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He obtained a B.A.(Hons) in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institue of Art, a college of London University, and studied aesthetics in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York. During two gap years he travelled widely in Europe, particularly Italy and Germany, and worked in a variety of concerns which included a museum in Florence, a building restoration company in Bamberg and a brick factory in Bedfordshire. After other temporary and part-time museum jobs and some art history lecturing, he settled into the travel business and worked for five travel companies in London for a nine-year period. He founded Martin Randall Travel in 1988.
He retains a leading role in the planning of the company’s tours and other events, in shaping company strategy, policies and practices. Other responsibilities have included being a board member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators and of Classical Opera, and he is a director of History Today. A nineteen-year-old son is currently reading History at Oxford and a sixteen-year-old daughter is at boarding school.
Fiona has worked at Martin Randall Travel since 1997 – a time when bookings were pencilled onto paper charts and email was still a pipe dream. She has seen the company grow and strengthen, and has covered a wide range of roles in the process. She became a Director in 2005 and was also a board member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators from 2005–2009.
Fiona oversees all operational aspects of the company, manages the staff, and is involved in strategic and financial planning. Travelling on behalf of the company remains as exciting a prospect as in year one, and her current research is geared towards the Americas.
In the increasingly distant past, Fiona studied French with International Relations, which included a year in Paris, and lived in Trento and Badajoz. She is now settled in Kew, with husband, and MRT lecturer, Harry Charrington.
A science-based education culminated with graduation from Manchester University in 1975 with a degree in Geology. This was followed by a sojourn in the arts world as artist, muralist, gallery director, journalist and author. And then the start of a commercial career path in the travel industry, with the past 10 years as office manager and accountant at Martin Randall Travel.
Marketing Manager/Walking Tours Supervisor
Liz graduated from Cardiff University with a First in English Literature and Italian. She worked for Martin Randall Travel from 2004 to 2007 on our Italian programme but then left to study for an MA in Broadcast Journalism. Having worked as a news editor for a radio station in south Wales, she then moved back into the travel industry leading walking tours in Italy for a specialist firm.
We persuaded Liz to re-join MRT in 2010 to develop our own series of walking tours and shortly after appointed her as Marketing Manager. Although, marketing now takes up most of her time, she retains a role supervising our walking tours and is passionate about the combination of country walking, lecturer-led visits, good food and wine.
Liz lives in Battersea and, when not out in her walking boots, enjoys cycling to work, exploring London and climbing volcanoes on holiday.
After more than a decade away bringing up a family and running her own wine business in Spain, Linda returned to London and Martin Randall Travel at the beginning of 2011. Her supervisory role covers a broad range of countries from Armenia to Uzbekistan, but there is always time to advise on choosing wines for tour menus.
Linda’s interests still include her teenage boys, but otherwise she is never happier than when re-acquainting herself with a changed Britain; having her nose stuck in a good book or wine list; keeping abreast of current affairs and developing a surprising late-in-life interest in opera.
One of Linda’s current projects is researching tours for MRT in Japan – tours which will run from 2014.
Lizzie is the Operations Supervisor of tours to Italy and Malta (currently around 65 per year to the former, one to the latter). In 2012 she also managed the Danube Music Festival.
Lizzie spent a year in Munich and studying the violin, before reading Italian and German at Bristol University. After a year abroad as a teaching assistant in Hamburg and studying at Verona University, she decided to take a third year out after graduating to train as a chef and to travel around the world.
She joined Martin Randall Travel in 2008 and particularly enjoys working on our gastronomic tours, as well as anything musical such as our all-inclusive classical music festivals. To combat the effects of the former she goes to dance classes where possible (particularly hip-hop), and tries to ride her bike to work every day, even if it’s raining.
Jo is a flautist and pianist and a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Having taught music for a year in an Oxfordshire school, she joined MRT’s Reservations Department in 2006. Her long-standing interest in graphic design quickly led to a role on the brochure team for MRT. Now she is our Inhouse Designer, responsible for the production of all printed material and the layout of our many brochures.
Jo is also in charge of our Chamber Music Weekends and is regularly involved in the organisation of our large-scale music festivals. Outside the office, she plays in various amateur orchestras, wind bands and chamber groups.
Sarah has worked at Martin Randall Travel since 2007 and is now a Supervisor in the Operations Department. Recent responsibilities have included the research and development of our expanded programme of tours in the UK and the management of our inaugural music festival in Oxford, The Divine Office. She also supervises our tours to Scandinavia, Russia and the USA.
Sarah grew up in Salisbury and studied music at Cardiff University, specialising in the clarinet. She spent a year teaching English in Vietnam and then travelled through South East Asia. Prior to joining MRT, she worked for Dorling Kindersley and for another cultural tour operator.
Flora studied English and Art History at York University after which she spent time travelling in Africa. She joined MRT in 1999 to help with our first Venice Music Festival. Since then she has worked on tours to various parts of Europe, assisted the accounts department and done all manner of things in the Reservations Department.
