
“In late 2010 a close friend, Ron Mitchell, asked if I would consider helping The Excelsior Trust. He knew I loved the sea and owned a sailing yacht and that, in my business life, at the instigation of our Chairman, Bernard Matthews, we gave large sums of money to help numerous youth charities and that they were very close to my heart. I agreed in that it seemed a wonderful way to give young people experience of working as a team, achieving something very different in life and keeping a wonderful historic ship sailing! I had some knowledge of The Benjamin Foundation too and knew just how worthwhile their Chris Neil felt time on Excelsior had been for his young people from The Aspire Centre. I was happy to say that I would help as much as I could.”

Chris Hassell (Educational Consultant)

Chris Hassell - Educational Consultant

Chris and his family moved to Norfolk from Devon in 1996, when he was appointed headteacher of Reepham High School. Building the school into one which received 3 outstanding Ofsted reports, Chris received a Lifetime Achievement Award and attended a reception at Number 10 with David Cameron .
Chris said: “Retirement is wonderful but I want to do more than play golf and fly fish for trout (both of which I love) so when I was offered the opportunity to work as a part of the Excelsior project in order to improve the life chances of young people I was delighted to become involved. Nothing is more important.”


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