Meet the team

The Victorian family home of Gustav Holst

Holst Victorian House is an independent Arts Council Accredited museum staffed mostly by volunteers and governed by The Holst Birthplace Trust. Situated in the house where he was born in 1874, the Museum was founded by Gustav Holst’s daughter Imogen in 1974. See Holst’s piano and the room where he was born and uncover rooms as they would have been during his Victorian childhood, complete with period furniture and family art work.


Laura Kinnear - CuratorLaura Kinnear, Curator.  Laura has been Curator since 2008. Her love of museums began as a child aged 8, when she first visited the Holst and the Pittville Pump Room Costume Museum. On completing her Masters in Museology at UEA (2004) she worked at Gloucester Folk Museum and The Wilson. She is passionate about interpretation and widening audiences. When she is not working at the Museum she can be found writing her novel.


Sabine Orton, Operations Manager. Sabine started at the Museum in January 2022 as a Volunteer which she combined with an Open University Art History degree. When the position as Operations Manager became vacant in early 2024 Sabine grabbed the opportunity. Having previous experience from both the commercial and charitable sectors, as well as a passion for Museums, Sabine has enjoyed taking on the role. Interacting with visitors to the Museum and Volunteers on a daily basis is what makes the role so enjoyable.


Most of the day to day work required in running our Museum is undertaken by a dedicated and long-serving group of Volunteers. To find out more about volunteering at Holst Victorian House see the Volunteers page.

The Trustees

Holst Victorian House is governed by The Holst Birthplace Trust, a registered charity comprising a board of Trustees. They are responsible for overseeing the running of the Museum and the preservation of its collections as well as promoting the appreciation of Holst’s works through an ongoing programme of exhibitions, events and educational activities. Our Trustees come from a variety of backgrounds, including teaching, building conservation and the Civil Service. They meet every 6 weeks.

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee please see Becoming a Trustee.


Hilary Simpson - Chair of TrusteesHilary Simpson, Chair. Hilary was Chair of Friends of The Wilson and has been a committee member at Cheltenham Arts Council and a Trustee of Friends of Pittville. She was also Secretary at Pittville History Works and represented the heritage sector on Cheltenham Borough Council’s Culture Board.

John Beard - Honorary SecretaryJohn Beard, Honorary Secretary. John was co-opted as Secretary in 2022. He is a retired Civil Servant, whose interests include music and history. He has been Secretary of the Friends of The Wilson and is currently Secretary of Cheltenham Music Festival Society and Cheltenham Music Society.

Sarah Staniforth - Buildings & Collections TrusteeSarah Staniforth, Collections and Building. Sarah worked for the National Trust in a number of roles in the Conservation and Historic Properties Departments. She is currently a Trustee of the Science Museum Group and the Blenheim Palace Heritage Foundation. Her interests include conservation and the historic environment.

John Wright - Music TrusteeJohn Wright, Music. John is a professional musician, with a background in teaching, organ and piano playing, and conducting. He is the conductor of Charlton Kings Choral Society and an examiner for ABRSM. His editing of some of Holst’s early works has resulted in several first publications and recordings.

Martin Renshaw - Digitisation and Rebranding TrusteeMartin Renshaw, Digitisation and Rebranding Phase 2. Martin became a Trustee in 2020 and is responsible for a major ongoing project to embed rebranding as well as digitising the Museum’s collections. Previously he worked in IT as a computer programmer and project manager. He also undertakes voluntary activities at Cheltenham Bridge Club.

Lindsay Travis - Operations and Resources TrusteeLindsay Travis. Lindsay’s love of historic homes drew her to become an early member of our Victorian Book Group. She specialises in change management and data visualisation, and has held a variety of roles in the charity sector including fundraising, event management and publications. Her voluntary experience includes the Museum of Cambridge and the Rehoboth Museum in Namibia.

Steve Leary - Audience Development Trustee Steve Leary Steve joined in September 2022 and has over 30 years’ experience in portfolio, programme & project management. He is also co-chair of the Association for Project Management (APM) Portfolio Management group. Steve lives locally, with Nancy, and is interested in music, particularly jazz, and plays saxophone in a couple of local bands including the Metz Big Band.

Paul Broekman Paul is a qualified accountant and corporate treasurer and is recently retired from a career working in Financial Services. He studied Maths and Music at University and has been an amateur musician for many years playing trumpet in various orchestras in and around Cheltenham, including performing a number of works by Holst. He is also a volunteer Cotswold Warden.

Supported by

Building Advisers – Arnold Bartosch

Cleaning – Jilly Danaher

Conservation – Louise Allen

Education – Mandy & John Rowlands

Graphic Design – Sara Rossiter, Sarah Harvey

Holst House Journal – Anci Seymenliyska

Membership – Val Fairbairn

Website – David Hewitt

Related Organisations

To find out more about Gustav Holst, Cheltenham local history, and art and music in the town, please see the following organisations:

The life and works of Gustav Holst

The Holst Society
Britten-Pears Foundation

Pittville and Cheltenham

Friends of Pittville
All Saints Church
Pittville History Works
David Elder

Music and art in Cheltenham

Chapel Arts
The Oriel Singers
Cheltenham Choral Society
Cheltenham Arts Society