She is now Reservations Supervisor, in charge of the team which has most interaction with clients. For several years she was also in charge of Music at the Castle, the programme of chamber music weekends we organise in Taunton. She has been lucky enough to travel on at least ten music festivals over the years and enjoys meeting our many clients.
Flora is currently on maternity leave.
Sophie is Operations Supervisor for France, Spain and Portugal, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands. Her background is in languages – she studied French and Spanish at Durham – but she is also a keen musician. Alongside her supervision of tours, she has managed our Seine Music Festival and Rhine Valley Music Festival, and in 2013 will run festivals in Seville and along the Rhône. Other highlights of her MRT career to date include tasting jamón ibérico in Jabugo, discovering Chagall on the Côte d’Azur, and working with piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque.
In her spare time, Sophie plays the piano, clarinet and saxophone, and also does some musical directing for amateur theatre. Her love of travel is not confined to western Europe and in recent years she has visited Egypt, Jordan, India and Iceland.
Hannah has been with MRT for nearly ten years. After reading English Literature and Italian at Manchester University, she worked as an analyst for a media intelligence company before joining MRT as an operations assistant with responsibility for Italian tours. Two years later she went to live in Florence, where she has been based ever since, and worked there for Abercrombie and Kent. In July 2006 she was enticed back to MRT to head the new Mediterranean cruises project, moving on to other projects at the end of 2009 when the global downturn made chartering sea-going ships too risky for a small company like ours.
Hannah has been working primarily on India since 2010, though she also managed our Florence Festival in October 2011. Her latest trip to India was to West Bengal to research and plan Bengal by River. In 2013 she will begin researching a new programme of tours to China.
Maddy graduated with a first-class degree in German and Italian from Cardiff University before joining Martin Randall Travel in 2010. She is principally involved in the organisation of our tours to Italy, Germany and Austria, and has worked on and accompanied our Venice, Rome, Danube and Rhine Valley music festivals. In addition, Maddy operates our tours to St Petersburg – and is learning Russian.
Maddy is half Sardinian but grew up in Dorset (with a 4-year stint in Munich). She spent a year of her degree studying in Frankfurt and Venice and then worked in a forest kindergarten in Germany for the summer. She likes baking and sewing.
Anna joined Martin Randall Travel in 2010 and works primarily on tours and music festivals in Italy. She has travelled extensively around the Italian peninsula and spent periods of time living in Florence, Venice and Cagliari. MRT highlights thus far include planning the Sardinia tour from scratch, trying out restaurants in Venice, and co-managing the Festival of Music in Rome in 2012.
Prior to joining MRT Anna studied English Literature and Italian at the University of Manchester and worked for eighteen months as an e-learning Project Coordinator for a language services company.
Hubert is French and has been obsessed with churches and other religious buildings since childhood. After his Baccalaureat he started a degree in Economics but soon realised he was thoroughly bored and packed his bags for New York. A year later he moved to London and, besides a few years living and working in Barcelona, has lived here ever since.
Hubert first visited India in 1996 and instantly felt at home. He remains fascinated by its wealth of cultures, traditions and architectural heritage, and his many visits now total more than a year in the country. Hubert graduated with a BA in Art and Archaeology of South Asia from the School of Oriental and African Studies, UCL, in 2010 and joined MRT in 2011 with the specific role of developing and operating our tours to India.
Samantha grew up in London and has attended a performing arts school since she was three years old. She passed her President's Award exams in a variety of dance styles by the age of 15 and has performed in musicals, fashion shows and charity galas throughout the UK and Europe. Samantha studied German and Spanish at the University of Manchester and spent her year abroad studying at a language school in Salamanca and working as a teaching assistant at a secondary school in Gersheim. Samantha operates tours in Germany, Spain, Belgium, Greece and Hungary.
Edward joined MRT in November 2010 as a member of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East team. As well as developing and operating tours to the region, he has researched and set up new itineraries to Ethiopia and the Western Balkans.
Edward spent his childhood between Jersey, Brunei, Hong Kong, Kuwait and Scotland, embedding a love for travel that has remained with him ever since. On completing a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Egyptology he moved to Egypt where he was employed in the Library of Alexandria and as a project manager for the European Commission. During his six years there Edward contributed towards underwater archaeological surveys, learnt Arabic and built a traditional house in the Oasis of Siwa where he escapes every autumn to harvest dates.
Emily speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, and is learning Japanese. She joined the Operations Department of MRT in 2010 and has since juggled a portfolio of tours across Europe. Recent responsibilities include the planning of our new walking venture in Madeira and she is currently researching a programme of tours to Japan, beginning in 2014.
Emily grew up in West Yorkshire and studied French and Hispanic Studies at the University of Birmingham followed by a Masters in Applied Translation Studies at Leeds, specialising in Spanish and Portuguese. After graduating, she worked in Valencia for a year and then spent several months in Brazil. In her free time, Emily practices capoeira; an Afro-Brazilian martial art accompanied by traditional music. She also loves to paint.
