Our Trustees


Click on a picture to see their details.

  Chris Carolan  
  Chairman Chris Carolan is one of the founding members of Sunderland Maritime Heritage (SMH). He was vice-chairman for around 14 years, before becoming chairman.

Chris has been interested in boats and marine activities for the last 50 years. He has owned a number of boats and has a lot of experience in repairing and renovating small boats.

Chris is currently the project manager in the restoration of the Willdora.

  Jim Sullivan  
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   Vice Chairman, Fundraising Manager & Marine Engineering Manager – Jim joined SMH in October 2015, initially to work on Willdora’s engine.
He was subsequently invited to join the Board of Trustees and in February 2018 became Vice-Chairman.
​Jim trained as a Marine Engineer in the Merchant Navy, serving 4 years deep sea on various cargo vessels. He then worked at the Wear dockyard as a Marine Fitter.
Jim then pursued a career in the oil and gas industry, progressing to Offshore Installation Manager, before moving on shore to manage a gas terminal on Teesside. Jim took early retirement in December 2015 and spent his last three years working in Shetland, managing the Sullom Voe oil and gas terminal.


  Ian Murray  
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  Treasurer – Ian started volunteering for SMH in 2015. One of his first jobs as an Administration Assistant was to sort out the heritage centre’s collection of maritime-themed books.
He became treasurer in 2016. 


  Bob Crompton  
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  Trustee & Electrical Engineering Manager  
Bob joined SMH when he moved to Sunderland in 2016.
Bob has been interested in boats since he was a lad. He learnt to sail in his father’s dinghy when he was just 8-years-old and went on to sail and maintain father’s various sailing cruisers.
He acquired mechanical skills and trained as an Electronics and Electrical Engineer, which equipped him for a 32-year career in aerospace. ​
Bob retired in 2002 and is currently part-time lecturer and module tutor for the University of Warwick.
He has also owned a canal narrowboat for 25 years and sailed as Assistant Engineer on the tall ships Stavros S Niarchos and Prince William.  He has also undertaken all of the wiring work on Willdora.




  Capt. Peter Johnson  
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  Trustee & Health & Safety Manager
 Peter has been a volunteer with SMH since 2016.
Peter joined the Merchant Navy in 1971 at the age of 16 and sailed worldwide on a variety of ships. He progressed through the ranks as Third Mate, Second Mate and Chief Officer, before becoming a Master Mariner in 1985.
He served as a Master Mariner for 16 years. He then came ashore and worked for two different shipping companies over 12 years, as Marine Superintendent.
Peter is now a skipper on small passenger vessels on the River Tyne and Water Patrol Officer on the River Wear.
  Martin Wilson  
  Martin is a local lad from Red House. As a retired joiner and lecturer he volunteers at Sunderland Maritime Heritage (SMH as the workshop manager.   

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