Meet Our Team

Richard Shell

Richard Shell

Owner

In 2014 Richard came up with the idea of creating Doxford Barns wedding venue, subsequently leaving his job in banking to create and run the business. Due to his hard work and commitment Richard has created an award winning wedding venue where couples can enjoy a 3 day wedding experience. Richard’s vision is to provide guests with a wedding experience in a happy, fun and relaxed environment. Now Doxford Barns is flourishing in its second year, Richard’s role has a strong emphasis on expanding the business and developing our unique offerings to ensure we are at the forefront of the North East wedding industry. In his spare time Richard loves to travel, meeting friends and family on his way.

Tom & Sarah Shell

Tom & Sarah Shell

Tom and Sarah have farmed Doxford for the last 30 years, with Doxford being in Sarah’s family for over 3 generations. Tom now oversees the day to day operations on the farm with Sarah managing the self-catering cottage accommodation at Doxford. Sarah and Tom enjoy skiing in the winter as well as visiting their daughter and granddaughter in Australia. Tom is often seen with his beloved ‘Queef’, ‘Snatch’ and ‘Fanny’ – his sheepdogs.

David Scott

David Scott

General Manager

David joined our award winning team in August 2016 and brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to Doxford Barns. David spent 11 years working as a senior Manager at The Alnwick Garden where he was heavily involved in establishing the project as a destination wedding venue as well as managing the world famous Treehouse Restaurant. During his time at The Alnwick Garden David worked closely with Her Grace Duchess of Northumberland gaining many awards and accolades along the way. David is privileged to have served HRH Prince of Wales, Prince William, Prince Harry and a whole host of public figures and celebrities. David’s attention to detail and desire to please ensures all guests receive the very best service possible. When not caring for our guests David enjoys spending time with family, friends and his dog Missy.

John Blackmore

John Blackmore

Executive Head Chef

We are thrilled to welcome the award winning John Blackmore as our executive head chef at Doxford Barns. John brings a wealth of culinary knowledge and flare to Doxford Barns, trained by the famous French chef Paul Bocuse and previous winner of the prestigious prize of chef of the year whilst at the Intercontinental Hotel Group. John also cooked for HM Queen while executive head chef at Newcastle United Football Club after being recommended by her daughter Princess Anne. When John isn’t cooking up a storm in the kitchen he enjoys walking and exploring the beautiful countryside of Northumberland.

Jess Straker

Jess Straker

Wedding & Events Coordinator

Jess joined the team as an events manager in January 2016 and has a vital role in running many of the weddings here at Doxford Barns. Jess’s work ethic and excellent customer service is shown within all aspects of her daily work. In her spare time she enjoys walking up huge mountains and making wacky birthday cakes for family and friends.

Abi Sutheran

Abi Sutheran

Wedding & Events Coordinator

Abi joined the team in March as a Wedding and Events Coordinator after two years working as Cabin Crew for British Airways. Abi has always loved to travel and she felt very fortunate to visit such interesting places all over the world whilst working for BA – but nowhere compares to home! Throughout her 9 years of working in the hospitality industry, Abi has loved nothing more than working with others to ensure a top quality customer experience – a great attribute that she endeavour’s to continue with at Doxford Barns. In her spare time, Abi loves to take her Golden Retrievers Bernie & Trudy for walks on the gorgeous beach of Seahouses, or chill out with a good book and a cuppa!

Charlie Johnston

Charlie Johnston

Wedding & Events Coordinator

Charlie joins us fresh from university, where he was awarded a BA (hons) in Hotel Management. Charlie has experienced working in top luxury London hotels and brings a wealth of knowledge of the hospitality industry to our award-winning team. He maintains high levels of service and rapport with our customers throughout their end to end event planning experience, whilst his high levels of attention to detail ensures that we exceed all of our customers’ expectations. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys dining out and exploring the surroundings of his new home here in Northumberland.

Gemma Nicholson

Gemma Nicholson

Operations Manager

Gemma has worked within food and beverage for several years and brings a wealth of experience to Doxford Barns. Gemma worked under our General Manager, David, for 11 years at The Alnwick Garden, during that time they became a great team and an unstoppable force. Gemma prides herself on her outstanding organisational and customer service skills, and even admits to having slight OCD when it comes to keeping things neat and tidy. In her spare time, Gemma enjoys family days out with her husband Mark and their 2-year-old son Charlie.

Linzi Bland

Linzi Bland

Reservations Coordinator

Linzi worked at the Alnwick Garden for 8 years, alongside our general manager and operations manager. Then after a 3-year venture down South, she returned to Northumberland and joined our award-winning team as the reservations co-ordinator. The past 11 years has seen Linzi hone her customer service and administrative skills to a high level, so she is well equipped to ensure your experience at Doxford Farm Cottages is a truly special one. At home, Linzi enjoys spending time with her husband-to-be, Andrew and their guinea pigs, Pippin and Satchel.

Will Larkin

Will Larkin

Social Media & Marketing Coordinator

Will progressed into his new role at Doxford Barns in July 2016, he manages and maintains all of the marketing and social media for the venue and during weddings helps manage our two bars. In his free time Will enjoys scenic drives and road-trips, photography and videography, all things techy and anything with a turbo.

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