Central England General Branch
Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Central England General Branch

Hello and welcome to the Central England General Branch.

The social and networking club for professional performers and creatives based in the Midlands region. A place to come for help, advice, friendship, support and fun. And it's not just for actors!!

Like all the Equity branches in the UK, the Central England branch is run by a committee, maximum of nine Equity professional performers and creatives who were elected by their fellow branch members. They are not employed by Equity, but give up a few hours a month to help give Equity members based in the Midlands a powerful voice through the organisation of campaigns and regional events.

We hold regular meetings and social events which attract members from a wide area, which includes Birmingham and all of the East and West Midlands, so why not bring a fellow member and car share? Our meetings often have a guest speaker or an element of professional development. New and student members are always very welcome.


 We usually meet on the second Monday of each month.

 Our next meeting is on December 7th, 7.30pm at The Wellington Real Ale Pub

37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham city centre, B2 5SN

As many of you already know, Tim Johnson our Area Organiser is retiring at the end of November. Here is a statement from the General Secretary at the last Council meeting on appointing a successor:


“Tim Johnson (Midlands Regional Organiser) is due to retire in November this year and currently works alone in our Coventry office. The Council at its meeting on 27/28th April supported my concerns on lone working and agreed that on Tim’s retirement the post of Midlands Regional Organiser should be based in the Manchester office and the Coventry office closed. However the council also decided that applications from candidates based in the Midlands should be encouraged.

In June, the General Secretary met with the Midlands Area Network comprising representatives from each of the branches covered by the Midlands Regional Organiser along with Sally Treble, Midlands Area Councillor and Tim Johnson. The members based in the Midlands clearly have a huge respect and admiration for the work and commitment Tim has given to the Midlands region over the years and they are going to miss him very much. Understandably they have concerns about who will replace him and how the job will be done.

They agreed that if possible to have an organiser who lives in the Midlands would be a great advantage. In addition members felt that an Organiser skilled and experienced in Equity matters was also important.

Taking all of this into account the decision has been made, in consultation with Unite (the staff union), to transfer Ian Bayes, a skilled and experienced Organiser who lives in Northampton, to the Midlands Regional Organiser post in the lead up to Tim’s retirement.

Ian will start on 15th October to allow a handover period with Tim and he will be based out of Guild House rather than Manchester as originally planned, because following discussions it was felt Ian was better able to organise and service members based from London.” 


If you would like to know more about our branch, or even have an event we'd consider promoting in our newsletter, please contact the branch Public Relations Officer, David Edgar at davidedgar@gmx.co.uk

We also have a Equity Central England General Branch Facebook group.


2014/16 Branch committee members

David Edgar (Public Relations Officer).                                                                                           Neville Cann
Linda Hargreaves
Sunny Dhap (Vice-Chair)
Jenny Stokes
Simon Grenville (Chair)
Gareth Wyn-Jones (Treasurer)
Rachel Dealtry (Assistant Secretary)
Marc Phillips (Secretary)

Banner photographs kindly provided by Graeme Braidwood