Bridget is Martin Randall’s Executive Assistant and joined MRT in 2005. She has an additional role as Lecturer and Tour Manager Coordinator which involves her in the recruitment of our tour leaders.
Previously she has worked for choreographers, advertising executives, theatre directors, African charities, Capital Radio and the Design Museum. She has travelled in Asia, including India, once driving a train across the Rajasthani desert to Jaisalmer, endured rabies injections after being bitten by a potentially rabid monkey in Bali, and has worked in Italy. She has toured Australia with actor Steven Berkoff’s company, with musician husband and baby. Bridget has a long-standing interest in dance, lives in Chiswick near the MRT office, and has two daughters at university.
Gary joined the Marketing Department at MRT in 2011 and is involved in all aspects of marketing strategy. He is particularly passionate about technology and consumer gadgetry, and takes pride in maintaining and improving our website. His role also encompasses the development and execution of marketing campaigns, from direct mail to social media.
Gary grew up in the Scottish Highlands and moved to London in 2004 to study Criminology at City University – the first course of its kind to run in the UK. After graduating, he spent several months in Seville learning Spanish and then returned to London to work for a leading customer experience research agency. Outside work, Gary is a fitness fanatic. He visits the gym most days and climbs regularly. He also loves to cook.
After growing up in Devon, Lucy went to Durham University to study French and Spanish and also took up Italian. On her year abroad she waitressed in a hotel in Frascati, studied translation in Rome, produced English language learning material for a software editor in Paris, and worked as a scary clown in a maze in Mallorca. After graduating with a first class degree in 2009 Lucy moved to London working as a project manager for a foreign language voice-over agency and joined the MRT team in January 2010.
Amelia grew up in Jersey and came to the UK to read Philosophy at the University of Leeds. She graduated in 2011 and joined Martin Randall Travel in 2012. A large part of Amelia’s role in our Reservations Department involves talking to and corresponding with clients, providing information, taking bookings and despatching documents.
Outside work, Amelia likes to dabble in the creative and performing arts, especially if it involves her cello or ballet shoes.
Helen joined Martin Randall Travel in 2011 specifically to work on our expanding programme of tours and music festivals in the UK. Fuelled by a life-long interest in art and architecture, she has travelled widely in the UK and Europe and studied Art History to MA level at the University of Bristol. During her undergraduate degree she spent a year studying the Italian Renaissance in Florence and developing a taste for classicism and red wine. Helen pursued both of these interests throughout the rest of her studies. She also has an adventurous side and spends her weekends camping, climbing mountains, scuba diving and kayaking.
Caroline grew up in Woodford Green, Essex, which was part of the constituency of Sir Winston Churchill. After studying French and German at Oxford University, she worked first at The Times Education Supplement, and then lived and worked in Frankfurt and Heidelberg for nearly five years.
Caroline took a number of ‘gap years” to bring up her two daughters, and then returned to work for a classical music agency in London before joining Martin Randall Travel in 2011. When she has a spare moment, Caroline enjoys playing the piano, cycling along the Thames, opera, theatre, galleries, and good restaurants. She has a Burmese cat, as well as husband David and daughters Sophy and Helena.
Mandeep grew up in London and obtained his BSc in Business Economics from the University of Portsmouth. He started his career in a sales environment before returning to finance and working for an accountancy firm. He joined Martin Randall Travel in October 2012 and hopes to complete his ACCA exams in June 2013 to become a part-qualified accountant.
Mandeep has a great passion for music, enjoys travelling and is a very keen footballer.
Frances studied French and Italian at Oxford University and graduated in 2010. She joined Martin Randall Travel that autumn, working on tours and music festivals to Italy, France and Belgium.
Frances has always loved languages, literature and travelling and spent a year of her studies teaching in Padua. She then returned to the Veneto, her favourite region of Italy, after graduation for an internship in a cultural society. She has also spent time in Antibes and Paris. So far, the highlight of life at MRT has been working on – and accompanying – the Danube Music Festival.
In her spare time, Frances enjoys learning new languages; currently German, cooking, reading and collecting various objects, particularly Murano glass.
Tim studied French and German at the University of Bristol, which included six months as a teaching assistant in Frankfurt and another half-year on a translation internship in Paris. After graduating, he worked for an estate agent in the French Alps for the best part of a year before returning to the UK and joining Martin Randall Travel in October 2012.
Tim is a guitar-playing singer/songwriter and he has performed gigs in his hometown of York and on the Parisian ‘scène ouverte’ open mic circuit.
George joined Martin Randall Travel in the summer of 2012 having previously worked for several charitable organisations in the heritage sector including SAVE Britain’s Heritage, the Vivat Trust and The Twentieth Century Society.
He grew up near Regensburg in Germany and is bilingual thanks to his mother who is from Newcastle. Before moving to the UK permanently, he trained and worked at Kempinski Hotels, Munich, and obtained a degree in Business Administration from Munich University of Applied Science.
George works on tours and music festivals in Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, the UK and the USA, and is particularly interested in architecture and architectural heritage.