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The Team

Drawn by a common passion for the precision and innovation of craft distilling, a group of individuals came together to create artisan spirits in a historic location in the Surrey Hills.

Ian McCulloch

Managing Director

Ian has tried to work silently and behind the scenes, but failed spectacularly. An ex-city dweller, he makes the most of his new countryside location by wearing shorts every single day to show off his never-ending supply of white socks. You can find him surrounded by paperwork, peering out of his window side desk facing the courtyard, micromanaging every part of the operation. Despite his tough manly exterior, deep (deep, deep) down, he is very soft and caring, just like a lobster.

James Shelbourne

Sales Director

With oversight of International Sales, James is fluent in 4 languages: English, American, Canadian, and Australian. The harsh realities of James’ responsibilities mean that he has to spend a lot of time away, drinking his way across Ibiza, St Tropez, New York… the list goes on. The invention of Skype has revolutionised James’ life. In this golden age of computing, he can conduct business meetings wearing no underwear, which he thinks nobody else has figured out.

Steven Kavanagh

Commercial Director

Aussie Steve is our favourite (and only) South African – or was it the other way round..? Intelligent, efficient and pragmatic, Steve is everything you’d hope for in an accountant. A leading expert on Health & Safety, if you ever spot Steve on a tour, be sure to ask him about barriers to entry – his second favourite topic (a close runner-up to talking about how our fabulous gin is made).

John Keeling


John is only involved in Silent Pool Distillers from afar, turning up every now and then to referee a Board Meeting and to load his car boot up with a variety of products. Like Ian McCulloch, who John ran into at Harvard Business School in 2004, John is an ex-city dweller. Unlike Ian McCulloch, John rarely wears shorts and has never knowingly been seen in white socks. John currently holds the record amongst the Directors for personal orders of Silent Pool Gin. He also executed a superb head-first dismount from a taxi in Barcelona during the first company offsite meeting in 2018.

Sophie Best

Finance & Operations Manager

The most dedicated member of the company personal training class and distillery prankster. Sophie, originally from t’north (‘the north’ in Northernish), is an award winning CIMA accountant, and is well equipped to look after all our money (clothed in a bazillion layers and drinking Yorkshire tea). Presumably this is related to her northern upbringing. Sophie recently relocated to the comparatively tropical Surrey hills where she can commute t’werk (to work) on a John Deere tractor. She is the Gromit to Ian McCulloch’s Wallace i.e. the brains of the operation.

Tom Hutchings

Distillery Manager

Tom slaves away at the hands of The Major (our traditional wood-powered boiler) at all hours of the day. He is responsible for the continued flow of delectable gin emanating from the still. As you’d expect, he is also a fantastic cook, which we take advantage of at every available opportunity. When on a rare day’s holiday, you are most likely to find him stranded on a country road in Wales, trying to find motorcycle emergency replacement components using his edgy Android phone, on his last 4% of battery remaining.


Keith Lee

Local Sales Manager

As the leading member of the sales team, Keith’s friendly face often shows up in the local area. A little-known fact about Keith is that he’s a supreme water-skier and fly-fisher. His previous haircut, luscious beard, and cargo pants would have you believe that his true calling is a crocodile hunter. His eagle eye for detail means he doesn’t miss a thing – another reason that Keith’s expertise is invaluable!

Jane Clement

Events Manager

One of the newest members of our team, Jane is our ex trolley dolly, on-the-spot deliverer of babies, dating advice guru and ringmaster of Markets and Events. As well as being a very welcome addition to the girls camp at Silent Pool Distillers, she makes running twenty-four events in a weekend look like a cake walk. Be sure to check out our Markets and Events Diary so you can see her team in action, and (most importantly) sample our products!

India | Staff shot

India Blanch

Brand Ambassador

Chief Brand Ambassador India was thrust into the world of bartending as a baby; her parents were in the business of running bars. Having worked front of house and behind the bar for many years, she knows where all the best bars and clubs are, and has a charming knack for getting our gin into prime position on their busy shelves. When not planning awesome Silent Pool themed parties, India likes to live the high life and find fun places to eat and drink with her friends.

Joe van den Berg

Packaging Manager

Joe runs the show in the bottling and packaging section. An accomplished musician, he conducts his string of bottlers to the beat of the music of his choosing. This often annoys Tom, as Joe’s love of the UK Top 40 Chart is not shared between them. Easily distinguishable by his salmon coloured chino shorts, you’ll see Joe at our distillery or sometimes on the market stalls.

Floss Godfrey | Silent Pool Distillers

Floss Godfrey

Marketing & Events Co-ordinator

This indie, gig loving lady is swiftly becoming the resident design Superwoman; last minute art work hero extraordinaire, champion of marketing (learning from the best…Ian, apparently!) Floss has selflessly taken on organising all our wonderful Public events at the distillery, most impressive of which was our roaringly successful open day for World Gin day. Watch out world, this is only the beginning!

Alex Powell

Distillery Sales & Stock Supervisor

‘AP’ is a multi-talented team player – he often finds himself organising markets, running markets, or driving the Silent Pool van on deliveries. His pet hate is people who don’t indicate when turning off on roundabouts. Heroically protective of the Silent Pool van, Alex recently acquired a dashboard camera, which apparently now allows him to sleep soundly at night (something which didn’t appear to be a problem in the first place).

Todd Zillwood-Hunt


In-house distillery DJ Todd is not only crucial for motivating our bottling team (his thesaurus-like musical knowledge is unparalleled) but he’s also king of the ‘on the spot’ tour. With his flowing locks, easy smile and collection of beer-related t-shirts, you’d never believe our resident surfing enthusiast arrived with us somewhat preppy looking! We look forward to seeing the dreadlocks that we imagine will come with his full transformation into a Silent Pool distiller.

Hamish MacDonald


A true (Australian) Scotsman who survived his perilous journey from the colonies, our modern day (and somewhat hairless) William Wallis battled his way to the team with only the clothes on his back and a thoroughly apt back history in law. A Hamish tour is always a treat; his enthusiasm and passion for travel and seeing the world are reflected in his work. With his hatred of ‘a desk’, it appears he is on a one-man mission never to lose his ‘freedom’.

Mark | Silent Pool Distillers

Mark McMillan

Distillery Assistant

Mark came to Silent Pool after a “billion pounds” football career (according to him) was cruelly cut short by injury. His love for grime music is only surpassed by his love for a double Rustlers; we’re not sure which is filthier?! Always on hand to fulfil whatever task is thrown at him unless he’s ‘Hangry’ (which happens every 45mins).



We like to say that sunshine is one of the ingredients of our gin because the sunlight that falls on the Duke of Northumberland’s estate, where we’re based, grows the trees which we feed The Major. The Major powers the steam jacket of the still, which would make it possible for us to make gin in the event of a National Grid outage or apocalypse (ever the optimists here at SPD).

Our Spirits