2020 – 2021 Richard Cole


He has a keen interest in everything that makes the County distinctive and, whilst fulfilling the traditional roles of the High Sheriff, will involve himself with all activities help improve the wellbeing of everyone in Rutland.

Originally from West Yorkshire, Richard moved to Leicestershire in 1981 and has been a resident of Rutland since 1989 living in Uppingham with his wife Pat and their two children, Emma and Tom

He has a broad commercial and management background having worked for several multi-national companies. Alongside this, he was a member of the Territorial Army for 24 years before serving with the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for 10 years.


I am a Rutland girl, my parents having moved to Preston in 1969. I went to Oakham school then studied law with French LLB Hons at the University of Birmingham and gained my Master of Laws (LLM) at the University of Leicester. I practised as a solicitor for all my working life, mostly at firms in Birmingham and Leicester. I specialised in corporate and business law for private companies, businesses and individuals.

I am very honoured to have been asked every year since 2010 to be the Under Sheriff, as the High Sheriff makes their own appointment each year.

I live in Rutland, I am married to a very patient Michael and my children who keep me fit are a springer spaniel and a Labrador !

CHAPLAIN, Reverend Canon Rachel Watts

Canon Rachel Watts was among the first women to be ordained priest in 1994. She has spent most of her ministry in Lancashire and arrived in Rutland in 2011 as Rector of the Uppingham Benefice.

High Sheriff’s Police Cadets

Mephee O’Leary
Hello, my name is Mephee and I have been an Emergency Service Cadet for 4 years – something I’m
happy and proud to be a part of. Through the cadet programme I have been able to develop my
personal skills and practical skills whilst gaining an insight into working in the services. I am planning
on studying Adult Nursing and know that the skills and abilities I have gained from cadets will
support me in doing this. One of the most important things for me has been developing my
confidence, this has been done through the encouragement from our leaders and guiding fellow
cadets. I hope that being appointed as a new High Sheriff of Rutland cadet will allow me to continue
to grow my skills and support others in the cadets programme and community.

Chad Young
Hi, I’m Chad one of the new High Sheriff of Rutland cadets. I’ve been a member of the Leicestershire
Police Cadets programme for nearly 4 years and have made many relationships with the community,
cadets and leaders and have learned new skills. My goal in the future is to join the police service. I
am very excited to attend the duties in the future and make more relationships with the community
and other organisations.

Mephee O’Leary and Chad Young – Police Cadets 2021 – 2022

High Sheriff in nomination, 2021-22

David Wood

David Wood and his wife have lived in Wing in Rutland since 1985. They have a daughter, Rachel, who is a sculptor and lives in Herefordshire and a son, Ben, who is a corporate lawyer, living in Brisbane Australia. They have five grandchildren.

David’s career had been spent in retailing until 1991 and then as an operational director of Lloyds Bank. He was a Trustee of the Lloyds TSB Charitable Foundation – one of the largest corporate donors in the UK. 

He became a non executive director of the Melton Mowbray Building Society in 2002, becoming non Executive Chairman in 2007 until he retired in 2014. 

He is also Chairman of Trustees of the Foundation for Conductive Education – a specialist centre for movement disorders – a charity he has been involves with for over twenty years.

In July 2014 he was delighted to become Chairman of the Rutland Agricultural Society. At this time the Society had just moved to the new site presented a huge opportunity to develop the Society and the New Showground for the benefit of agriculture and the whole community in Rutland. 

David’s wife, Jeffy, was Rutland County Organiser for the NGS for 17 years until 2012.

David’s main interests are fishing, shooting, gardening and music.

He is very much looking forward to his High Sheriff year from April 2021 and meeting as many people in Rutland as possible most particularly those working in voluntary organisations

Sheriffs Future, Present and Past – David Wood, Richard Cole, Margaret Miles

High Sheriff in Nomination for 2022-23, Geoff Thompson

Geoff was born in nearby Lincolnshire and retired from a Risk Management career in 2016. He has lived in Rutland with his family since 2011 and is heavily involved in the voluntary sector through 11 different organisations mainly in education and health in

– governance of primary, secondary and sixth-form schools in Rutland

– mental health needs of Rutland’s young people

– help for local churches

– patient feedback to the NHS

– educating impoverished children in Palestine

– a local youth housing project

He loves walking, cycling, singing, travelling, photography and meeting people.

High Sheriff in Nomination for 2023-24, Geraldine Feehally

I’m an English teacher working for the last ten years in the city of Leicester. Now
retired, I realise I was not so much teaching, as learning.
From 2010, I lead the development of the first girls secondary school in the Maasai
Mara, establishing a sustainable school for rural girls, who otherwise face child
marriages and teenage pregnancy.
I’m still learning from the interests of my family and friends, reading and my
Christian faith. I’m a trustee for Rutland Community Ventures. I love my allotment
and exploring Rutland by bike.